Options to consider when creating a website

Options to consider when creating a website

I could go on and on about creating a website but for the sake of this post let me just hit the high notes. It’s time to get your website up and running so you start marketing. But what platform do you use? Let me say that almost any platform you decide on now will be responsive, meaning mobile friendly, and have drag and drop building options if needed. I still highly suggest using WordPress so let me share with you my reasons.

Platforms

WordPress has almost limitless options for themes, plugins, and integrations. With other platforms you are limited to using only the services they have chosen for you such as shopping cart integration and automated marketing platforms. Squarespace for example only integrates with Mailchimp, not Constant Contact, GetResponse, Aweber, InfusionSoft, etc.

With the limitations placed on you by the different platforms, you may not get the functionality you want. You will look at other websites and say, “why can’t I do that?”. The main reason will be because that other website is built on WordPress with its many choices.

Hosting

You do have to choose a hosting platform with WordPress which is different from the way other site builders work. However, this choice allows you to save money by comparison shopping, but remember, you get what you pay for. The least expensive option is not always the way to go. I highly recommend SiteGround for your service and choosing the WordPress Hosting. They have a wonderful track record for uptime, support, and reliability.

After choosing a platform and a hosting service, we can look at themes. No matter what platform you decide to use, there will be a theme that is perfect for you, even if it needs a little customization. Any platform will allow you to choose your own branding. Your logo, colors, your own “voice”. Your website is where you can express what you (or your business) is all about.

Website Aesthetics

Do some research by looking at websites of your competitors. See what they are doing and make note of the things you like and dislike. People are no longer taking the time to read everything on your site. Visuals are extremely important. There are several websites that offer free images and please take advantage of those. However, I do suggest purchasing a few more prominent images that you will be using on your site. You don’t want the same images everyone else is using. You want to stand out.

When it comes to text, the easier it is to scan, the better it is. This means bolding words and phrasing that you want to stand out and using lists and bullet points so it’s easier for people to see the main points that you want to get across.

On your home page, you need an eye-catching image, and an optin for with a lead magnet (freebie), your social media icons which should be near the bottom (so people don’t immediately click away from your site), and you want to be sure your contact information is easy to find. Yes, you will have a contact page but ideally your email and phone number should be on every page.

Your home page should be very clear on the product or service you offer. People will not dig around on your site to figure it out, they will immediately click away and go somewhere else if they can’t find the information they want fast enough. Your website should have a clean and uncluttered look.

While WordPress and its many choices may seem intimating at first, you will be glad you chose it in the long run. Especially if after a couple of years, your business is growing and you need to make changes and step up your game. With WordPress, you won’t need to switch platforms to accommodate your new needs. If you feel like hiring someone to build your first WordPress website is what you should do, then do it. Other platforms may seem easier and less expensive at first, but their limitations will cost you more in the long run because they do not grow with you as a business.

We have really just touched on the basics in this post. Schedule a consultation to discuss building a website in more depth at a time that is convenient for you.

Watch for next week’s blog when we talk about setting up your social media platforms!

Get Your Website Updates Done!

Do you really have time to deal with website maintenance and updates? Do the changes you make to your site never look just right? Let someone you can trust do the updates and changes for you. All our team members have years of WordPress experience and can handle any updates or site changes you need.

If you saw last week’s blog, then you already know about our great new service. Well, it’s finally live! Remember we talked about the importance of keeping your website updated?  It keeps things running smoothly and helps protect your site against cyber-attacks.  Did you know if you do an update, even a required one, there could be a conflict between WordPress and your theme, or your theme and a plugin, that might cause your website not to function like it should? Remembering to confirm a current backup is in place is just one of the things we will do before starting updates. We also know how troubleshoot the plugins to find the conflict if needed. These are the type of services you will receive when you sign up for our maintenance package.

The monthly Website Maintenance Package includes:

  • All WordPress required updates
  • All theme required updates
  • Content changes (2 per month)
  • Additional page (1 per month)
  • Confirm backups are completed

No more worries about the little red dots with numbers in them that appear on the dashboard of your website. No more worrying about how to add content and new pages to your site. Contact us and let us handle these things for you!  Keep your website up to date and looking professional with a little help from us.

For more details about this new service, please visit the Website Maintenance page!

Website Maintenance Package Coming Soon!

In the ongoing effort to meet the differing needs of our clients, we have developed a new Website Maintenance Package that will be available effective August 1st. We are currently testing to have a streamlined sign up process ready for you!

Our Website Maintenance Package is for clients who have a website built on the WordPress platform, which by the way, we highly recommend.  WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world and is used by nearly 75 million websites. According to WordPress, more than 409 million people view more than 23.6 billion pages each month. With that many people and businesses using WordPress, it’s hard to argue that it is one of the best website platforms. Read more interesting statistics about WordPress from codeinwp.com.

WordPress has premium themes and plugins and free themes and plugins. Premium options will be feature-rich, responsive, and well supported by the developer. These themes and plugins are also updated each time WordPress creates an update so they continue to work seamlessly together while ensuring the most robust and secure platform available.

Free themes are usually created by independent developers, with limited or no support – although high-end vendors will sometimes provide free “lite” versions of themes and plugins, as a tempter for their premium options. However, due to their lack of cost, the quality and customization options can vary greatly and you cannot rely on them to be updated as needed like the premium options.

For instance, if WordPress updates their platform and the theme or plugin developer does not, this could cause your site to have issues or even crash completely. Having said that, if you don’t do the required WordPress update, your site can also have issues. If you do not do the required updates suggested by WordPress or the theme and plugin developers, your will site could become outdated and not integrate well with other programs or newer plugins.

Watch for a blog post coming in August that will take a closer look into the details of the differences between the premium and free options.

Sounds like a catch 22, doesn’t it?  If you don’t update you could have problems, but if you do update, you could still have problems. Confused yet?

That’s where our new Website Maintenance Package comes in. Let us do the worrying for you. We will ensure your site is backed up and updated to the latest versions monthly. Not only that, but we will make up to three website changes for you during a month, and even add one new page per month. Launching a new product or just updating content? We can make those changes for you. It’s all included in your monthly package where you will be able to lock-in a low cost option for website maintenance!

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, REGISTER NOW and you will receive the details and a coupon code delivered right to your inbox on August 1st!