Not all hosting companies are created equally. Believe me, I’ve dealt with a lot of them! When choosing your hosting company, consider not just price, but make sure you have the right technology, growth options, and top-notch support. We use and recommend Bluehost because they have all the right tools needed for most website needs available 24/7 right in their account area, plus they have the best customer / tech support I have yet to find. They also are constantly improving their service offerings and keeping up with new technologies.
WordPress is the most popular website platform for small to mid-size organizations in the world. It is easy to use, SEO friendly, and available on most hosting services. There are also a ton of WordPress themes available to help jumpstart a web design project. But there are also some “gotchas” to beware of when it comes to using WordPress…
Don’t get me wrong, we love WordPress and use it more often than any other tool for building websites. But it is important to know both the good, and the not so good, when deciding whether WordPress is right for your site, and whether you should use a professional to build your site so you don’t have headaches going forward.
This is a big one. In general, free themes are not going to get you where you want to go, and are more likely to become obsolete (read that: a security issue!) before too long. So, if you are serious about your website, go with a professional theme. We have a list of criteria for selecting themes to make sure that a theme is going to meet your needs, both now and in the future. Although any theme is going to have a certain shelf-life in terms of design, a good theme will continue to be updated to work with modern browsers, devices and ongoing security concerns. Most of our themes come from Themeforest, where you will find 6,000+ WordPress Themes with live demos. Yeah. That’s a lot of themes. We can help you narrow that down to some really great ones.
Because WordPress is so popular, it is also the most targeted platform for security breaches and hacks. And it is more common for sites to be hacked with every passing year. So how do you protect your site (and your customers’ information, and your brand image?) There are a number of best practices and recommendations we provide for keeping your site safe as we build, but the most important preventative measure is keeping your site, themes and plugins up to date. We also offer maintenance retainer services to monitor your site, and/or there are a number of paid and free services available to help monitor your site for mischievous behavior.
The days of “if you build it they will come” are long over. Google is constantly changing algorithms and the battle for first results page is ongoing. You can hire a SEO company, but you still need to be a part of the process. You are the most knowledgeable person when it comes to knowing what your company is about, and who should be looking for you.
We can help you get your SEO ducks in a row, and get your WordPress site SEO friendly and ready for SEO Optimization. Of course we are available to work with you on the optimization process if you wish, or you can do it yourself with our help, or hire a SEO specialist to tweak your site going forward.
Plugins add functionality to your site. Plugins can be really useful and/or necessary to use (such as adding a shopping cart, events calendar, social media integration, etc), however, be aware that the more plugins you have, the bigger your potential security risk, page load bottleneck, update demands and other complications. So don’t be like a kid in a candy shop… choose wisely, and do your homework before installing and activating plugins. Or let us help you. We know the good ones.
This list could go on and on, but for the sake of brevity:
- Responsive design is imperative. It has to work on all browser sizes and devices. Period.
- Site speed is critical. If your site is slow, you need to fix the bottleneck.
- Image and graphic assets should be handled with creativity and optimization in mind.
We combine both marketing and technical experience to partner with you to build the WordPress site that not only speaks to your clients with a fresh look and compelling message, but has the technology and backend smarts behind it to give you all the security and functionality you need, and website you can update yourself.