5 Reasons Why WordPress Is a Good Choice for Your Web Design Project

Having a website is a necessity for almost every organization. With recognition more efficiently promoted and facilitated with a website, corporate entities up to sole entrepreneurs aim to have a professional web development service to come up with a website of their own. Another great benefit to having a business website is that it gives businesses the chance to achieve not just local, but global brand establishment. For this reason, business owners hire a web development firm to create a website that they can easily manage and update with content related to their services and products.

Among the many different content management software options used in professional web development today, WordPress has been the most preferred by many different web development companies and business owners, and here are a few reasons why:

1. WordPress Has An Established History

Professional web development and WordPress go way back. Since this CMS was introduced in 2003, the world of web development has taken great strides and other content management tools have become extinct. To date, WordPress is the most popular blogging software in the world. Even non-blogging websites choose WordPress as the preferred platform.

2. WordPress Is An Intuitive Content Management Software

Unlike other blogging platforms and software, WordPress may be a smarter choice, with intuitive and user-friendly content updating tools. When using WordPress for daily tasks, you need not be a programmer, coder, or an expert in web design; in fact, you can handle updating on your own with its convenient interface that allows you to edit every page in your website. WordPress fosters independence. As your preferred web development firm undertakes your website development in Austin or elsewhere, you can experience a smooth transition to maintaining your new website.

3. It Is Based on Widely Supported Technologies

WordPress is based on PHP technology, which is used by over 80% of the websites today. Along with this, WordPress also allows for more flexibility in terms of creating your own taxonomies, custom post types, and metadata. This CMS allows you to add customizations and additional features easily with the help of any PHP programmer.

4. It Is Portable

Hundreds of web hosts support WordPress and it’s common technology requirements, so website owners can feel confident in finding a home for their new WordPress-driven site. Considering this portability, you can create possibly all the websites you need: from personal blogs, to business websites, photoblogs, portfolios and more, using WordPress as your platform. Simply communicate your interest in WordPress support to your web hosting company.

5. WordPress is Customizable in Every Aspect

Your WordPress site can be extended with hundreds of other plugin software, customizing your WordPress site to adapt to your preferences is easy. While it has default themes for you to choose from, it is possible to fully custom theme the website. An experienced web designer can help you turn your custom branded vision into compatible theme templates. Even plugins and forms can be customized with a unique design.

Create A Small Business Web Site – Your Options

Developing a web site for your small business is practically a requirement in this day and age. When potential customers are searching for information, they often begin their search by finding out if your business has a web site. Most small business owners do not know the first step about developing a web site. There are some options that a small business owner can use to get their site up in running in no time.

Option 1: Hire a Web Developer or Web Development Company

This option is probably the most expensive one, but if you do not have the time and rather leave the details of your web site in capable hands, this option will be your best bet. Before you rush out and hire someone or a company to build your web site, consider the following aspects of web site development:

  • Domain registration
  • Hosting
  • Web design & eCommerce
  • Credit card merchant accounts
  • Secure online ordering
  • Marketing programs
  • Copywriters
  • Maintenance

Be sure that whoever you choose to hire can help with most of the list above – if not all (depending on your needs.)

Option 2: Learn How to Develop the Site Yourself

If you have the time and dedication to learn how to develop a web site, this option can save you some money and allows you to maintain your site as often as you like. You can learn web development through books, online tutorials, or by taking programming classes at a local college. Besides HTML, you may also want to learn a web programming language such as PHP, ASP, Perl, Java, or Cold Fusion. You’ll also want to consider learning how to develop Flash if you want animated flash movies on your site and how to use graphic software programs to create images. The downside to this option is the time it takes to learn how to use the languages and software.

Option 3: Let a Friend or Family Member Build Your Site

This can be a good option for you and your friend or family member. You get a free (or very low cost) web site developed and the person who develops it gets practice and a project to add to their portfolio. The big downside to this is that your web site may not look very professional, it may not get done on time, and can become difficult to maintain. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a professional web developer as a friend or relative, you may want to think twice about this option.

The above options are all good ways to get a small business web site up for your business. Depending on your time and budget, choose which option will work best for you.

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How To Choose A Web Designer

A little while back I had a bit of a discussion about a certain profession that I will not mention here in case someone from the industry in question takes it the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong, every major profession is there for a reason and adds a tremendous amount of value to society. The fact of the matter is that every industry and profession has good aspects and bad. When you think of a doctor, lawyer, architect, accountant, etc, you tend to have a personal frame of reference, as well as a more widely held stereotype. There are usually some aspects of that profession that irritate you, or that you think could do with some improvement. Perhaps you don’t make use of certain professional services because of these perceptions, whether or not they are commonly held or based on fact.

That got me thinking about my own industry, and what it is about the internet consulting and web design and development industry that drives people nuts, and that if things were different, people would utilize these services more often. What would people change about the industry if they had a magic wand? What would you do differently if you were, for example, a web developer, to differentiate yourself?

These are some of the things I have been told hold people back when discussing this topic with some small businesses:

– Web design and development is too expensive for the average small business

– Apprehension over how qualified an internet professional really is

– There is too much jargon in the industry, which makes it confusing to assess as a non-technical business person

– There is a shortage of internet programming skills relative to visual design skills in the industry

Personally, my big wish is that a certain level of qualification (a degree combining computer science, design and business) was a requirement to practice, the same way that older professions are required to, like accountants, doctors, lawyers, etc. The low barrier to entry makes it difficult for businesses to distinguish experts from hobbyists. Imagine having to choose your doctor based on what he tells you he knows how to do for you!

So, how then does one assess a potential internet partner, who can and should be a long-time partner in the online success of your business? Here are some things to look at carefully when choosing a web designer, web developer, internet business consultant, or related service provider, from my experience:

Technical and business qualifications and experience. Is the business comprised of an inexperienced person with a web design hobby, or has the business got people with tertiary level business, programming and design skills in-house? Make sure they have real-world business experience in developing e-commerce solutions, and look into how far back that goes.

What online business applications has the business developed previously, and how does this match your requirements? Some web design businesses will give you a very nice looking static brochure site, while others will be able to offer advanced functionality, such as a database and content management capabilities, e-commerce functionality, internet business consulting services, site promotion, site management, hosting, domain registration, design, application development, site optimization, newsletter systems, form processing capabilities, logging of user activity, online surveys and polls, user registration and authentication, advertising management, content syndication, and the like. Check how many of these are optional extras an how many are included in the price you are quoted up front. You should always get a detailed proposal up front, and compare apples for apples rather than being too subjective initially. My business, for example, differentiates by bundling over 250 enterprise-level applications into our small business package, at a lower price than most web designers will charge just for the design and some basic functionality.

Long term cost/benefit. What is it going to cost you the next time you need to make a modification? I’ve never yet come across a successful website that was designed and left as it was created on day one. Your site needs to change with your business, so make sure you know how you will be billed for those changes, and what the time frame for them will be. Every site also has hosting, bandwidth and maintenance costs that most people don’t think of when first creating a site. Look into what these will be, and what you get for them, so that you can budget for them when starting your project. Also keep in mind that a cheap solution with one or two features will probably not serve you as well as a slightly more expensive one with extensive built-in capabilities.

Personal style and preference. Different businesses will bring different styles and methodologies to the party. Make sure that the one you go with suits your personal preferences. If your internet specialist loves graphic-intensive Flash-based sites, they will probably develop your informative content-based solution, just not as well as someone who specializes in your preferred style.

Online promotion. Make sure that the business you choose is good at promoting their own online presence. Google, Yahoo, and MSN are the three most popular search engines, so make use of them when choosing a provider. If you are looking for a web developer in your local area, search for the terms you find most important and include the name of your area. For example, I optimize my services for the Joondalup area of Perth, Western Australia, so a search for “web design Joondalup” or “web development Joondalup”, or many other internet-based services, brings me to the top when people are searching for local service providers. An internet business that is no good at promoting itself online will be worse at helping you get yours up to full potential.

Satisfaction guarantees. No website can make a flawed business model work, but an online expert should be able to help you make it everything it can be over time, much the same way a personal trainer can’t make you fit overnight, but they can help you become a top athlete with focused ongoing attention. Find out what guarantees, if any, are provided. This is a real differentiator, because, understandably, many web design businesses won’t do this. Those that do are at least serious and confident in their abilities to ensure that their clients are happy and successful.

Management of expectations. Any internet business that claims excessive short term success rates is probably overselling themselves. Make sure that they (and you) are realistic about the time frames in which your online presence will start producing results.

Consulting skills. Make sure that you are dealing with an internet consultancy, not just a web design house. Experienced internet consultants have the business experience to help you make your business successful online in ways a web designer will probably not.

Find successful web sites online. Many will have the site developer’s details in the footer, or in a credits section of the site.