In my growing website consulting business, I have worked on sites ranging from finance blogs to construction companies. I have seen many common problems that can be easily fixed by implementing simple WordPress changes, or switching from static HTML to a dynamic content management system. Here are some issues you should always ask about when working on a new site, or hiring a new designer.
Easy For You to Update
When you want to add new pictures to your site, you shouldn’t have to call your developer or pay anyone. If you want to change your homepage text, it should take a few minutes not a few hours.
Static HTML sites and sites built with free WYSIWYG editors (that stands for “What You See is What You Get”) often require knowing what things like <br>, <p>, <i>, <b>, and lots of other tags when updating your site.
A solid content management system, or CMS, like WordPress or Drupal will take care of the hard part, and all of those tags, for you. When I write a new post, like this one, I write it in Microsoft Word and just copy and paste into my site. I never have to change more than a drop-down to make headers look bigger or change a color.
Takes Care of Important Tasks… Automatically
Every time I write a new post, I want my site to ping Google and other search engines, send my article to Facebook and Twitter, and update my XML sitemap, a behind-the-scenes list of pages that search engines use to track what’s on your site.
Whenever I build a new site for myself or a client, I always add plugins like Google XML sitemaps, WordPress’s ping tools, and Jetpack’s social sharing options to take care of things like that for me.
If that sounds like Greek to you, don’t worry. You can learn a lot about it by searching or working with a quality WordPress consultant. When I built a new site for PDP Associates, a traffic control systems company, I made sure to build in simple tools to keep life easier on their web team.
What is the most important function of your website? Is it to grow your Twitter followers? Is it to build Facebook fans? Maybe grow an email list?
No, that’s not it. While those may be a means to an end, the real purpose of your website is to make your business money. It is important to build a site that sells. How each business does that may vary, so make sure to keep your real goals, and how prospective customers reach you, in mind when building out your site’s pages and posts.
When I was designing the layout for my future brother-in-law’s construction business, Willhite Grading, I made sure to showcase his business offerings and customer testimonials on the top and made it very easy to find his contact information.
Start With Goals in Mind
Whatever you do, start with your end goals in mind, and build your site to help you meet them. If you are interested in bringing me on as a website consultant, send me a note through my contact form. I would love to help your business succeed.
Image by Martin Terber / flickr