First we need to explore the whys and the what-fors of your website project so we can decide if it is a fairly simple undertaking (DIY) or a complex task best left to the professionals (Max Height Web Solutions).
I am often asked, "How long does it take to make a website".
The time involved in creating a website can range anywhere from a few minutes to several months, depending on the complexity of the website AND the knowledge and experience of the website developer.
If the website has only a few pages with text and images, it can be launched in less than 1 hour.
As you begin setting up your business website, whether you are designing the website on your own or hiring a professional to handle the task, one of the decisions you need to make is what web pages to include on your site. You also need to think about the content that will go on those pages. These steps are among the most important parts of setting up your website.
Obviously, every website is going to have a homepage. This is where visitors will go when they first type in the URL of your website. This is the online “front door” of your business. First impressions go a long way, especially with a business website. You should make an effort to ensure your homepage represents your business. As soon as a visitor arrives on your homepage, they should have a good sense of what products or services you are offering.
Most websites will have more than just a homepage; though, there is a growing trend of building business websites that use a single page. This is often called an online business card. While this may provide an easy way to quickly throw a website together, it lacks the ability to include good search engine optimization. The size of your website is one of the factors used by search engines when determining search rankings.
Basically, you need more than just a homepage. Visitors will not want to have to scroll through an endless amount of content, in order to find what they are looking for. Here are some of the webpages that you will commonly find on business websites:
That is just a quick overview of some of the webpages that you may include on your website, but it is not necessarily your exact guideline. Before deciding on your final layout and website structure, you should brainstorm a list, which starts with a look at your competition.
Before you start creating webpages using WordPress or build a list to pass on to a website developer, you should take a look at your competition. Find three of your competitor’s websites. Explore their webpages and see what pages and functionality they use. See how their website is setup and the type of content that they prominently display. You should never to try imitate or copy your competition, but it is a good place to start – to gain a better understanding of the type of webpages and content to display.
After examining your competition, start building your list of webpages. You will need a homepage, a contact page, and probably an about page, but the rest of the layout is up to you. As mentioned, your homepage is the first thing that most visitors will see.
The contact and about pages are also standard for most business websites. Even if you display your contact information along your header or footer, you should still include a contact page. In fact, many search engines lower the ranking of a website if the contact information of a business is not within one or two clicks of the landing page. Your contact page may include a contact form, so that visitors can easily send you message, along with the rest of your contact information.
The about page provides a good spot for giving your visitors a little more information about your business. Explain why you started your business, what your goals are, what you bring to the table that your competition ignores, and any other details that help flesh out your brand.
The homepage, about page, and contact page are part of your core business website; however, you should not stop there. If you are selling a product or service, you should probably build a product or service page – whether or not you are selling your products and services online. Provide an overview of your products and services, offering details and preferably including images of your products or services. You should also try to include a “call to action” after every product or service listing. This could be a “buy now” button, if you are selling online, or a link to a contact form where potential customers can request additional information.
Gallery or portfolio page can also be useful, especially if you have a physical product or want to showcase the benefits of a service. For example, your landscaping business could include a portfolio page which includes pictures of your well-groomed lawns. An interior designer may showcase some of their past projects. Think about how you can use images to represent the benefits of using your product or service.
Another page that you may want to include on your business website is a testimonial page. Customer testimonials show potential customers that you are a bona fide business. Do not have any testimonials? One method of acquiring testimonials is to send customers a questionnaire, after they have made a purchase. This questionnaire could include basic input, including comments about the product or service purchased, as well as a checkbox that customers can mark to give you permission to use their input in a testimonial.
You could also reach out to customers and ask for a quote about why they were happy using your products or services. While these are both good options for gathering testimonials, never harass your customers or demand that they provide you with input that you can use on your website.
These are just a few steps that you may want to consider as you build your business website. Remember, your website needs to represent your business. A growing number of people rely on the internet for learning more about a business. Even if you operate a local business with walk-in customers, they may stop to look at your website before walking through your front door. Take the time to carefully plan out your online storefront, to match the brand you are creating for your business.
Building your own business website is not an overly complicated process, when you have the right tools and resources available to you. If at any time you feel overwhelmed with the process of setting up your website, there are many ways to seek help or find additional tips. Browse some of my other blog articles for further insight into managing an online business website or learn more about community webinars – as part of the Web Presence Institute. Receive in-depth training, tips, and suggestions, from an experienced website designer and online marketing expert.
In this modern age, without a website to represent your business online, you are dead in the water. You need an online destination where existing and potential customers can learn more about your business, your products, and the services that you provide. If you have never owned your own website, this may appear challenging. Luckily, there are a couple of popular services out there that make it fairly simple for anyone to begin setting up their own business website. These options are WordPress and Wix – the two leading platforms for easy web design.
The most convenient way to compare these two web design solutions is to break them down into different categories. I’ll offer insight into both options, in each individual category, as we examine ease of use, available themes, additional features and plugins, and pricing.
As we look at both WordPress and Wix, I’ll give you an honest side by side comparison. Read through this article, compare the advantages and disadvantages of each, and then come to your own conclusion about which option will suit your business needs.
I must first disclose my own personal bias. I am a WordPress developer and have been building websites with WordPress since 2005. My preference for WordPress is based on flexibility, variety and quantity & quality of software options. That disclosure made, Wix is also a very good choice for a content management system. Let’s see how they compare.
Can anyone use WordPress or Wix to create a website? Sure, the tools are fairly easy to understand; though, it may take a little bit of time to familiarize yourself with the controls and options, regardless of which service you choose.
WordPress offers an enormous amount of a features that some may find overwhelming. When editing your site, or individual web pages and posts, there is a text editor with a layout that is similar to using a word processing program. The learning curve to using WordPress comes from all of the options. You can add plugins, adjust your site layout, schedule posts for a later date, and so much more.
With Wix, you are given a drag-and-drop HTML editor that allows you to edit and rearrange the elements on your site without needing any coding experience. This is simple enough to use; though, it does not take long to turn a beautiful template in a large mess of elements. When using Wix, your best bet is to keep it simple – find a template that you like, adjust colors and background, and then start adding your content and business information.
Overall, Wix has a more user-friendly interface. That is not to say that WordPress is extremely difficult. There are thousands of articles and how-to videos, as well as support from WordPress.org, that will help explain every step of setting up your website.
Both WordPress and Wix provide you with a whole slew of themes to choose from. With WordPress, they are referred to as themes, while Wix prefers to call them templates. Either way, there are plenty of options.
Since WordPress is open source, there are thousands of developers just waiting to show off their WordPress skills. With WordPress installed you can look through thousands of free themes. If you want better assurance that your theme will function properly and be compatible with all your plugins, you might want to consider a premium theme. These can range in price from $30 to $200, depending on the amount of features built into the theme.
As with WordPress, Wix has free and paid templates. After creating an account, you can browse through a selection of templates for your website and instantly get to work editing your site. Also like WordPress, the free templates are slightly more limited in features than the paid templates.
Currently, WordPress has Wix outnumbered in the theme department. Wix likes to show off their flashy templates on their homepage, but the truth is – just about any template you find on Wix you can discover something similar on WordPress.
When it comes to additional features or plugins, WordPress vastly surpasses Wix. WordPress has been around for over 15 years; and as an open-source platform – there are plenty of developers working away at creating useful or fun plugins. This is great for businesses looking for a specific feature, but you can run into the same problem mentioned about WordPress themes – not all plugins are going to be regularly updated or provide 100% compatibility.
Wix, on the other hand, is not an open-source website builder. All of the plugins and features available at Wix are handled through their own development team or companies that they hire to develop features. Also, most of these extra features require a fee to use. On the plus side, compatibility is hardly ever an issue with Wix.
WordPress software, available from WordPress.org, is free to download and use. Getting started with Wix is free and as can be expected you get what you pay for. Regardless of which software you end up going with, the free part of creating your website does not last long.
WordPress itself is a free, open-source software that anyone can use, but you will need to purchase website hosting and a domain name. Hosting will vary, based on which company you choose, with an average of $6 to $10 per month. A domain name will run you about $10 to $15 dollars each year.
Wix.com has a pricing structure, designed to let you choose what level of service you want. With a free account, you are allowed to pick from the free website templates, create and edit your site, and that is about it. In order to use your own domain name (instead of sticking with the default – username.wix.com/your-business), you will need to signup for at least the cheapest plan – at just over $4 per month. From there, you can choose from 4 other plans, which can cost up to $24 per month.
It is technically cheaper to get started with Wix, but we haven’t even begun to cover the use of plugins and premium templates; though, the same can be said about WordPress. You can find many quality free plugins for WordPress; however, the most reliable WordPress plugins and themes often have a price tag. If you are desperate to get a website up and running at the lowest cost, Wix could be the answer. Just remember, you will be severely limited in customization options, when compared to setting up a WordPress site.
Even though both Wix and WordPress attempt to make the process of building and maintaining a website as easy as possible, many businesses still turn to professional developers and website designers to handle the creation of their site. There are many reasons for this. Some businesses would prefer to focus on other aspects of their business and allow a professional designer to ensure their site has an attractive layout and proper search engine optimization. Requiring a feature for your site that is specific to your business needs could also require the help of a developer.
With the ease of use that Wix provides, it is hard to imagine you needing to hand over the reigns to someone else. For WordPress users, hiring an expert can give you the peace of mind in knowing that your website is functioning correctly, if you are going to require a lot of plugins or other features, but if you have the time and are willing to do a little research as needed, then you should not really run into many problems creating your own WordPress site. Deciding to hire a developer over handling the project yourself really comes down to your personal goals and needs.
Should you choose WordPress for your website or Wix? Well, they both have their own advantages and disadvantages. WordPress has a massive amount of customization features, available plugins, and is part of a large developer community. The greatest strength of WordPress, customization, can also be a hindrance. With so many plugins and themes to choose from, it can be hard to determine which plugins or themes are fully compatible or receive regular support and updates. Wix, on the other hand, carefully controls which features are available. While you may be limited in options when compared to WordPress, there is more stable support and compatibility. Pricing for either service will depend on the add-ons you want for your website. Wix provides a more streamlined, drag-and-drop interface, while the WordPress dashboard may take some getting used to.
When choosing between these two services, you should start by thinking about your needs. Wix could be a great choice, if you want to build a basic website with limited features. In time, we may see Wix increase available customization options and plugins, but for now, WordPress is a smarter solution for those with specific needs.
If you want additional information about using either Wix or WordPress, feel free to leave me a message. I’ll get back to you quickly and would love to help you get your business off the ground.
By now, most people have heard of WordPress, with more than 200 million websites built using the platform – she has been around for awhile. My own relationship with WordPress goes back to 2006 – WordPress version 2.0. She was awkward and unattractive, but there was something charmingly simple about her. We dated for a bit, but I eventually left her for the elegance and controlled poise of HTML. By 2009 I had grown weary of the constant learning curve and complex maintenance of my HTML girlfriend. I had, however, invested a number of years with her and we had been through the trenches together. I had no intention of leaving her. I loved her… really!
Then I saw WordPress again. She was all grown up, her plugins were full and robust. Her themes were gorgeous and rich, her core was stable and secure. I was weak and in a moment of passionate abandon, I rebuilt my website with WordPress. When HTML found out, it was like the end of the internet. It was a huge emotional mess! Luckily, the three of us worked through this very difficult period and came out on the other side stronger and with more clarity than ever before. We were all maturing.
We now have an understanding. WordPress and HTML both need me and I need them. HTML and I work beautifully together to build sites when the client has no interest in managing content – they are completely happy to send me a text document or folder full of images and let me work my magic. WordPress and I offer a full palette of services for clients who want a more hands-on relationship with their website. We have learned how to make our unique relationship not only work but thrive!
Okay, metaphors aside, I am a freelance front-end designer and web developer. I appreciate the specific strengths and benefits of both WordPress and HTML. In fact, if it wasn’t for HTML and CSS I wouldn’t have the level of control and flexibility over WordPress that allows me to tweak and modify the themes and plugins.
After an initial discussion with a new client, I know which path I need to head down. I have found that they are always pleased that they have the option of a CMS (content management system) or a site built completely in HTML; however, with the advent of WordPress security plugins, like WordFence, and the evolution of its core, WordPress has become a more attractive and economical option for an increasing number of my clients. I now find myself using WordPress for about 9 out of 10 of the sites I build these days.I now find myself using WordPress for about 9 out of 10 of the sites I build these days. Click To Tweet
Over the years, I have come up with a starting “recipe” for developing a WordPress website. The main ingredients can be divided into WordPress themes and WordPress plugins.
Depending on the needs of my clients, I may substitute one ingredient for another. I listen to what my clients want for their website and tweak the recipe to create just the right taste.Tweak the WordPress recipe to create just the right 'taste' for each client. Click To Tweet
WordPress has truly evolved over the years and I am happy to again embrace her as part of my website development strategy along with HTML and CSS. Informing my clients about the benefits of using WordPress allows me to better serve and assist them as we work together towards their goals.
If you would like to learn more about WordPress, for your own needs or the needs of a client, then take a moment to look at some of the resources available on my site or feel free to send me a message.
Are you looking for a better solution to market your business online? Then learn why WordPress is the answer for so many online businesses. Sure, you have probably heard of WordPress before, and more than likely you have visited websites that have been built using WordPress, but you may not really understand the appeal behind this free content management system (CMS).
WordPress got its start as a simple way for bloggers to quickly and easily get their articles published on the web. Over the years it has evolved to become so much more than just a blogging platform for sharing personal stories or pics of your kids. It is now the most used content management system on the internet. Over 200 million websites have been created using WordPress and it is used by some of the top companies across a range of industries.Learn why WordPress is the answer for so many online businesses. Click To Tweet
|Best Buy||Zerox||The New Yorker||PlayStation|
|Ford||Fortune||Time||The Rolling Stones|
|Wall Street Journal||Snoop Dog||Reuters||Sony Music|
|Dallas Mavericks||Mozilla||Larry King Live||Harvard Business Review|
So, whether you want to sell and promote your products and services or just blog about your feelings and how many puppies Fluffy had last night, let me explain why WordPress should be your first choice.
You don’t need to be a tech expert to create a WordPress site or manage your own content. If the kid that mows your lawn can setup a WordPress site to share his thoughts on the world, then you should have no problem using WordPress to promote your business and market your brand. The installation process is simple and the popularity of WordPress has led to a large online community full of helpful resources and tips. Anyone can get started with WordPress and the process of creating a website using this platform is quicker than with other solutions.You don’t need to be a tech expert to create a WordPress site or manage your own content. Click To Tweet
Using WordPress is a cost-effective way to increase your online presence and reach more customers. There are lots of free features and options that you can use to make your site stand out or to add more features for your users. WordPress is an open source platform. This means that it is free to use, resulting in a large developer community that is constantly creating new WordPress plugins and themes.
Plugins and themes are the heart and soul of WordPress. Starting with a theme, you can begin creating a website that reflects your business. From there, you can browse through thousands of WordPress plugins, offering additional features, that can provide your visitors with a better user experience and help you tweak the look of your website.
Creating a website is just one part of reaching out to online consumers. Once you have a website up and running, you need to get noticed. Luckily, WordPress has built-in features to help improve search engine optimization. There are also a number of WordPress plugins designed to help with SEO and increase your search engine rankings. WordPress makes it easier to ensure you are following good SEO practices – letting you focus on running your business and delivering helpful content to your potential customers.
Thanks for taking the time to find out why WordPress is so popular. My name is Jeffrey Atherton, a freelance web developer based out of Denver. If you want to learn more about WordPress, then check out my WordPress classes. I can teach you the basics, offer advice, and help you get your first WordPress site setup. Before you know it, you will be introducing yourself as a WordPress expert – increasing your online presence and reaching new heights while growing your business.