The website is a crucial part of our overall web marketing success. A high performing website means more leads at a better price. It is why we exist.
The mixture of design, security, speed, and 'easy functionality to achieve difficult things' is what we get by using WordPress.
To achieve High Performance with low cost of ownership - we have to use software that has a very large user base.
With large user bases, you get massive functionality at a very low cost, or free.
Free Strategy Session
We take a little time to listen. Where you are, what your plans might be and to show you a little of what people are looking for.
Content Heavy Sites
The best results are when you land specific searches onto specific pages - the response you get from visitors is amazing. It means - lots and lots of pages.
It follows, that over the months and years, we need to deliver lots of content.
And so, a content management system is a minimum requirement - which also happens to be good for SEO 'out of the box'.
But a website strategy is more than that - the following list is why we chose WordPress originally, and why we still believe in the platform - it has supremely rich functionality.
The productivity of web team matters. If every site you build has a different configuration, a different theme, a different set of plugins, then it can take hours to work out the simplest of tasks. This is not good for morale, or for cllient budgets.
We believe in a consistent back end, in order to reduce the build and maintenance time. Repeatedly using the same thing results in excellence.
Creativity needs support.
We can deliver and test unlimited changes in page layout and design without any programming.
Our Genesis framework supports this kind of flexibility - different page widths, background images, sidebar positions, and hooked content. The ability to hook content across multiple pages in any position delivers creativity at scale.
Our Page Builder supports content layouts, 'the bit inside the content editing area' - which, for hub pages, has been a crucial addition. It also provides a non programming way to create 'parts of pages' hooked across specific pages, hubs, or the whole site. We can have different headers and footers for specific pages, and funky category and 404 page designs. These were highly difficult to achieve just a short time ago.
Users should be able to add and edit content without knowing how to code. This means a reduction in code in the editable areas, particularly widgets. Low to no HTML, and no CSS code in content.
There is always a trade off in 'getting things done' and being user considerate. We need to keep design code out of pages, especially as people get used to 'website builders' and expectations are higher.
Accessibility has been a rising topic, and I guess if we worked for public organisations, we would be dealing with this already. It has to be on the radar. Again, because we invest in a framework, then there are people working on themes to make them 'ready'.
There is a trade off between speed and layouts. For single service pages, we don't need to use page builders, which slow down the page and risks SEO.
Particularly for mobile devices, we have found that the image heavy approach encouraged by page builders actually reduces conversions rates, which is the opposite of desktop, where they increase.
At some point, I believe we will have to step towards different designs for the mobile and desktop pages. A different theme, and the ability to serve different images and layouts might be achieved with something like WP Touch, which is designed for exactly this purpose. WordPress enables the right strategy, when we are ready.
Desktop and mobile specific Caching, CDN's, cloudflare domain management, all these developments are supported by our chosen plugin partners, out of the box.
Paying for plugins means you get increased support from developers, and the more people that buy into a plugin the less expensive the various functionality becomes. Scale is important for software.
In very large user bases, someone else has always had the same requirement, often before you do. Our ambition is not limited by the software.
We should just accept that the device choice of users is going to increase. So we may as well just get used to the idea of programming sites so they work on any device, in portrait or landscape, and make those headers work!
Dozens of media queries, if that's what it takes. We only do this once, and it lasts for years, it will be worthwhile investment.
Mobile specific themes like WP Touch do allow us to escape the compromise that is responsive design.
As the website becomes more and more important to the profitability of companies, the more they will consider it 'core IT'. We will follow the same path as other technologies, where security, compliance and 'corporate' requirements such as staging sites and other risk reduction facilities will start to become common place.
We are adopting the new technology as fast as it is released.
There is always the latest and greatest in software. New contenders come and go, and it is easy to be distracted by 'shiny' new features.
But having been in software for 20 years, take it from me that its not what new software can do for you, it's what it can't do that gets you. That old fashioned functionality you take for granted, it is very painful to go without. And anything you ask to be added, tends to be very expensive, once you are committed.
You don't know you needed it, until after you bought into the software.
And small circulation software means fewer skills, and they come more expensively. Don't get trapped into buying the 'hand made car' of the software world. Wing mirrors will cost you a fortune.