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Should you get a WordPress website? (and btw, what’s that?)

Should you get a WordPress website?  (and btw, what’s that?)

There are so many reasons for people to update their websites now that it’s gotten to be urgent in many cases.

Right now there are many websites that don’t work at all or don’t work well on mobile devices and 55% of all web viewers are now surfing the web using some kind of mobile device (by mobile device I mean an iPhone, iPad, Android phone, Windows phone, etc.)

When someone is first looking for a new provider FOR ANY product or service, it’s very likely that they are skimming the web using a mobile device.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to imagine that but i’m in my 50’s and I think the older i get the less likely I am to try some new technological trend (but numbers don’t lie).  Try looking at your website on an iPhone or android phone and I’m guessing you’ll see a site that’s very small, with tiny buttons that make it next to impossible to view and navigate through your website.  Even on an iPad (which is larger than an iPhone) – websites are very often not OK for several reasons:

  1. First they were most often not designed for use on a mobile device, meaning that the buttons are very small and navigating the site is really difficult (sites made for the mobile environment have big buttons that make going from page to page very easy).
  2. Even websites that were reprogrammed in the last year also frequently have elements that just don’t work on the mobile environment such as FLASH headers. FLASH is a very popular Adobe program (if you don’t know) that shows MOVING content on the Internet. FLASH elements don’t work on ANY Apple based product (without jumping through some hoops & downloading separate software that makes this possible).  If a company has a FLASH website or a FLASH header, the site or the header is completely gone when viewed in an Apple based device.

Note:  It’s a good idea to eventually go and look at EVERY one of your competitors’ websites on your PC, your laptop, your large screen TV (if you have one!) or on an iPhone and an Android phone at the very least…..it would be nice to know how your site works sitting next to the other vendors your client is considering buying from!

So, why should you have your website redone (or reprogrammed)?  And should you get a “WordPress” website instead of an HTML site?  (HTML has been the most common language used to create websites and in the past, it was most frequently used when someone wanted a 100% custom website).

We are seeing many problems on other people’s websites made by many different web development companies that were created recently (even in the last year).  Your site may not be working properly somewhere or everywhere (on mobile phones nor on PCs) and should be updated or at least checked due to the following issues:

  1. Rapidly Increasing use of Mobile Phones  means sites don’t work correctly on mobile devices – More than half of American adult cell phone users—55 percent—now use their phones to go online.” (up from 31% just 4 years ago). And sites that weren’t designed to be shown on a mobile phone just don’t look good or work correctly in these smaller screens.
  2. Rapidly changing BROWSERS cause functionality issues – This is critical too….just last year Internet Explorer was the #1 web browser. Most sites were created with that in mind, but now Google Chrome is #1 and there are many other browsers/players (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) and that means there are sites that DO NOT work correctly on Chrome that looked fine on IE just a few months ago.
  3. Changing Browser VERSIONS cause functionality issues – In the last year updated versions of all the major web browsers (Internet Explorer, Fox, Chrome, etc.) have been released meaning that there are elements on most websites that don’t work or don’t look right on one browser or another or on all browsers,
  4. Monitors keep getting bigger and bigger – Most new TV’s are very big (55+”) and they’re wireless or web ready meaning that people are able to surf the web using their TVs.  Most sites that were created for standard sized web monitors are going to look really small (too small) in these environments.  ONLY A RESPONSIVE SITE CAN FIX THIS:  A responsive site is one that expands and contracts to fit the full size of a monitor no matter how big or small it is.

wordpress-logoSo why should you have a WordPress website, instead of just redoing your site in the programming language that’s been used up until now (HTML)?

HTML is the old standard and the newest version of HTML is great and will always be around.  But there are so many reasons to have a WordPress site.  It’s a rapidly growing programming language (with currently 72 MILLION sties use WordPress) that will give you the following benefits:

  1. You will be able to edit your own website’s content – once we have the site up and running you could (if you want to) go in and make text & image changes (you won’t have to pay us/someone to change every comma or letter you want to change.  You can also keep your website up-to-date by doing it a little at a time.  Updating your site will no longer be a gargantuan, undo-able project.  Of course we will always be here to do more complex web changes and even if you want us to make simple changes (like basic text changes or photo “swaps”) you will be able to get those things done much faster and for less money.
  2. You can have a responsive site – we can either program a responsive site or use a ‘responsive’ theme meaning that your site will re-size automatically to fill the entire screen no matter how big or small monitors get.
  3. You can have a mobile-ready site –This is important. We can either program & create a mobile site for you from scratch, or we can use a design “theme” that’s already responsive or you can acquire & install a plug-in that will convert your new WordPress site from being non-mobile ready to being mobile-ready (you’ll need a WordPress site to be able to do this).
  4. You can keep your site current – when you can get into your website and make changes that will mean you won’t have to pay a programmer every time they want to make one little change. AND this is important because it keeps your site current and makes it easier to add new material on an ongoing basis – which is CRITICAL TO KEEPING YOUR SITE LISTED HIGH ON THE SEARCH ENGINES.  Not to mention I know how frustrating it is not to be able to just remove an employee name or change a product offering without having to hire a programmer.  All this will equate to a better working website that more people see and more people respond to.
  5. You can add features & functions that were previously out of reach – One of the coolest things about WordPress is this; with a WordPress site you’ll be able to affordably add features and functionality to your websites that were previously out of reach.  Features  such as e-commerce, restricted access sites (requiring user names & passwords), online appointment setting features, webinar/event schedules/ticket sales, pop-ups, live chat rooms, send and track newsletters and many other functions that used to costs tens of thousands of dollars (and more) to program by hand are now a realistic option for you!  Now these functions can be added often for FREE (or for a very low-cost by getting what’s called a plug-in – many of which are free).  All you’d have to pay for is the cost of having our programmer set up the plug-in (which can range from $100 to $1000+ depending on the complexity of the plug-in) vs. the 10’s of thousands of dollars that it used to cost to add these features.  This is because WordPress is an “Open Source” programming language meaning that people are out there programming modules or “plug ins” that will add functionality and most of the time they do this for FREE.

Wordpress-1Here’s one more tid bit that will be good for you to know:  you can have a WordPress site custom designed & programmed by hiring one of our PHP programmers (PHP is the “native language” that’s used to create WordPress websites).  Alternatively you can select a design theme or template and have one of our programmers set the site up (which is much less expensive).  Either way you’ll be opening up a whole new world for your website – taking it from being an old lifeless “brochure” to a current, vibrant and interactive website that’s attracting customers, gathering leads and moving up the search engine rankings at the same time.

Feel free to call me any time if you’d like to go over any of these materials  I am more than happy to advise you and look forward to talking with you.  Here are a few WordPress sites we’ve done recently:

Sample sites:

http://emergencychaplain.org/

http://bodyzealshapewear.com/

http://millerrestoration.us

http://ybs.us/test/ (still in progress)

http://hearingnowusa.com/ (sometimes we don’t always agree with the photos our clients ask us to use but we aim to please!)

http://myemed.net

http://peritusgm.com

http://mdept.com (this is my new WordPress site – I’m still working on it – you know the story of the cobbler’s son not having any shoes!)

http://acrackinthedoor.com/  (this is my personal blog)…..

http://theadvertisingblog.biz  (this very blog) and

http://thesalesblog.net  (a sales related marketing & advertising blog)

 


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Why does my website quote keep going up????

OK you’ve had your website quoted, paid the web developer and hired them to create your new website.  So why do they keep asking you for more money?

After 25 years in the business I’d say that one of the primary reasons job quotes go up (after the quote has been finalized) is due to changing Job Specs.  Sometimes clients ask for additional features that were not in the original quote and they don’t realize those add-ons are going to cost money.  ALSO, often the web development team is guilty of NOT telling a client when changes will cost extra.  Just keep in mind that each item or “function” on a website requires some amount of labor to implement, even if it’s a minor thing like changing some text on the site.  We recently developed a site for someone and they opted to write their own text…which means they submitted the text to us for the website in a digital file that was supposed to be “ready to go” (and that text should have been proofed before they gave it to me).  Unfortunately they hadn’t proofed it and didn’t notice the excessive typos until AFTER we had programmed the web site and inserted the text (and done all the “behind the scenes” things that go with that, such as creating the CSS or the cascading style sheet…the instructions in the programming that tell the site how to display the text).

The most frustrating aspect of this for everyone involved is this:  to the client a change may look very simple but for the development team, even a simple change may take multiple steps to implement, which takes time and costs money.  For smaller changes my company tends to let a few of those changes go before we start talking about money…but the problem with that is by the time we bring up money to a client they’ve forgotton about all the other little changes we’ve made (that may have added up to significant lost time).  To the client it may seem that we’re being unreasonable to ask for additional money but to the developer, we’re losing money on the job and getting frustrated at the same time.  The best thing to do is to at least TRY to make sure you’re ready to move forward before signing off on a prior development stage…and recognize that EVEN THE BEST DEVELOPMENT TEAM is going to require some input from you, the client.  I often get the feeling that a client is irritated that i can’t  just take the ball and run with it without any input from them but that’s not logical.  Any web developer is going to need to talk about your goals & strategy, get your product photos and related information, get the hosting and DNS registration information from you as well as many other things that are required to start a website (for more information on what’s required to start a website job please see my blog called Website Checklist – What do I do after I hire someone to develop our website?).

Of course it IS possible that the web development team mis-quoted the job to begin with and if that’s the case, unless there are mitigating circumstances, it is their responsibily to deliver a website that has all the features and functionality included in the written quote.  That is one reason it’s SO IMPORTANT to make sure all the aspects of your website are listed individually in your initial quote and on your opening invoice or contract.  If anything is missing don’t take it for granted that the item is included in your job, rather ask the development team to redo the quote or contract so no one has to wonder about that halfway through the project.  I admit, if you are not super famliar with all the intricicies of web development you might not think of something that should be in your quote, so to avoid that take a minute to read my blog (that will help), make sure you ask who’s responsible to pay for stock or custom photography, videos, music (gag), ancillary programming (templates, e-commerce software, Paypal functionalitly and programming time to integrate that into your site, copywriting, etc.  And as a final safety net…ASK your development team if anything has been left out of your quote that you might have to eventually pay for.  And be sure and ask that question in an email and get a written response from the developer that you can keep in your files.  When there are a lot of details involved people can forget…having those details fully spelled out in a quote or contract is one of the best ways to avoid future nighmares.

I think it goes without saying, but I’ll say it just to be sure you leave this article with the most important tid bit firmly in mind…it’s more expensive to make changes to a website AFTER the programming stage is done than before, so do your best to make sure all the various aspects are ready to go before telling your team it’s ok to start the next phase.  And if for some reason something is overlooked, don’t be surprised if someone asks you for a little more money.


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Top 13 reasons to update your website

Top 13 reasons to update your website

Should you get a WordPress website? (and btw, what’s that?)

There are so many reasons for people to update their websites now that it’s gotten...
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Why does my website quote keep going up????

OK you’ve had your website quoted, paid the web developer and hired them to create...
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Top 13 reasons to update your website

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