Do WordPress websites need maintenance?
When WordPress got started in 2003, it was hailed as a minor miracle for people building websites. Now used by tens of millions, its community remains kind and generous. As an Open Source project, hundreds of people all over the world work on it and developers are constantly adding new features and “plugins” that extend its allure. As they say, “WordPress is limited only by your imagination.”
What I learned is that WordPress continues to grow and improve. Lots of larger businesses are now building separate WordPress sites within their organizations for specific groups such as Human Resources or Project Teams because it’s easy and doesn’t require IT support. WordPress remains an excellent solution for small businesses and nonprofits: You can just do more with WordPress than hosted solutions like SquareSpace or Wix.
While WordPress is the most popular publishing platform in the world (it runs more than 24% of all websites worldwide), like everything else on the World Wide Web, it has been attacked by dark forces. I’ve been building websites for more than 20 years…but keeping those websites secure has become an unfortunate, time-consuming, consequence.
Every WordPress site uses WordPress free software, Premium themes and various plugins that all need to be updated on a regular basis. And when sites do get hacked, it requires running security software to identify and repair the damage. My business model doesn’t include maintenance service contracts because I want my clients to “only pay for what they need.”
But the reality is that people become complacent and really can’t be bothered with the protection business until something goes terribly wrong. Let’s not wait, okay? If you see that plugins or WordPress need updates, please get in touch so you don’t wake up one morning with the “white screen of death (WSOD)” where your website should be.
What is the mission or purpose of your organization?
Your mission and how you uniquely meet a need should be clearly stated on your home page. If you have a positioning statement, mission statement, logo design, brochure, photos—any of these will all be very helpful to me so that I can get to know what you do, and how you serve your customers. Sites today can go far beyond a basic online business card. It can also be a handy way to obtain directions to your shop, contact people, hours of operation, whatever is important about your business that you want to tell others…24/7. So handy! For more about building an online marketing plan, here’s a great overview, provided by a full-scale, local agency.
What are the short- and long-term goals of the site?
Your goals for your site may change over time. Some clients aren’t thinking in the long term when they start out; they may have an immediate need to get the site up and running. That’s okay. My designs are very flexible; we can always add new content later. We can start with just a few links and let things evolve as your business grows.
Who are the intended audiences?
Most clients don’t give enough thought to the audiences the site will serve when initiating a website, what their needs are, and what will motivate them. This oversight is perhaps the number-one mistake made in designing sites. A helpful way to think about your website is that it should really be all about your customers and how you benefit them. What are the needs they have that you meet? What keeps them awake at night?
Why will people come to your site?
Are you selling a product? Do you have a unique service? Why will people come to the site the very first time? Do you want them to come back? If so, what will make them come back? Try to think of any other questions that will reveal the true purpose of this site
What is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is actually one element of SEM, or Search Engine Marketing. Search Engine Optimization is the process of configuring, or optimizing your website with the appropriate keywords you wish to be associated with, in a manner that will make it easily “seen” by search engines. Some of the more common SEO strategies include:
- Having Keyword rich web pages
- Having Keywords in the title of your pages
- Having Keywords in your domain name
- Naming the images in your site using keywords
- Naming the Alt tags of images using keywords
Search Engine Marketing is the process and the methods used to promote your site to search engines. The most common tools are:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Article Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Social Network Marketing
- PPC, or Pay Per Click Advertising
Are you a little scared?
No need to be. I will help you navigate the world wide web. If you are low-tech, I am patient and available to do all the heavy lifting. Some clients really enjoy learning how to make their own changes; others just can’t be bothered or find it too daunting. Either way, it only takes me a few days to create an attractive and functional website for your business. I always make time for new clients.
Download my resume if you are curious about “past lives.”