Is Your Website a Flower Pot?

Some folks might have an outdated concept of what a website is. They may see a website as something that is built and finished, with a rigid design, and text content that is difficult to edit or add to after the site is ‘done’. I call these kinds of websites “flower pots.”

tomstierFlower pot websites may be well liked by the site owner and the owner’s immediate circle. But then when they contact me about getting more visitors to their site, or to say they are horrified by how the site looks on their iPhone, I’m the one to give them the bad news – you need to switch to a Dashboard enabled website software because your flower pot is wilting.

With WordPress, your site is future-proofed and won’t be wilting. The design (the Theme) is separate from the content (Page & Post text & images) and you can change the look and add new text anytime.

For my WordPress development pricing, I take into account that some of my clients have their own domains and hosting. Some may have an existing WordPress installation. Some may be advanced in that they know how to choose and install Plugin’s.

For that reason, I have set pricing for certain tasks such as Install and initial setup of WordPress on your domain, and Premium Theme search support & setup. I can do the parts you can’t or don’t have time to do. You will be busy gathering images and writing about your business or site topic.

An important part of the process of developer & client being ‘on the same page’ is to use examples of other websites to determine design direction and ‘feel’. However you will most likely NOT be getting a website exactly like an example we may look at, unless we engage in a custom design process.

When we look at example sites I do get a sense of the design direction that pleases you. But then there will be aspects of the sites which I may not care for because I know they are not particularly effective in attracting visitors.

While WordPress has some really beautifully structured Themes, I consider the promotional function of a website to be more important than the design. The rise of visits by phone & tablet, the requirements of maintaining an active social media presence, and continual testing and monitoring of results has made concentrating the majority of effort on the design aspect a poor return on investment. That’s why I’m a fan of Premium WordPress Themes. They can get a project to within 90% of a great looking responsive design out of the box.

Keep in mind when you go to your most visited sites what you are doing there. Are you a fan of web page background movies? Are you going to wait for 12 huge slides to slide across the home page? Are you even ON the home page? Chances are, if you clicked on a link on Facebook, you are on an interior page that is exactly what you EXPECTED to see. And if it’s not what you expected, you’re gone!

It’s important for the site owner to understand as much about WordPress (or any software powering their website) as they can. Having a developer make Posts, or small edits on your site is something that is typically cost effective only for larger organizations. Making a basic post on a WordPress site is a task that takes about 15 minutes to learn how to do.

There is no ‘set it up, and you’re done’ on the web. Your website will be the hub for your ongoing promotional efforts, but you’ll need to maintain a routine of creating posts on your site and social media or hire someone to do it for you. Once you establish an organic promotional routine, then it’s time to look at paid options. There is no substitute for this. Give the flower water to drink.