Professional websites tend to outperform basic sites in search engines for several reasons – it’s not just about looks. Even the prettiest site won’t impress if people can’t find it or use it.
Whilst good visuals are vital for first impressions, you also need search-engine friendly code and “responsive” web design – mobile-friendly layouts that adapt to different screen sizes. These are included in my “basic site” solutions – but a truly professional site needs more.
Search engines promote what visitors want to see – quality, up-to-date content. Small sites with limited, outdated content just can’t keep up with the changing expectations of online audiences. So, professional websites provide the tools you need so create and maintain fresh, quality content.
In short, you need a blog or Content Management System (CMS) and the ability to add unlimited pages to your site.
Blogs & CMS Sites
A blog is a list of short posts that appears as a single page in the main site navigation. It may act as a home page, or as a “News” page, with a specially-designed homepage. Blogs usually list posts in date order, shifting the oldest onto sub-pages. Each post may also be an excerpt linking to a longer article. Stand-alone editable pages add other constant menu items like “About”, “Portfolio” and “Contact” Pages.
A “full” CMS lets you edit page fragments and combine them into pages, keeping each fragment consistent across the site. However, the main “blog” platform – WordPress – blurs this distinction. Plugin features let WordPress (WP) act as a full CMS, e-commerce system, social media system and more. In fact, WP powers over 25% of websites and some designers use nothing else. I’ve been a keen WordPress developer since 2004 – but have also been building other types of site since 1996. So, I focus on using the best tool for the job. That’s often WordPress – just not always.
Blogs and CMS sites also need frequent software updates to keep hackers at bay, so I build these on my Managed Hosting package, starting from just £1200.
From subscriber sites and forums to full-featured social media systems, community sites are a great way to support a club or promote a cause. Unlike blogs, these sites aren’t limited to a few, controllable staff logins. They also tend to store details for many members with site-editing permissions. As such, security is even more vital, so I build such sites on my Secure Hosting package, from just £1800.