As a professional web designer, even my simple website solutions are built to professional standards. That includes effective visuals, responsive (mobile friendly) and search-engine friendly code and user-friendly navigation. So “professional websites” is just shorthand for sites that do more than my simple sites, but don’t include full ecommerce or bespoke web development.
These growth-focused websites are built to let you add and edit unlimited pages of content. So how can that help your business grow?
Well, search engines prefer sites with lots of fresh content. Good content also attracts backlinks from other sites, which are vital for SEO. That’s the essence of content marketing, and professional websites let you take full advantage of that.
One of the simplest ways to start content marketing is to run a blog, or a news page on your site. For that, you need some sort of content management system, or CMS. As these are built around a database, a CMS can be expanded with lots of other “dynamic” features too. For instance, membership sites can help to increase engagement with your target audience, and even charge subscription fees for high-value content.
Such editable websites are more attractive to hackers though. So they need security maintenance, which I provide through my Pro Hosting Plus package.
Business Sites — Professional Blogs & CMS Websites
Of all the blog and CMS platforms, WordPress is the most famous. Many designers use nothing else. Others prefer alternatives like Joomla, Drupal, CraftCMS, OctoberCMS or CMSMadeSimple. I’m happy with various systems, but WordPress is the most popular, flexible default option.
WordPress powers over 30% of websites and almost 60% of all CMS sites. That’s because it’s extremely user friendly and flexible. Thousands of plugins let WordPress (WP) provide advanced ecommerce, book appointments, run online communities and more. Unless the features you need are quite unique, there’s probably a WordPress plugin for them.
WordPress also lets developers (programmers) like me write bespoke plugins to provide features that existing plugins don’t. We can also dig into the code when things go wrong.
Still, some web designers use the title of “WordPress developer” just to mean they build sites with WordPress. It doesn’t always mean that they can code. That may not be a concern, but can easily become one as your business (and WordPress itself) evolves. So it’s worth checking that, just to be on the safe side.
Clubs, charities, events organisers and professional associations often want to create “members-only” content. Some charge subscriptions for this, whilst others are free. Still, all membership sites need a system to let people register, login and manage their on-site profiles.
Membership sites may let members chat in forums or publish their own content — among many other possible features. Such community sites are a great way to support a club or promote a cause.
Unlike blogs, membership sites aren’t limited to a few staff logins. As such, security and performance concerns are even more vital for this type of site.