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 coding and user-friendly navigation. So “professional websites” is just a convenient term for sites that do more than my simple sites, but don’t include ecommerce or bespoke web development.
These growth-focused websites are built to let you add unlimited pages of content. Search engines prefer larger sites with frequently-updated content. Good content also attracts backlinks from other sites, which are vital for SEO. This is the essence of content marketing.
To run a blog, or a news page, you need some sort of content management system, or CMS. Being based around a database, a CMS can let you do many other things too, like run membership sites.
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 programmers write bespoke plugins to provide features that existing plugins don’t. “WordPress developers” like me can also dig into the code when things go wrong. It’s worth checking, though — some use the title just to mean they build sites with WordPress, but can’t actually code.
Clubs, charities, events organisers and professional associations often want to share certain content only within their community. Some charge subscriptions for this, whilst others are free. Still, all such membership sites need a system to let people register, login and manage their on-site profiles. Some run forums to let members chat with each other, or allow members to publish content either publicly, or within specific groups.
Such community sites are a great way to support a club or promote a cause. Unlike blogs, these sites aren’t limited to a few staff logins. As such, security and performance concerns are even more vital for this type of site.