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Professional Websites

Professional websites need professional web designWhy do I make a dis­tinction between pro­fes­sional web­sites and basic sites? Well, because basic sites aren’t the effective online advert­ising tools most people want. For that, you need:

  • Effective visual design — Layout, typo­graphy, images and colour use all affect sales
  • “Responsive” web design — Mobile-friendly layouts that adapt to dif­ferent screen sizes
  • User-friendly nav­ig­ation — Because “arty” menus that hide content just don’t work
  • Search-engine friendly code — Even the pret­tiest site will fail if people can’t find it
  • Great, fre­quently-updated content — Because content is king.

As a pro­fes­sional web designer, the first four are included in my “basic site” solu­tions. So it’s the last point that really sets pro­fes­sional web­sites apart.

Pro­fes­sional web­sites out­perform basic sites in search engines. That’s because vis­itors prefer sites with lots of quality, up-to-date content. This is the essence of content mar­keting. So, pro­fes­sional web­sites provide a Content Man­agement System (CMS) and blog to let you easily add unlimited pages to your site.

Serious about online business? You need a serious business website!

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Business Sites — Professional Blogs & CMS Websites

A blog is a list of short posts that appears as a single page. Blog posts are great for social media sharing. They make the third-party social media plat­forms work for you, rather than the other way around.

Also, vis­itors don’t expect every blog post to be a com­pre­hensive “ever­green” article. So it’s far easier to keep your site active with quick news updates than to craft content for stan­dalone pages.

Finally, cre­ating and deleting pages causes errors that hurt search rankings. So a blog helps you avoid that by shifting out­dated content into archives. That way, it’s less obvious to vis­itors, but can still be found by search engines.

WordPress Development

WordPressWord­Press 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 e‑commerce, book appoint­ments, run online com­munities and more. Unless the fea­tures you need are unique, there’s probably a Word­Press plugin for them.

Word­Press also lets true developers (pro­grammers) like me write bespoke plugins to provide fea­tures that existing plugins don’t. So, some designers use nothing else.

Still, it’s worth noting that some self-styled “Word­Press developers” can’t write a line of code. Don’t take that title for granted. Ask if they can code. If not, they aren’t developers, and won’t be much help when things go wrong.

…and other professional website platforms!

Whilst I’ve been a keen Word­Press developer since 2004, I have also built many other types of site, starting in 1996. I had been pro­gramming for almost 20 years before that. So, yes, I can code — and I focus on using the best tool for the job. For pro­fes­sional web­sites, that’s often Word­Press. When it isn’t, I’ll either suggest a better platform, or develop a bespoke web applic­ation.

Editable web­sites need strong security, so I build these on my Pro Hosting Plus package.

Community Websites

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. Storing member details makes security and per­formance even more vital, though. So I build com­munity web­sites on my Business Hosting Plus package.

Planning an online com­munity?

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