YOU DON’T HAVE TO CHOOSE A SITE BASED ON YOUR INDUSTRY.
Grouping the sites by business type is really just a starting point. Most of the sites are suitable for a multitude of different businesses, so if you are a florist and you love one of the designs we have used for a photographer, there is no reason you shouldn’t choose this design. However there are some things to think about which will help you make a good decision…
First off you need to have a reasonably good idea of the content and images you have available. For example, if you only have a couple of images, and you don’t want to use an image library, don’t go for something image heavy, or that won’t do well if you strip out lots of sections.
Think about your business type. A florist could totally rock a really creative, image heavy site that relies on stunning visuals but an accountant might struggle. Likewise if you’re trying to communicate messages rather than pictures look for something that showcases written information. This could be funky, unique, unusual or attractively traditional but just make sure it is appropriate to your audience type.
Don’t forget to look at the templates on a desktop and an iPad/ mobile device to see how it behaves on each. There are some features that may have been replaced because they just don’t work on a device.
Note: we can easily add or remove any sections* and WordPress’s huge library of plugins means we can add any further functionality you require now or in the future.
Other things to bear in mind:
- Will this theme work with your colour scheme/ branding?
- Do you have enough images to support it?
- Do you have enough content?
You can easily ditch different sections (included in the cost) but it’s often better to remove two sections together, as placement will generally be designed to provide contrast. i.e. if the theme has a full width image, followed by a white section with text, followed by another image section, it may not work to remove just the white section, as there is nothing separating the two images and therefore no contrast.
Two images together would generally look untidy while two white sections would not give enough definition to separate sections.
No idea what you mean – show me please
It depends what you mean by self build, and what you want out of it. If you are thinking of a solution like Wix and looking for a stop gap, content to basically start from scratch when you need more from your site – it’s probably perfect. However if you’re looking for something with more longevity, and the ability to adapt with your business, you’re probably heading for a WordPress self build. In this case the success of a self build will be dependant on a number of things. How competent you are with technology, how much you know about websites and how much time you have to learn being a few important factors. Here are a few questions you may like to ask yourself if you are considering going down this route (For clarification: The term self build in this respect relates to WordPress or similar).
- Do I have the time to learn about websites?
- Do I know my hosting requirements? How do I choose an appropriate host?
- Do I have the technical/ design skills to make my site look good?
- Do I have images in the right sizes/ formats/ resolution?
- Can I make my branding come across strongly enough?
- Will I give visitors a good experience? How do I make sure it is fast enough? Is the information flow sensible?
- How do I make sure my site is responsive across a range of devices – does the theme make this easy?
- How will I make my site secure? What happens if it gets hacked? Will I have back ups? How will I know if it goes down?
- Is it cost effective in the long term? Can I easily extend it as my business grows?
- How much do I know about SEO (search engine optimisation)? Do I have time to learn?
Lastly it is really important to ask yourself if you can see the build through. Most developers are extremely wary about taking on sites created by other people and it is often more cost effective to start from scratch than try and unravel a badly put together site.
When you are starting out think ‘keep it simple’. Choose three colours that work together or have one in mind and try an online colour picker. Choose two fonts that work well together (try this font picker), and when making these selections have in mind your ideal customer and what may float their boat (or indeed sink their ship). You can then move on to getting your logo created and when you have these basics nailed you’re off to a flying start.
If this still leaves you cold, we also offer a design package and can help with logos, colour palettes etc. Please do get in touch if you need help with this.
The most important thing about images is that they are good quality. There is no quicker way to kill a website than sub-standard images.
You then have two options. The quickest and perhaps the most reliable way is to use an image library.
Whilst it’s always better to have your own images this is a great way to get you started, and as your business grows and you can get some stunning images of your own you can gradually replace them. We have a very cost effective image library and we are always happy to help you choose/ select some images for you. Just bear in mind many of them are American and you need to look for images that reflect your business. So if you are selling guided walks don’t purchase images from Yellowstone Park. Likewise if you’re a gardener don’t purchase pictures with banana trees in the background. These are slightly more obvious examples, but just check that the images you are purchasing are appropriate in content and feel.
Otherwise if you have a good camera and talent for photography get out there and get creative.
In many ways this depends on how far along on your business journey you are.
Often your logo can help you in choosing your colour palette and defining your brand, which can help you make decisions about design.
However if you’re starting out and you are not yet familiar with what you want your business to say to people, you may want to wait until you are a bit more established to decide on something appropriate.
A good start could be to choose a nice looking font for your business name. You can do worse than starting with something that fits the personality and style of your business. You can build on this later as your business matures – a bit like your website! If on the other hand you want to start with a great logo you can take advantage of our design service
Once we know what you want by way of a design, you need to get your content and images across to us, as well as any login details for your registrar (if you have already have a domain) / Google account so that we can hook you up to analytics.
In terms of images it is going to depend how big they are and how many of them you have in regards to how you get them to us. We generally suggest using WeTransfer or Dropbox. If this is too complicated we are not adverse to a good old fashioned memory stick via snail mail but either of the digital methods above are quicker, more reliable and just as straight forward. The images need to be of reasonable quality (not blurry or grainy) and big enough to fit the place you want to put them. A full width image generally needs to be around 1600px wide so it is clear on all screen sizes. Don’t worry though we can tell you if your images are big enough. They will also need to be clearly labelled, ideally in some sort of folder structure so we know what page/ section you are intending them for. The same goes for content.
We will also need your logo if you have one.
WordPress powers over 32% of the worlds websites (notable examples including: Disney, Sony, Facebook, Etsy, Metro and Microsoft to name a few). It is a stable, well developed, well supported platform that offers the potential to extend your site in any way you like.
However setting it up is not without its challenges. That’s where we come in.
That said, once it’s up and running editing your content is really not complicated at all. Whats more WordPress is very SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) friendly. Apart from the fact that it is constantly updated, there are many, incredibly well regarded, tools for optimising your site and giving it the best chance of ranking highly in a google search.
A web host provides the technology that will be used for your site to be viewed online. Your site is hosted on a server which is managed and maintained by a host. When people visit your website the server calls this information and delivers it for viewing, which is done through their browser.
You definitely need a web host. They vary in cost and quality and can effect factors such as site speed, security and reliability. With our sites you get a years free hosting as standard. You can then continue on the most appropriate package or transfer to a different host.
Our hosting guarantees 99.9% uptime as well as 5 days worth of back ups, advanced security features and lightening fast servers.
Yes. If you were building a house WordPress might be structure, and you would probably have some plugins to help with your appliances, electrics, heating etc. However it is your theme that dictates the colour of your walls, floor styles, windows, doors and your soft furnishings (although getting them looking just how you want them is ever so slightly more complicated). Not all themes are created equal.
When choosing a theme you’re looking for something that gives maximum flexibility, whilst being easy to use, well coded so that it is fast and secure, and well supported and maintained.
Needless to say our theme ticks all of these boxes.
Not for the initial build. If in the future you need extra functionality or design tweaks, this can all be carried out by us.
However the beauty of WordPress is that there are many WordPress developers out there. This means that if at any point you want to go elsewhere (we hope you won’t, and take great pride in our customer retention record) you won’t have a problem. Peace of mind!
FTP or File Transfer Protocol is basically a way of communicating with your site. Updating your core files directly, rather than going through your WordPress dashboard.
Most tasks can be done through the WordPress dashboard, but there is the occasional thing that is much better to do through FTP. Unless you are administering your site without the help of a developer and are reasonably confident with technology, this is something you may never have to use.
We have some clients who relish the challenge of getting to know new technology, and others who run away screaming!
A quality web host is a good start. Luckily we have that covered. We also fit [limit login and Wordfence] as a matter of course.
You can of course take out our premium web package that has additional security features. However one of the most important factors of avoiding being hacked is keeping your WordPress installation, theme version and plugins up to date. We can take care of that, but for more information about what is involved click here.
A URL, also know as a web address does what it says on the tin, and you definitely need one. A URL is unique to your website and usually based on your business name, although there are a number of factors to consider when choosing.
You will also hear it referred to as a domain name.
A website address is the same thing as the URL detailed above, and the usual costs are: .co.uk £5.99 per year excluding VAT, or for .com £9.99 excluding VAT. However you may find your preferred address is a lot more – what’s known as a ransom address. If this is the case you will need to decide if it’s worth the price to you or if you can tweak it/ change it to bring it back with in normal pricing. It can be worth purchasing both extensions so that if customers type in the wrong one they still land on your site.
Effectively you have two different choices here. The easiest and probably the most cost effective is to change the name. You can go for a variation of the theme, add some hyphens or rearrange the words. Just remember it needs to be easy to remember and not too close to a competitor. Your second option is to try and purchase it from the owner but can prove expensive.
The truth is, if you’re not administering you’re own site, you may never need one. However it is still important to know what this vital piece of web equipment is!
A cPanel gives you the tools you need to successfully manage your website. You can set up email accounts, create website addresses, make back ups, access those back ups and a host of other important things.