WordPress
Web Development, Maintenance & Support Services

Fast, Responsive, User-Centered Websites

Here’s what leaders and managers should know about the WordPress web development process.

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Contents

Why WordPress?

There are thousands of creative ways to build a WordPress website. It’s a versatile, data-driven asset that serves as the business’s digital storefront.  With so many different platforms, software, funnels, and data-collection possibilities, why focus on WordPress? It comes down to microeconomics. Specialization allows me to be a productive and economically valuable partner. WordPress supports a wide range of technology and integrations, making it a versatile tool for data analysis.

8 BIG Reasons to Use WordPress

1

WordPress powers more than 41% of the web

According to W3Techs, WordPress is the most powerful, versatile, and functional content management systems in the market.

2

It’s open-source software.

Pros of open-source software include low cost, reliability, security, flexibility, and longevity. Cons include the cost for regular maintenance and support. It’s also difficult for non-tech-savvy users to learn.

3

The CMS is SEO friendly

It’s written with standard compliance code and produces semantic markup.  Search engines find these sites easier to crawl and index.
4

It’s easy to customize

Once trained, it’s easy for new users to manage.

5

The platform is secure and safe

Security certificates on the domain are still necessary, as are following other standard security measures; however, WP infrastructure is designed and written to thwart attackers and hackers.

6

Various media type compatibility

Brochure sites, huge shopping carts, membership sites, podcasts, video blogs, eLearning sites — every industry can benefit from a WordPress website that’s accessible on all devices and browsers.
7

Constant development

There is continual widget and plugin development on this platform. It makes WordPress web development a faster, smarter, and easier process.

8

It integrates well with other organizational information systems

Like accounting, inventory, and customer relationship management software.

The Difference Between Web Development and Design

Many people use the terms web design and web development interchangeably, but they are vastly different. One determines the look and feel, and the other brings it alive with code and best practices in CMS web development. 

WordPress Web Design

WEB DESIGN

This service includes determines how a website should look and feel. Generally provided in a visual design.

WordPress Web Development

WEB DEVELOPMENT

This service takes the approved web design and develops it in WordPress using code to make it live for public consumption.

WordPress Web Development Services

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Web Speed Factors

According to Google, speed is a significant ranking factor for websites.  Google made it their mission to fix the problem of poorly-designed websites by “de-emphasizing” slow websites.

While there are many issues that could make a website slow down, there are 3 primary contributors to a website’s loading speed:

  1. The page builder and how the site is built with it
  2. The number and type of plugins used
  3. The quality of the website and domain hosts

Some WordPress themes are clunky and poorly developed. I use the Hello theme for its lean, customizable design and speed; however, I’m flexible in other WordPress themes as well.

In WordPress web development, one should be cautious about using templates and plugins, as they can get bulky and create bloat in the database.  Templates should be used as a guide to help build a leaner, faster, better-performing version in WordPress. 

Page builders play a big role in the website’s speed.  Gutenberg, Elementor, and Oxygen are the visual builders that work best for speed performance.

Finally, hosting is an important factor in speed as well. A cheap, shared host will be slow, especially if the website has a lot of videos, images, or high traffic. 

Important

WPBakery has speed and plugin compatibility issues. It is recommended these sites be redesigned with a better-performing builder.

Domain and Web Hosts

How does hosting work for or against the website speed? 

In browsing, users are accessing files from a remote server and making a request for information from your website, which has that information on the remote server. 

The time it takes for your web page to load depends on the user’s computer speed, and the speed of your web hosting servers. Web hosts execute thousands of different pieces of code to display a single page, so their space and ability to do that matters. 

My partner and I prefer to use the following software for domain and website hosting:

  1. Hostway for domains
  2. Siteground for basic websites
  3. WPEngine for large websites or shopping carts

Monthly WordPress Bulletin

News and updates for business owners, executives, project managers, and marketing directors. Get information on new WordPress developments, themes, data trends, and database performance information.

Maintenance Helps Optimize Web Speed

The WordPress database is tasked with storing media like images, videos, graphics, folders, and text files.  That puts pressure on the server because it needs to search multiple databases and accommodate code-intensive programs. That’s why WordPress web development best practices are so powerful.

Managing and maintaining the WordPress database is time-consuming.  Tasks add up and cause expensive problems if ignored. A website is like a vehicle. It has an engine, transmission, radio, and all kinds of features that require maintenance and support.

MAINTENANCE TASKS

Backups & data health checks

Good practice is to check monthly for any file corruptions that could make retrieving information difficult or messy.

WordPress core updates

WordPress is updated frequently to fix bugs. A webmaster makes this happen without interruption to the site.

Updating & managing plugins

Plugins are codes in motion. Managing them is critical to its compatibility and functionality.

Cache clearing

Every site needs to get rid of bloat from caching data. For optimum health, this task is performed monthly.

Optimize database

The website gets cluttered over time. Monthly and quarterly schedules keep websites healthy.

SEO content updates

Content is king. There are regular and constant needs for improvement and adaptation to the market.

WordPress Maintenance & Support Services

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Project Planning & Implementation

1. DISCOVERY

Each web development project comes with its own deliverables, but everything starts with discovery, or requirements analysis.  Questions to answer include:

  • Who are your domain and web hosting companies?
  • What isn’t working?
  • What is working?
  • What’s the website’s purpose?
  • In what format will you provide a design concept (JPG, .AI, Figma, PDF, PowerPoint, Photoshop file, etc.).

There will also be project and WordPress web development topics to cover in this discovery as well. Discovery can take as little as an hour to as many as several hours over the course of a few weeks.  The first 30 minutes is free!

2. PLANNING

Planning is for defining deliverables and milestones of the web development project. This phase is also used to establish project management rules and expectations, estimated costs, and security considerations.

3. ANALYSIS

Once the web development plan is approved, the analysis stage includes a mockup, wireframe, or other visual aid to demonstrate how the WordPress site should look and feel.

4. DESIGN

The design phase is the branding, format, and layout process that was approved in the Analysis phase. This usually includes wire-framing and flow-charting to prepare for development.  This phase defines the website architecture in a live staging environment.

5. DEVELOPMENT

Development is the phase most people think about when they consider a WordPress web development project. This is the labor of producing the system using documentation from the Analysis and Design phases to make it into a working, functional WordPress website.

6. TESTING

Testing requires some planning and is done on a small-scale throughout web development; however, this phase has a few more testing steps after the WordPress website is complete.  Each project will have its own training process, but all require testing by a few users first.

7. MAINTENANCE

As discussed in the maintenance section above, regular care of your WordPress website is vital to the health, function, and profitability of your website. This is a separate, standalone service.

Mobile-First Web Design

Trends and data predict that nearly three-quarters of people worldwide will access the internet via their smartphone by 2025. Back in 2010, then-CEO of Google told the world they’d be shifting attention to mobile users. They’ve been true to their word, and rankings now rely heavily on the mobile friendliness of your website.

Building a responsive website with a mobile-first approach means starting with the smallest screen—mobile phones—and designing the pages for those users first.  Then, the design is adapted for bigger screens, adjusting elements and materials to meet the needs of those screen users.

This process includes all the same steps of making a desktop site responsive, including:

  • adjusting font sizes
  • navigation changes
  • elimination of white space
  • optimization of images and text,
  • buttons and integration
  • all elements to need to go from a big screen to small one.

Now, mobile-first web development means starting the project lifecycle in a mobile environment, and then adjusting larger screens accordingly.

Organizations need to meet users where they are to stay competitive.  WordPress is at the forefront of mobile web development because of its dynamic versatility in features, compliance, and functionality.

Monthly WordPress Bulletin

News and updates for business owners, executives, project managers, and marketing directors. Get information about how the process of maintaining a healthy website works.

WordPress SEO Strategies

How do we rank higher in Google?  How could my organization compete with those spending thousands of dollars per month to be at the top of Google? 

Every Business and Marketing Leader

The answer is so simple that most people miss it.  Your Google ranking comes down to two major factors:

1.  Speed

A slow website is low-hanging fruit for competitors. It’s frustrating for consumers, and it tells them the company isn’t committed to making things easier.  A few things that destroy speed include heavy plugins, lots of extra code, bulky page builders, slow hosts, big images, a cluttered database, and self-hosted videos or audio.

2.  Content

Relevant, useful, and consistent content using industry best practices for digital media performance helps Google crawl, index, and rank websites.  Good, valuable content makes it easier to earn backlinks, another essential SEO component. The more valuable the content, the better the rank and bigger the audience.

A few other things that are extremely important to growing in rank and keeping a business website optimized for search engines include:

  • Keeping a strong link profile
  • Putting effort into content outreach and promotion
  • Using a variety of keywords
  • Creating proper schema markup and meta information
  • Providing branded images and videos — Google likes these more than stock.

Cost of Services

Billing is simple: Hourly rates and planned blocks of time for major milestones.  Billing and quotes are based on the estimated number of hour-long time blocks needed to complete a milestone. Invoicing follows work performed, and ownership of assets is passed once the invoice is paid.  Standard hourly rate for services can be found on the pricing sheet.  Some packages are available on a project-by-project basis.

It all starts with the first step.

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