Website Development Basics
Website development is the creation or recreation of your website and for most people and businesses it comprises a large portion of their overall web presence.
In today’s world it is extremely important to have a good website that really conveys the message your business is trying to send. Your website is your business’s face to the world. It tells people who you are, what you do, and how your business operates.
In addition to facts and logical information, your website conveys a look and feel, which in turn creates a user experience. Whether you are aware of it or not, your website is responsible for communicating user experience. If you want to bring in new business, your website development needs to be proactive. Successful businesses don’t skimp when it comes to website development.
CMS for Website Development
CMS stands for Content Management System and the function of a CMS is rather self-explanatory, it is a system used to manage the content of your website. There are a lot of CMS that can be used to successfully design, develop, and publish a new website, some of them proprietary and others open source. Each has its pros and cons.
When it comes to website development, we use WordPress as a CMS at Northern Colorado SEO. We have tried several different CMS over the years, but right now we believe WordPress is at the top of the heap. WordPress can be easily configured for clients to take control after the site has gone live, it has a ton of options for modifying websites down the road, and it is an open source technology, so it’s probably not going to leave the scene any time soon.
If you are planning on selling products or services on your freshly created website, that is what’s known as an e-commerce website. WordPress has many options for creating e-commerce websites and there are other content management systems out there, such as Shopify, that can also get the job done. E-commerce websites are more difficult to build and thus cost a bit more for their web development.
Our fees for a standard, non-ecommerce website built on the WordPress CMS start at $2,500. We are not the cheapest game in town, but we are also not the most expensive. As with so many things in life, when it comes to website development we have found that in most cases people get what they pay for. In addition to a standard WordPress website, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to make sure your new website is search engine friendly. Most WordPress web developers do not understand how the search engines work and as a result are not able to build search engine friendliness into their website development services.
Website Development Best Practices
At Northern Colorado SEO, we always use best practices when it comes to website development. Your website is going to be built to last, not fall apart the first time you try to make a modification. Some of the website development best practices we use are:
- Overall focus on user experience (UX) – believe it or not, the people that come to your website are having an emotional experience. What emotion are you most trying to convey? That can be brought out through user experience.
- Focus on site speed – Google has come out and said that speed is a ranking factor for web pages. Not only that, but the UX of your website will suffer if your pages have long loading times. Your bounce rate will also suffer, bringing you down in the search rankings. Key takeaway: speed matters.
- Calls to Action – What are you trying to accomplish when a user comes to your website? Do you want them to request a quote? Sign up for an email letter? Connect with you on social media? Calls to action throughout the website make those conversions much easier.
- NAP in the Header and/or Footer – One thing we know Google likes is having your name, address, and phone (NAP) on every page of your website at least once. It’s somewhat old-school, but Google believes that businesses with a bricks and mortar location are more trustworthy than those that do not.
- Structured Data Inclusion – Including structured data is part of every website development project that we take on. It’s simple and it again helps the search engines better understand what your pages are about. That structured data will stay with your website for as long as you own it (unless you remove it), which can be a great way of separating yourself from your competition.
SEO & Website Development
We code all of our sites to be easily understood by the search engines after they have gone live, whether we are going to be doing SEO on the freshly published website or not. Yes, you can use do-it-yourself website creation tools like Wix or Weebly, but you are probably going to be disappointed with the results after the site has been published.
DIY website makers like these are simply not set up for website visibility. The code behind them can be very sloppy and trying to optimize them after they have gone live is a real problem. For this reason, I encourage people that are going to bring traffic to their website after it has been created to stay away from these types of tools.