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What it Takes to Create a Well Running Website

I had a client ask me last week why they shouldn't just go with one of these $100/month online website builders instead of choose us. I almost shook my head in disbelief when I heard that but I then put myself in his shoes for a minute. I remembered that most people have no idea what it takes to create a website today.

Think About It

Website design today is complex. When we first started in 2001, everyone was making static websites. That's how it was done because the tools for website design had not yet matured. It was tedious work but it was pretty easy. Websites couldn't do a whole lot, either. Tools like a CMS (Content Management System) were just being developed and actually had a hard time maturing.

Today, website software is nothing new. Virtually every website is built on some kind of software (like WordPress) today. To manage that, you need programmers, testers, designs, an SEO team and so on.

Here's an article definitely worth skimming through:

How a WordPress Site Becomes Unusable and How to Prevent It (premium.wpmudev.org)

In that article, they talk about how the code needs to be clean, lightweight and optimized. There's so much competition out there now to be the top result (or even be in the top 5), that you need every single advantage you can get to beat your competition.

Let me say that again and emphasize it:

You need every single advantage you can get to beat your competition.

That's it right there.

Google has even been testing putting a red "SLOW" label on websites that load slowly. Do you think anyone will click on a result that has that label on it? No way!

Responsive Design - Even More Complex!

tablet-and-a-smart-phoneWith responsive website design, the same design works on any device. The code is lightweight and clean but getting there takes work. Ask any designer and they'll tell you that to make something clean looking and effective takes work. Most amateur designers will want to fill every open space with something and you end up with a cluttered design. People might also put too much weight on too many things and website visitors get confused and leave. Doing design well is an art form is you need a professional design team.

Not only does your design team need to do planning and have expertise, so does the programming team. Using an online website design tool takes all the expertise you get from a team of people away. You don't get all those benefits and your website suffers.

The Mobile Experience
The mobile experience needs to be optimal, too. More and more people are using mobile devices (smart phones, tablets, phablets) to view websites. Why go to a computer when you have one in your pocket? If your website isn't optimized for them, you're losing out, big time!

Split Testing
We work with clients that do A/B split testing on their websites. We change a word or move something around and see which version performs better. These clients realize how important every website visitor is and they want to make sure their website converts the best it can. Going with a "one size fits all" online website design provider does not help you here. If your competition thinks this way and you don't, then you can say good bye to rankings, traffic, leads and sales. It'll happen - it's just a matter of time. Your competition will thank you.

Your Website is Your Main Point of Contact

website-point-of-contact2Guess what? We live in the future now. In case you missed it, we now all have computers in our pockets that let us connect to just about anything. There's more computing power there than large data centers had 20 years ago. Then think about computers in cars, video game consoles, smart televisions - and it goes on... and it's not stopping.

Years ago, business owners had to think about their Yellow Pages ad once a year and their marketing was done. Who today uses a phone book?

Business owners today need to think about publishing content (text, images, video and so on) weekly, if not daily. I think they've been taken by surprise as they realize they now have to be in the publishing business... yeah, every business out there needs to be in the publishing business if they want to continue to get leads and sales.

Will an online company that's basically a website host and software publisher do all that you need for just $100/month? You get what you pay for - that's very true here. If you're a business owner today, you better hope that your competition dumps their website developer and goes with one of these $100/month websites. That's good news for you.

Still Not Convinced?

I met with my team one afternoon last year and we filled a large whiteboard listing all the things we do. We've been meaning to publish this list in a number of ways but we've been busy (lame excuse, I know). So here it is - not in glamorous form but it shows basically all the things we (Webstix) do when it comes to being a website design and development company.

What Webstix Does - Projects:

  • Pre-Sale
    • Estimates
    • Proposals
    • Research
    • Marketing Research
    • Technical Research
  • Project Management
    • Schedules / Timelines
    • Requirements
    • Communication
    • Resource Management
    • Task Allocation
    • Planning/Initialization Meetings
    • Milestones
    • Delivery Management
  • Design
    • Mockups
    • Wireframes
    • Site Maps / Structure / Architecture / Navigation
    • Logo Design
    • Color Schemes / Palettes
    • Variations / Options
    • Banners / Ads
    • Fonts / Type
    • Images / Illustrations / Photos / Video
    • Style Guides
    • Print CSS (style sheets)
    • Social Design / Cover Images / Account Pages
    • RWD / AWD
    • Design Trends / Latest
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Corporate Identity
  • HTML/CSS
    • Image Optimization
    • Conversion
    • Optimization
    • Standards: W3C/HTML5/CSS3
    • Responsive - Prioritization
    • Parallax Coding
    • JS/AJAX / JQuery / Bootstrap / Frameworks / LESS
    • Dynamic Fonts
    • HTML Newsletters
  • Programming
    • Static to Dynamic / Functionality
    • Business Logic / Shipping
    • Plugin/Component Development
    • CMS Migration
    • PHP
    • Theme Creation / Migration
    • Standalone and Interactive Forms / Validation Client + Server Side
    • Social Sharing
    • RSS/Facebook + Twitter Feeds
    • Shopping Carts / Payment Gateways
    • Security
    • Debugging
    • Hack Cleanup
    • Speed Optimization
    • Cron Scripting
    • API Integration
    • Software Upgrades
    • Multi-language
    • Website Launches
  • Database
    • Design
    • Import
    • Data Manipulation
    • Query and DatabaseOptimization
    • Normalizing
    • Migration
  • Security
    • SSL Implementation
    • htaccess Rules
    • Firewalls/Plugins
    • SQL Injection
    • IP Blocking
    • File Permissions
  • SEO
    • On-Page Optimization
      • Meta Titles, Descriptions, Keywords
      • ALT Tags, H1, H2, H3 Optimization
    • Site Maps: XML/HTML
    • Breadcrumbs
    • SEF URLs
    • Social Media
    • Keyword Research
    • Google Analytics
    • Google Webmaster Tools
    • Google Tag Manager
    • Google + Business Page Set Up
    • Off-Page Optimization
    • Link Building / Directory Submission / Article Writing
    • Content Development
    • Squeeze Pages
    • Silo Structure
    • Micro Data
    • Site Analysis
    • Competitive Research
    • Adwords / PPC
    • Online Marketing / SEM
    • Site Promotion
    • Shopping Cart Conversion Tracking
    • Internal Linking
    • Call-To-Action Buttons / Conversion
    • Ecommerce Tracking
    • Webmaster Tools - Disavow Links
    • Monthly / Keyword Report
    • Conduct Site Audits
  • QA/Testing
    • Functions Testing
    • Design Testing
    • Site Speed Testing
    • Standard Testing
    • Responsive Testing
    • Cross Browser / Cross OS Testing
    • UX Testing
    • Device Compatibility
    • Checklists / Procedures
    • SEO Testing
    • Maintenance Support
    • Broken Links Testing
    • Content Testing
    • Instruction Document Testing
    • Proof Copy / Content / Images
    • Code Review
    • Post Launch
    • Basically Try to Break Stuff
    • Positive / Negative / Stress Testing / Test Cases
  • Website Maintenance
    • Upgrades
    • New Feature Requests
    • Issues
    • 24/7 Support
    • 24 - 48 Hour Turnaround
    • Ticket System Management
    • Maintenance Support
    • Estimates
    • Adding Content
    • Emergency Website Service

What Webstix Does - Checklists:

And then here are a couple of the checklists that we go over when setting up and launching a website. With our checklists, you get a quality, consistent product. All our expertise goes into these checklists and we watch over a lot of details:

wsx-checklist-01

wsx-checklist-02

Does $100 per month get you all of this?

Not hardly... you get what you pay for, remember?

Webstix is a team of designers, programmers, HTML/CSS coders, testers, SEO people and a maintenance team. That's actual people, not software. Our people have experience, expertise and we only have the best ones around. We give you support and take care of problems that arise. The way we build websites is with SEO in mind the whole way so that your website ranks well. We have programs to continue doing SEO or even go the Pay Per Click route for the short term. We want to make sure your website is successful.

If you still would rather choose the $100/month company, then please do so - we would not be a good fit for you.

When we work with the clients we have, it's a win-win situation for them and us - that's the only way there will be success. If you would like to have a successful website and if you're willing to invest in the main point of contact for your business so that you can see a return on investment, then contact Webstix today.

-Tony

SEO / PPC
Get found, increase conversion!
Website Marketing
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Webstix in Madison, WI
2820 Walton Commons Ln.
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Madison, WI 53718
608-277-7849 608-661-8529
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