Web development is a very broad term. It is loosely defined as anything that can be designed, developed, and deployed on the internet. My favorite website framework for small and medium-sized businesses is WordPress. In today’s “drop-and-drag” world, WordPress web development can be underestimated. WordPress is a great CMS whether you are just getting started or building an internet empire. The platform is easily scalable into massive websites as the organization grows. If you can write code, you can build your custom theme and set your business apart from the rest. If you don’t know how to code, you can still build an awesome website with any of a few page or theme builders such as Beaver Builder or WPBakery.
Most business owners don’t have the time or expertise to build their own websites. Turning to a professional early in your development workflow can make the difference in having your site making money faster rather than slower.
Here is a convenient guide that can help you decide if WordPress is the right CMS for your business or organization. It is the most popular CMS in the world powering over 38.5% of all websites with a CMS as of September 2020.
The Internet Before WordPress
In its humble beginnings, the internet was a mess. Flash and FrontPage were two of the dominant platforms for building cost-effective websites. Flash had a lot of moving graphics and scripts that doubled as videos and got the user’s attention whether they liked it or not. FrontPage was the first editor that allowed almost anyone to build robust websites. This was a good beginning. Search engine marketing helped drive the next big change in web development.
in the beginning, search engine theory was simple. Find as many keywords on a specific web page per query and return those results. This resulted in a ton of illegible, pages of nonsense that had nothing but keywords but ranked well. Larry Page and Sergey Brin were computer science graduate students at Stanford. They were looking for ways to change this. Their thesis idea was to remove unreadable, keyword-stuffed pages from the internet and replace them with human-readable and search engine readable text that made sense. In 1996, they converted their thesis into a company we know today as Google.
Now that human-readable text powered search engine result pages, weblogs (blogs) became popular. Popular blogging platforms included GeoCities (shut down in 2009) and Blogger.
A Brief History of WordPress
In 2003, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little began a project to revitalize a discontinued blogging platform called b2/cafelog. In December 2005, WordPress began to resemble the platform we know and love today. Theme structure and pages were added to the platform. Users could add categories and tags to posts while writing their content in the page editor.
In June 2010, Automattic, the company founded by Matt Mullenweg, transferred ownership of WordPress to the WordPress Foundation. This maintained WordPress’s status as an open-source platform. WordPress development would remain community-driven.
WordPress did not start growing into a content management system (CMS) until 2010 after adding features such as custom post types and custom taxonomies. The initial framework for the WordPress REST API was also added then.
Since then, WordPress has more changed a lot. The business community started building robust marketing platforms. WordPress web development became more serious now that more money was at stake. Now, it is more drop-and-drag and less coding so that almost anyone can build a robust business website. Adding content is easy with the new WordPress Block system. Theme builders such as Beaver Builder, Elementor, and WPBakery allow for rapid web development.
If you want a more complete history of WordPress, check out this article from WPBeginner.
Why I Recommend WordPress for My Clients
When I first got into web development, it was 2003. There were just a few million websites on the internet. At the time I was putting out a lot of content on early social media platforms. It was pretty easy to rank for anything.
After a sabbatical from tech, I built my first fully-coded website in 2011. I expected to rank on search engines at least for my name but didn’t. The internet was leaving me behind. I heard that WordPress was search engine friendly and decided to give it a try. I built my first WordPress site in November 2011 and I fell in love. In 2014, I started working in WordPress web development building custom themes. Since then, I highly recommend WordPress for my clients.
Here is why I think WordPress is the best CMS for small and medium-sized businesses:
- 100% Customizable
- Mature platform
- Easy to install and update
- Easy to use dashboard
- Functionality easily extended with plugins
- Thousands of themes to choose from
- Search engines love WordPress sites
- WordPress has a great community
- Mobile-responsive designs
Here is a link to a blog post that might be help with why I recommend WordPress.
WordPress Development Services
Different businesses have different needs. Some websites are just for business information and some sell products and services. These websites are built differently and with different methods. Every WordPress website build is different and meets different needs. Here is a broad framework of my development process.
To build a world-class WordPress site, the site is must be thought through. The discovery process is a process to discover client needs. It’s not just the look and design we need to determine. It’s the number of visits to set up for. The method of building the site will determine the hosting plan the site requires. Have a website already? What parts of your website do you like and which parts need improvement?
I get to know you, your business, and your business needs. Then I build the site that best fits your needs.
Custom WordPress Theme Design
I build your website with best practices in mind to fit your needs and your budget. We’ll not only get the colors and typography right but plan your site from the user’s perspective. If you’re just getting started, you may consider purchasing a premium theme such as those by StudioPress.
However, if you are ready to go forward and build a website that makes your business money, good design needs to be at the top of your priorities. Depending on your budget and timeframe, there are many different methods to design your new website with best practices in mind.
Custom WordPress Web Development
One of the perks of using WordPress is that developers and website owners can extend the site’s functions with plugins. Plugins are a good thing and potentially a bad thing. Too many unnecessary plugins can slow your site to a crawl and that costs you money in the form of lost business. Finding the right hosting plan for your business is a must too. Nothing will drive users from your site like 500 and 503 errors due to large sites on an economy hosting plan that can’t handle your large website.
Some website owners have the incorrect presumption that you can never have too many plugins. This is a path to digital marketing disaster. With each new plugin, it is more code that your server has to read before rendering your website to the browser. This slows your browser down and could cost you sales.
Digital Marketing Services
What good is your website if no one comes to visit? Websites were built to be seen and interacted with. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Attracting visitors to your site is a process that relies on several different factors. One of which is time. Did you know that a change in content on your website could take 6 weeks to 6 months before you see any changes in Google search results? Small changes such as adding one blog post may not reflect in Google search at all depending on what people are searching for.
WordPress Maintenance Plans
You’ve invested time and money into your website. Make sure you protect your investment with our WordPress maintenance plans. I’ll make sure your site is completely updated and taken care of.
Websites are made of written code. Developers change the code and it is updated over time. Advances in technology allow for better ways of doing things. New machines process code and information differently. Just think about when WordPress added Gutenberg blocks. And yes, WordPress changes too.
If you do not take an active role in managing your website, it will begin to break. Code changes will take place and your site does not automatically adapt to those code changes. Functions will stop working. In extreme cases, websites will stop rendering to the browser. Maintaining your WordPress website is essential in today’s world.
WordPress web development is not something you can overlook. It is a part of an ongoing process that allows website owners to achieve their business goals with their websites. A slow, under-performing website will cost the business owner money. Hence, it is essential that business owners keep their website development top of mind.
Here are some helpful articles that might help with your WordPress Web Development for your site.