Creating Websites for Offline Clients: Blogs vs Regular

by Dexx
22 replies
Hey Gang,

I'm having sort of a mild-debate with myself over which website style to offer / promote to business that I approach for offline marketing.

Basically I purchase templates from Template Monster (instead of paying for an expensive designer) and have it customized for that business.

My question is this:

Should I pick a professionally designed blog theme or should I go with a professional (flash header) website?

The cons of going with a blog:

+Could be perceived as less professional
+Seems mostly suited for websites with new content constantly being added
+Can't have flash animated buttons / images when menus change etc.

The cons of going with a regular website

+No automatic ping with new content added
+No fun / useful plugins for a regular website
+No real interaction with guests / users

It seems like a blog website would be more useful for a say Nightclub, or Entertainment company that constantly has new events etc.

But a "normal" website would be better suited for say a law office, dentist, plumber, etc. that wont be adding new content after the site is made...and is mostly just using it as a "here's what we offer" etc.

Am I wrong? Would a blog work for basically any small business website?

Example blog template for Small Business:
solutions online

Example regular website template (with flash menu/header):
24800 template preview

Which one seems more professional / appealing?
#blogs #clients #creating #offline #regular #websites
  • Profile picture of the author Steve Diamond
    I almost always use WordPress, even for a client like a law firm. But I don't use the theme as in the example in your link. I either use a premium theme that has a separate layout for the front page, or I specify a static page for the front page.

    Then I use WordPress pages for the static parts of the site, and it's super easy to add other site sections intended for more dynamic content, such as press releases, articles, newsletters, etc. Those I set up as WordPress categories and populate them with posts.

    That's my approach, and I've found that it works very well.

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    • Profile picture of the author Dexx
      Ah good idea on the categories for Press Releases etc

      So you use Premium Blog Themes from Template Monster yourself? Are clients happy with that style?
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      • Profile picture of the author Steve Diamond
        Not ones from Template Monster, no. I use some of the more developer-oriented premium themes as a basis for my designs and modify them as required. One I've used is Thesis. Another is FlexxTheme.

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        • Profile picture of the author BradB
          Hey Steve which ones do you use cause I have a need for just such a service...

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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Koop
    Hey Dexx,

    My wife and I build both static sites for clients and sites controlled via WP. Unless there is a specific reason NOT to use WP, I would prefer using it.

    I agree with Steve. A site designed with WP can be done for anyone (IMO) regardless of what type of business they are in.

    As a matter of fact, we have built sites with WP that look nothing like a blog... no ability to comment, no categories/archives/tag clouds, etc. etc.

    One that is still under construction (and really, really basic as it is a freebie for one of my friends) is here: | Air Conditioning & Heating Installation Services

    This started from a free theme named Arclite and then I just tweaked the code.

    The three Premium sites I would recommend are:

    All three of these offer premium themes that can be used to build sites that don't look like blogs (if that's what you are after).

    Lastly, make sure to "hacker proof" the blog as you don't want someone breaking into your client's site.

    Hope this helps,
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    • Profile picture of the author netkid
      Dexx, I agree with everyone here that Wordpress is the perfect platform for any business. I put up blogs for offline businesses for both kind of customer, one that wants a blog for their main static looking site or as a stand alone blog that drives traffic to their already made static site. You really can't go wrong with WP.


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  • Profile picture of the author artsub
    Why don't you offer a regular website, with a blog as an upsell. They could have both... a regular website for their sales, and a blog for customer loyalty.
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  • Profile picture of the author Canada
    I've done both static sites and blogs (and a couple Joomla sites too.) I go with a blog if the client wants to be able to maintain/update, is interested in regularly adding blog entries, or needs some special features that are built in via plugins (cheaper for them then having me program it into an html-based website). For me, it's pretty much the same amount of work, so it's not a cost-based thing.
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    • Profile picture of the author CmdrStidd
      Well, I don't know if my 2 cents is going to help or not because I am old school here. I have only done one WordPress site and that was for myself and it was such a pain for me that I finally chucked it all and went back to my trusty notepad and started with the tags and such to create my own website. I think WordPress is good for those that know how it is set up and stuff but I found the duplication of code too time consuming to work with. However, please note that this is just my opinion and it is not a major opinion from a billionaire but a relative beginner.

      If you can work with WP then by all means do so. You have to use what is best for you but more importantly what is best for the client. (You will note that in my example above, I am not only the coder but also the client. I can be a real task master when I want to be. lol)
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      • Profile picture of the author MarkR

        I've done plenty of both. No right or wrong answer here.

        I think it gets down to:

        1) does the client want to edit/change his own website (WP all the way)
        2) how often will it change
        3) are the changes significant (major changes leans toward WP, e.g. adding lots of articles/posts, etc.)
        4) does he wants it hands off and let a developer do all his editing
        5) which platform you are faster to develop with (might be cheaper for the customer)
        6) the level of Web 2.0 / interactivity needed

        When all is said and done, I've done way more HTML sites over the last 6 years, but have been trending toward WP because of it's simplicity, interactivity, plugins, speed to develop, ease to backup, slightly tougher to hack, etc.

        BTW, although it's changing slowly, Flash is still a real no-no in static sites, because the search engines can't interpret it well and it hurts your SEO. I steer clear of it all the time.

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  • Profile picture of the author Droopy Dawg
    You can create a WP site with a Flash header... they'll never know

    Corporate style wordpress theme flash header

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  • Profile picture of the author Jagged
    Originally Posted by Dexx View Post

    Hey Gang,

    I'm having sort of a mild-debate with myself over which website style to offer / promote to business that I approach for offline marketing.

    Basically I purchase templates from Template Monster (instead of paying for an expensive designer) and have it customized for that business.

    My question is this:

    Should I pick a professionally designed blog theme or should I go with a professional (flash header) website?
    Hi Dexx,

    Offer both styles and let your client choose. Offer your "pro's & con's" for should be his/her choice of long as your capable of doing either one.

    I use either template monster or allwebco. Allwebco adds a fresh, professional look instead of the cookie cutter template sites...

    There is always dreamweaver....still a favorite of mine.

    Good luck,
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    • Profile picture of the author Corwinnx
      From a marketing perspective...

      Your services should include both, amongst an array of other services as well.

      The blog can be a bonus if they purchase a website.

      Contrary to popular belief, many businesses do have websites already. And a lot of them are actually done quite well. If they have a site, and it already has all the proper components of a well designed site, then as an 'online marketing consultant,' it's your job to see what's 'missing' from their 'web marketing plan' and fit it in. Is it SEO? Is it a blog? Are there opportunities where this business could create new sources of revenue from a blog, with affiliate programs, or other profit centers?

      This is you position yourself as an Internet Marketing consultant, this is what you need to do.

      Warmest Regards,
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  • Profile picture of the author Doug McIsaac
    I've used both depending on the client for a couple of year now, but more and more I find the themes are good enough that you can make a great looking blog that looks like a static website.

    Plus a lot of my clients really like that they can update their blogs themselves.

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    • Profile picture of the author Leron Ford
      I'm fairly new to this, but for my first 2 clients, I went with Wordpress sites Granted, these are small businesses I'm dealing with, and friends of mine as well, so your situation may be a little different.

      Right now I'm not married to any particular theme. I find a theme relevant to their line of business (ex: daycare or custom cabinet maker) and customize it to fit what I'm trying to do.

      Hope that helps,

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  • Profile picture of the author GoGetta
    This would obviously depend on the client.

    But I have been using WP loads lately and sway many clients towards the benefits of WP. Its content management made easy and with a little customization can look awesome. They are SE Friendly and also open to all sorts of plugins and you can get plugins for most things nowadays.

    ITHEMES Have some awesome premium themes as do many other premium developers.

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  • It's not an either-or question, and WP is not the only (or best) game in town. It's a great blogging platform. But it is not a full-featured CMS, and its theme engine is just terrible if you want to easily customize existing themes or create new ones. Drupal, Joomla, and Plone are all excellent, full-featured, customizable free CMS. My personal favorite is Drupal.

    At any rate, any business website you build needs to have a CMS of some kind. Static sites don't cut it these days.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike McAleer
    I would definitely say regular sites are better for offline clients yet what is even better is a blog/ regular website with the blog on a seperate page. It does depend on the company though.

    Recent domain flips : $8->$1000 Social recruiting Software dot com $8->$2000
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  • Profile picture of the author amylimcd
    I love Wordpress - there are so many premium themes now where you can use Wordpress and still have the website look like a normal HTML site.

    Clients are usually happier with Wordpress as well because it is so easy for them to fo in and update the content . . without worrying about messing up the other elements of the site.


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  • Profile picture of the author MoneyMonkey
    Should I pick a professionally designed blog theme or should I go with a professional (flash header) website?

    I would say go with the professional designed blog theme especially use Wordpress because it is very user-friendly. One of my clients had a flash website and he wanted it swapped for a blog(WordPress) when I showed him. He said WordPress looked more professional in this modern age.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
    All your cons for blogs are attributed to user error. There's no reason to not choose a WP blog install over static HTML.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dexx
    Whoa! I didnt even know this thread came back, lol

    Last post was in 2009 -- how'd it even get found?! Wowza! =P


    PS - All my client sites are done on Wordpress now for the record =D
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