Some advice please - 1st website

5 replies
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We have a family business - totally offline, very local, service based. I'm in the process of building the website. Thanks to what I've learned here, I purchased a new domain name to help with SEO (already owned our business name and plan on linking) and now I'm trying to figure out which is the better way to go to build the site - an actual website template, or wordpress.

I have no plans on blogging, or writing any articles for the site. I may include some affiliate ads, but only those for product lines we use and endorse (any money made from that would be a bonus). Other than that, I'm just looking to create a streamlined, professional looking site that gives the necessary info.

My concern with templates is that most seem either too generic or too over-the top (seriously, I've looked at hundreds over the last few days). With our business, we have a very wide range of services from simple repairs to high end construction. As ironic as it may seem, our income is split pretty evenly between the two.... so striking a balance in presentation is one of my biggest priorities - and problems. I have to present us as polished and professional enough to handle the large scale work, but accessible enough to call on for the small repairs.

My concern with wordpress (other than the fact that I don't know what the h*ll I'm doing ) is that it may just be more than what I require. I've read quite a few posts here favoring WP, but it seems as though a lot of the features may not apply....would I be doing more work than necessary in using WP?

Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated. And if anyone happens to know of a good place to look for a theme or template based on what I've described - I'd be beyond grateful.

Thanks -
#1st #advice #website
  • Profile picture of the author stormyweather
    The thing about WordPress is that it is very easy to get the site to rank and come up for local search terms due to the way it structures things. But if you don't want to add articles nor get the site to work for you, then WordPress is an overkill.

    One of the main reasons I say this is because it is not a set and forget solution. WordPress has to be maintained - it needs frequent updates for its plugins and for WordPress itself. If you are not planning on getting the benefits of what WordPress can offer, you'll be wasting your time on its maintenance.

    Sounds like all you want is a credibility site - so that when people ask you can say you have a website.

    In that case a template will do.

    As for them being over the top? Yes many of them are. But if this really mattered to you, surely you'd get someone to design you something bespoke? If all you want is a simple site I think you'll find it is not too expensive.

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    • Profile picture of the author Daverz
      Normally, I'd recommend a static HTML website for this purpose. However, it seems like you don't have much, if any, experience with HTML which will make editing pages difficult. Though WordPress may seem a bit confusing at first, it's actually pretty newbie-friendly as far as editing the content on your site goes.

      Originally Posted by stormyweather View Post

      The thing about WordPress is that it is very easy to get the site to rank and come up for local search terms due to the way it structures things.
      It's very easy to do the same thing with a static HTML site as well, assuming you know a little bit about on-page SEO. In fact, given both a WordPress and static HTML site with the same content, on-page SEO, and amount of backlinks, the static HTML site should outrank the Wordpress site due to much faster load times.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tomos Wyn
    The thing with any dynamic solution for you business needs (read: CMS) is that you'll need to set time aside for:

    * training / getting used to the software
    * updates (core system updates / plugins / theme)

    If your unsure, why not just start off with a static template to start with? If your not sure about the quality of free templates, contact a designer / developer and build up a relationship with them. Ask them if they could put together a package for your needs (tell them exactly what you want - and what you may need in the future).

    For example, if someone would come to me in this situation, I'd do something like this:

    * Put together a package with a custom design and develop the website using just xhtml/css. I'd also factor in to the cost of say 3/hrs a month for the first 2 months for any content updates. After then, I'd give a small discount to my hourly rate for any content updates.

    The beauty with getting yourself a custom template coded statically to start with is the fact that if you do decide to go down the route where you need a CMS for ease of updating / publishing articles or blog posts, then it wouldn't be that hard to port the current design over to the CMS.

    So if you do decide to go down that route, try negotiating with them to see if you can get something that's tailored to your needs.

    Failing going down the custom route, check out somewhere like Themeforest. They sell pretty decent templates with author updates
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  • Profile picture of the author xtrapunch
    In any case, you need a good web designer. Do not try DIY if your business depends on it. A bad design might drive away your prospective clients. You can also use custom templates/themes to keep costs low.
    >> Web Design, Wordpress & SEO - <<
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  • Profile picture of the author ezbiz
    You can also have a static WordPress site, and load fast. And the load time differences between the 2 will not effect much how one out ranks the other (at least by 1% according to Matt Cutts). You'll do a lot more work optimizing a static HTML opposed to using quick install plugins with WordPress; pinging, ping optimizer, tags, titles, sitemap, analytics, keyword density on-and-on, WordPress is the way to go, especially for newbies.
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