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This checklist is to provide a basic starting point to cover a number of options available to create a website. The goal here is not to go into too much detail but to present an overview as to what is available and where you are currently situated. Each scenario has its application.
4 Basics – Websites 101
- If you are an Australian Company selling into the Australian market then your domain name ideally should have the “.com.au” extension. If you are searching for an Australian site then Google will look at the “.com.au” extension sites before any other.
- Your hosting server ideally should physically be based in Australia. If you are searching for an Australian site then Google will look at the Australian Servers before any other.
- The site is on the “https:” Secured platform which is now the standard and the “http:” platform eventually being phased out. In the past “http:” was the standard platform for information sites and alike and the “https:” secured platform was used mainly for e-commerce sites. Now with so much information flowing in and out of websites the “https:” secured platform is now the standard format.
- The site must work on all devices, PC’s Laptops, Phones and Tablets.
How do I get my website built?
- “What are your goals for the website?”
- “What resources do you have available to build and maintain a website?”
3 Basic Levels of Build
- Template systems: Options like Wix, Weebly and Squarespace are low cost options and offer fixed template builds and hosting, usually at a low price. These are generally designed around “self build” systems that have various restrictions on flexibility, power and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). The sites are generally hosted “in the cloud” on overseas servers, often in the USA. The site could well be one of 1,000’s on any single shared server which can affect speed and security. Check the detail of each option as some providers do not allow you to take a copy or move the site and you have no choice as to where the site is physically hosted
- CMS – Content Management Systems: · Options such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are very flexible systems to build a website, often without the need for customised programming code. If you wish to do all the work yourself these options require a higher level of skill with a steep learning curve taking much longer to learn than a template system. Custom code can be added for fine tuning a site if required. WordPress by far is the most popular option globally with 30% of the top 10 Million websites built using WordPress and 60 % of all sites are built using WordPress. WordPress has an enormous amount of resources available, some free and some on a subscriptions basis. WordPress should pretty much cover any design or application for a small business with its virtual infinite number of options and flexibility. The site can be hosted on your server of choice from a small shared server to a private server. WordPress is very SEO friendly and there is the ability to work on SEO techniques on your site to make your site more visible to the search engines. The real power of WordPress comes with many, many hours of constant learning, practice and keeping abreast of new techniques and software applications via forums and alike. You own your WordPress site and can move the site in the future if required.
- Custom Designed and Programmed: Usually for the larger businesses / corporations with specific needs and requirements that are not found “off the shelf”. This is the most expensive option, usually outside the scope of any small business, with the site generally residing on dedicated servers with staff to manage the whole process in-house.
Design & Build:
We have a saying at Webfield Solutions:
“Don’t get a programmer to design a website & don’t get a graphic artist to build a website”
Websites require a range of specific, specialised skills to look fantastic and work at an optimum level. 3 of the most important skill sets include:
- Technical - Server hardware set up and support. It is critical to have a high service focused provider for optimum support to keep your website online.
Ultimately the decision to move forward to create a website will be based on a number of resources available to you.
- Skill sets of the owner and staff
- Time for design, features, graphics, text content, inbound and outbound linking
- Current and future knowledge for:
- Programming, Code or learning a template and its various functions using a template or CMS system
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
- Time available to learn and keep up to date to “build yourself”
- Time for on-going maintenance for content and “backend” maintenance to ensure the system is running at its optimal level. Websites need to be maintained regularly to ensure the site does no go “stagnant” and fall of the SEO radar.
By realistically applying some thought to the above, a clearer picture should result as to where you are currently situated and what you need to do to move forward with a website. Obviously this document barely scratches the surface of the knowledge base that is required to create a fully functioning successful website.
For further information or any item that you wish to discuss please contact us.