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Prepare for Ongoing Investment in Your Website

Guest Post by Natalie Rose, NOVA Web Group

A website is not meant to be built to last. That may surprise you coming from me. I create terrific, well-built sites, but even the best websites don’t last forever. They just don’t.

Your website is an investment, not a one-off purchase. It is not “one and done”, and needs to continuously evolve. To stay relevant, a website requires routine maintenance and more. There has to be a plan to keep things fresh and vital.

Software and Code Must Be Maintained

Just about every website uses third-party software. This includes a CMS, like WordPress, and plugins that add functionality. Sometimes, there is custom code as well.

Software and coding all need to be regularly updated. Coding standards evolve. The requirements for best practices and user expectations do too.

Your Business Changes

Websites are created to address current and anticipated business needs. But, our ability to predict the future is usually limited at best. Who could have predicted the changes COVID would bring!

Your website needs regular evaluation to make sure it is keeping up with your business. You don’t want your website to ever be out of sync with what is making your business grow today.

The Web Is Evolving Still

You already know that technology evolves at break-neck speed. How often do you need to replace your cell phone, update your laptop software and hardware? The changes just don’t stop.

Websites aren’t different. WordPress changes, plugins change, and new options come online all the time.

User needs and expectations change right along with technology. Your website needs to adapt!

Get Expert Help

The work is far from done when you launch your site. You need to keep on top of how web opportunities are changing so that you can keep you on top of what matters most to your success. That means standard maintenance as well as larger improvements.

The best way to make your site last is to hire a professional web developer to pay attention to these needs for you. Your site won’t last forever, but a developer partner can help you never be left behind!

Is your website a party or a snoozefest?

Guest Post by Natalie Rose, NOVA Web Group

A website is a great place to tell the story of your business, share information, and engage with your audience. Look at your website from the visitor’s perspective – does it provide an interesting and engaging experience or is it boring?

There are a lot of places to get information online. People gravitate to the places that provide what they are looking for as well as a pleasant experience. That can be your website or someplace else. Don’t give your competitors an edge by ignoring your user experience.

Website Design Considerations

What’s the first impression when someone arrives at your site? It is visually interesting? Does it draw them in to see more? A great visual design attracts attention without providing visual overload. It draws visitors into the site to experience more.

User Focused Content

Does your content provide the information that users want? Too often, we get caught up in telling people what we want to say and ignore what they want.

Make sure your content speaks to the needs and interests of your target audience, using words they use. No one is interested in figuring out your corporate speak!

Don’t ignore questions and information that you know are on people’s minds. If you don’t address common concerns, people will find the information elsewhere (and you will have no control over that message!)

Allow Visitors to Connect

Does your website let people connect with you? This can be a contact form, an email address and/or a phone number. It can also be links to your social media sites if you offer expanded content there and actively engage with people who post and comment.

Great sites also let people sign up to receive more information on an ongoing basis. Also popular for customer-service oriented sites is a chat feature that invites visitors to connect in real time.

The best way to connect depends on your business and your audience. The good news is that there are many great options.

Amp Up Engagement

Take a fresh look at your website with the goal of engaging your target audience. Evaluate your website from the visitor’s perspective. Make sure it measures up to the experience you offer online as well as to what competitors offer.

WordPress or Wix?

Guest post by Natalie Rose, NOVA Web Group

WordPress or Wix?

There are many content management systems (CMSs) to pick from when you create a website. I often get asked whether WordPress or Wix is the better option. My answer is WordPress, hands down.

I have supported several Wix and WordPress websites. While Wix may seem easier and less expensive in the short term, it always works out to be the lesser choice. WordPress is almost always the best option.

Wix Is All-in-One, But Features Are Limited

Wix is for non-technical folks. You can sign up and have hosting, CMS, and design all at your fingertips. The drag and drop interface is easy to use. The designs and features are limited, however.

With Wix’s layouts, you get a dumbed-down, generic look that you’ll share with a lot of other Wix sites. You get some built in features, but if you want something else you are out of luck. Neither of these limitations exist with WordPress.

Search Engine Considerations

There is also a question of how visible a Wix-based site is on search engines. Wix has recently announced improvements to search engine optimization (SEO) features, but it is not clear how effective they are.

WordPress is designed with SEO in mind. Many top-ranked websites are on WordPress. When SEO requirements change, WordPress developers are often the first to adapt.

Different Cost Structures

Wix is entirely subscription-based. You pay a monthly fee for as long as you want your site. If you cancel your Wix account, you lose your website. You can’t use another host.

With WordPress, you own your website. Once it’s developed, you only need to pay your web host to keep your site live. Great hosts can be as little as $4 a month! You can update the software yourself. Even if you elect to have that done for you, the cost is minimal.

When your business grows or your needs change, you have at your disposal literally thousands of plugins to add functionality or create integrations at your site. Most are free. Some have one-time or subscription fees.

WordPress Allows You to Grow

Wix is often a good choice for new business owners with low budgets, personal websites, and small businesses. Most companies will grow beyond Wix sooner than later. Again, you cannot automatically transfer your Wix site content to another CMS like WordPress.

Any company that anticipates growth is better off with WordPress. It is the CMS of choice of businesses that want to maintain a unique brand identity, grow their business, and be flexible during that growth.