When planning a website, many companies have high ambitions, however, a lack of commitment often creates a sporadic fizzle rather than a sustainable flow. An honest assessment of capabilities and budget will keep it real.

Ambitious website visions, should always include a reality check

Blog entry > Ambitious website visions, should always include a reality check

If you're hustling with a new business, or you've been too busy to keep on top of your debilitated web presence, then chances are you won't have the resources to make an earnest effort to achieve your ultimate website vision, and the completed site will reflect that.

Empty holes, stagnant news, inactive blogs... all suggest a lack of commitment, resources, and poor organization. Not a good first impression.

The deciding factors

The type of website and technology you choose should match the effort and energy you can put into it. Input (content) can be divided into two root variables that I label as CLAIM and SAY. Your ability to address these variables will make all the difference in the type of website you should choose.

  • CLAIM - the fundamentals, the brand, the promise, the features, and the benefits. Although this information will probably need updating on a regular basis, it is usually static in nature.

  • SAY - the potential discussion you can have with your target audience. It could be news or a blog. It's information that will be added to the website on a regular basis.

Before you begin

Be realistic and honest in your planning, it will save time, money, resources and increase your company's website potential for success. Look for REAL value that you can provide to your customers, and think of whether that value has the potential to sway a customer towards your product or service.

Consider your financial and personnel resources, topics that will interest your audience and reflect on insights from your everyday customer interactions. Remove the things you know you won't be able to handle.

  • If you don't think you can post news - nix it
  • If you don't think your customer will value a specific input - nix it
  • If you can't feed an image gallery - nix it
  • If you aren't able to sustain an events calendar - nix it
  • If you can't start and hold a conversation - nix it
  • If you don't want to publicly manage customer comments - nix it.

Can't vs shouldn't

Just because you can't doesn't mean you shouldn't. Most of the items listed above contribute to both SEO and SMO, which will help you rank your site better with search engines. So if you have the potential to address them in the future, make sure you choose an option that will scale to your future capabilities.

Basic website formats

(1) The static HTML site

When you have something to CLAIM, but nothing to SAY

Even with all the available dynamic technologies available, surprisingly 60% of all websites were still static, non-CMS sites (W3Tech stats - January 12, 2017).

So, if your products and company are stable, and you don't have a lot to say, a well structured static site that takes advantage of current technologies may be a good solution.

Pros

  • Content can be updated at leisure
  • Site not on an application software upgrade cycle
  • Fewer server or application conflicts
  • Static HTML loads quicker than CMS systems
  • Depending on site requirements, development is generally cheaper
  • Excellent solution for small, simple marketing websites
  • Few security issues

Cons

  • Potential search engine page rank issues
  • Stagnant content
  • Potentially weak SEO
  • Requires some level of HTML skills when editing is required
  • Complicated sites take longer to modify and edit and increase external resource costs
  • Extensive structural updates can be expensive

Summary

With the easy installation of website creation tools, a static website is not necessarily the cheapest option for site development, however, if optimized with SEO friendly content and adaptive technology could provide years of stable worry free performance.

(2) The Blog CMS site

When you have something to CLAIM, and lots to SAY

The most popular blog CMS is Wordpress which has captured market share of 27.3% of all websites created (W3Tech stats - January 12, 2017).

A blog site takes advantage of blogging technology to create a website. With plenty of off-the-shelf themes and plugins, it is relatively easy to implement and manage and is a great option for a non-complex site.

Pros

  • Free, simple installation, often offered with a click of a button by many hosting services
  • Plethora of theme templates
  • Content can be updated very quickly
  • Tons of enhancing plugins available
  • Excellent solution for service-oriented and simple marketing websites

Cons

  • Single input field, that cannot handle complex coding
  • input content tends to be very long
  • Prone to security issues
  • Although the base software and many themes are free, to get the full functionality, you'll have to pay for the upgrade
  • Customization requires the use of a developer
  • Custom paging requires the use of a developer

Summary

Wordpress is a great application for small relatively simple websites. However, if you are looking to expand and customize the site, it may cost you just as much as it would for a full CMS website.

(3) The robust CMS website

When you have lots to CLAIM, and lots to SAY

A robust CMS website is perfect for complex site structures. ExpressionEngine is the Ladybird-digital CMS of choice. It's ranked 18th out of over 350 CMS monitored by W3Tech stats (January 12, 2017).

Pros

  • Excellent solution for large website
  • Multiple input fields - customized structure
  • Good security track record
  • Completely customizable site design easily brand compatible
  • Customizable user interface with multiple SEO friendly entry fields
  • Version 3.0 can now be updated with the click of a button
  • Can be integrated with other digital applications
  • Stable system

Cons

  • Commercial application, license purchase required
  • Installation process is not automated
  • Most add-ons must be purchased, but are well supported

Summary

ExpressionEngine is a true CMS with endless creative, custom and application possibilities, including the integration of Wordpress in order to take advantage of its abundance of plugins.

Want more www web site stats? - W3Tech Stats

Teddrick.

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