WebmasteringAn easy-to-use and well-maintained website is the hub of your online marketing
Be ready for visitors
Your website is the online face of your business. An active content marketing program helps to keep your website visible to search engines… so it’s important ensure that your site is up to date and ready for the visitors they send. If you’re a small business, especially in a service industry, you probably don’t need a complicated custom-developed website — but you do need a webmaster who can keep it healthy and up-to-date.
Your website’s design sets the tone for your visitors. The easier it is for them to read and use, the more likely they’ll be to engage with your content and continue reading. We favor designs with clear navigation, a readable font, and plenty of negative space. Fancy intros or video headers may make sense for your company and audience, but they could also be a distraction.
We design customized WordPress sites that use an industry-leading, highly flexible WordPress theme that lets the content stand on its own, without a lot of whiz-bang tricks. If your website relies heavily on content to reach a professional or discerning consumer audience, then our web design services might be a fit for you. In addition to the overall design, our website creation services include:
- Register domain and configure hosting and DNS
- Install SSL certificate
- Configure plugins and other integrations (e.g. Google analytics, social media, MailChimp)
Though we focus on simple, content oriented sites, there are good reasons to get a little more involved with your design . . . especially if you’ll be in e-commerce or want to showcase some high-end technical skills. If your needs are more complex, we are happy to refer you to professional web developers with skills in WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla from our network of creative partners.
Once you have your WordPress website up and running, you need to actively maintain it. WordPress is not a “set it and forget it” solution – there are frequent updates to themes, plugins, and to WordPress core files.
The industry-standard WordPress themes we use release regular updates to stay secure. Although updates are critically important, they can sometimes cause errors or conflicts with various plugins. That’s one reason to ensure that the site’s database and content are regularly backed up, so that updates can be reversed, if necessary. Not to mention, if your site ever were to be hacked, it’s a lot easier to restore a clean site from backup than to do a manual cleanup. The unfortunate truth is that these days, it’s not a matter of if, but when.
In addition, we highly recommend using a malware detection and removal service like Sucuri SiteCheck. It’s a lot cheaper to pay for an annual subscription in advance than to spend hours (or days!) on cleanup later. And if your site allows users to submit comments, we also recommend using Akismet to avoid the time-consuming task of moderating and weeding out spam comments.
For our clients using a website we’ve designed, web maintenance service is available for a monthly fixed fee that includes:
• Regularly update WordPress core files, themes, and plugins
• Perform regular backups of site content and database
• Review any comments that have not been moderated, mark as spam or post as appropriate – forward any comments needing specific response from operations to designated team members
• Ensure domain, SSL certificate, and other subscriptions are renewed before expiration
• Ensure that integration settings (Google Analytics, CRM, social media) are up to date and review analytics to note trends/changes
Content Management is another aspect of webmastering that ensures published content is in-line with the company’s marketing objectives and correctly indexed in the site. These tasks are more variable based on your business’ needs, so these services are billed hourly. Here’s an example of some typical tasks:
• Final review/editing of new site pages/posts to ensure proper settings, categorization, navigation, etc. within WordPress before publication.
• Designing new pages and functional elements (e.g. navigation menus, sidebars)
• Creation of new marketing campaign landing pages and coordination with e-mail campaigns
• Customizing themes and plugins (and troubleshooting of any plugin/theme errors after updates)
• SEO Optimization (together with an SEO consultant we can recommend from our network of creative partners)
As you can see, our approach to the web is very much content-oriented, and driven by your overall brand and strategy. Read more about us and our approach on the next page.