• it-guy-web-designer

It’s a common misconception that people who use computers or work on computers for a living know everything about computers.

Do your parents or grandparents still call you when their printer isn’t working or worse yet ask for help with how to get on Facebook? It’s not a stretch to assume that your computer savvy nephew or grandson can also build your website.

Here’s a little story. A client of ours previously used an IT firm to build their website. Our client didn’t know any better. They assumed that said IT company could do all things web and tech related.  Their website ended up looking like something out of a horror movie.

lings-car-leasing

So many web design standards were missed that were causing our client to miss out on proper Google indexing and resulting in a loss of business.  To top this off the IT company was also charging for ongoing SEO services.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Okay now, I understand how web design as a whole seems subjective and easy to the average person.  But if you’re a business you need to take your website seriously.  Don’t go on your own assumptions.  At least hire a professional website consultant to advise you on how to move forward.

Here are 5 reasons you shouldn’t use your IT company to design your website.

1. Website design is software driven

If your IT firm comes into the office to setup computers, fix hard drives, and works with your hardware they most likely are not experienced working on software or website design.  Their experience is more tailored towards making systems work and not making things more usable on the screen.

2. Good IT companies are focused on doing what they do best

In most cases the best companies are specialized and focused on one single trade.  Your plumber is your plumber.  Your electrician is your electrician.  You get it.  Since one profession does home services, it doesn’t mean they do all home services.  The same rule applies for web design and IT.

3. IT companies provide web design services reactively

This is our fault as clients I suppose.  We simply don’t know what we don’t know and end up asking our IT company to build our website on that assumption.  In some cases, IT firms provide web design services as another revenue stream.  Who could blame them for that?  However, the clients suffer on the quality and attention to detail with poorly executed web design.

4. Best practices are crucial for web design

Just like web designers probably aren’t the best IT resource.  IT companies most often don’t know web design standards.  This can cause your website to perform poorly and risk gaining you the traffic your website needs in order to attract the customers you need.  Just like you wouldn’t hire a landscaper or another trade professional who isn’t licensed, you wouldn’t hire an IT company who doesn’t fully observe web standards to build your website.

That said, IT companies are valuable and many offices cannot run without them.  I send plenty of referrals to IT companies because our company isn’t qualified to consult on IT.  We are focused on what we do best and that’s website design.  ;)

Cody Landefeld

My passion is helping organizations solve problems creatively. I am a user experience problem solver by nature and have over 10 years of experience in the creative field. I currently lead the team at codyL where we are privileged to work with some amazing clients

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  • wordpress-start-up

If you’re starting a business you need to get the word out. Getting the word out is massively important to gain an  online audience.  You need to have a marketing website built for your business and since the website will be used to market it would always be a great idea to include a blog on your website.

Whether your mission is to just simply inform your audience or customers about your new business or build a concept (or MVP) for your software you’d be surprised to know how effective WordPress can be.  Here are a few different reasons why your start-up should be using WordPress:

You can blog with WordPress

I know, I know.  Mostly everyone on the web knows WordPress contains a post (or blog) system.  But seriously get your website built and use WordPress to create a blog to start your content marketing to help increase your leads for your business.

Build your marketing website with WordPress

As I had mentioned beforehand, WordPress is a sufficient content management system and you can be creative by making a marketing website for your start-up.  Our company has done this in many cases for our clients and it’s a flexible and quick way to get a marketing website out the door.

Many companies are choosing WordPress to create their website.  This puts your company in great company and you can find great resources to build out a powerful marketing site with the tools and plugins available for WordPress.

WordPress is application platform

From the time WordPress was released it was always best known as a blogging platform.  A few years later it became known for a full-fledged CMS (content management system).  As WordPress has matured (now 10+ years later) it has become a more application friendly platform.  There are multiple frameworks to build from that allow you to create membership websites, niche social networks, and e-commerce websites.  The list goes on…

Hiring a great WordPress development company will help your company prove your concept quicker and more affordably.

Use WordPress as a knowledge base

site5-knowledge-base

There are tons of creative uses for WordPress rather than just a blog or a marketing website.  One of the most creative uses for WordPress could be for a customer knowledge base.  Site 5 (a popular website hosting company) uses WordPress for a knowledge base successfully to educate their hosting clients on how to use their systems.

These are only a few ideas.  As you can imagine there are many other ways to think outside of the box with regards to using WordPress for your start-up.  What will you use WordPress for?

Cody Landefeld

My passion is helping organizations solve problems creatively. I am a user experience problem solver by nature and have over 10 years of experience in the creative field. I currently lead the team at codyL where we are privileged to work with some amazing clients

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  • pros-cons-wordpress-codyl

wordpress-logo-simplified-rgbWordPress is one of the most powerful content management systems on the web.  If you need to build a website or start a blog it can be the best option to get your website or blog online.  But it wouldn’t be helpful just to focus on the positive items alone.  It’s important for you to focus on what WordPress is and what it’s not and how it can help you.

My goal is to empower businesses and individuals to be able to find the best tool for their website.  This should be a relatively easy but important decision.  Let’s get to the pros and cons of using WordPress for your website.

Pro: WordPress is open source.

What does open source mean?  It means WordPress is free (in laymen’s terms).  You as the user do not have to pay anyone for the software.  It’s free to download edit and use as you like under the GPL license.  This is great if you don’t have the budget to have a back-end system custom built for your website.  This will save you a lot of time and cost towards getting your website online.

Con: WordPress is open source.

See what I did there?  Some companies are scared to use WordPress simply because there IS no license attached to it.  You are not buying WordPress to use exclusively for your website because it’s being freely used by millions of other websites and their users.  You are using (or leveraging) WordPress for your website and it’s content.  If you need a system tailored for your needs inside and out then WordPress might not be the best option for you.

Pro: WordPress is Easy to use for content

With millions of users worldwide and a huge community of open source developers providing feedback and support for WordPress it has been extremely easy to use.  From the moment you login until the moment you log-out you can easily take care of creating and editing content for your website. If you’re looking for help getting started with WordPress please visit WP101 for helpful video tutorials.

Con: Updating WordPress

This is the other side of using WordPress is being prepared for how to keep it running at optimum performance.  WordPress has consistent updates that improve the platform and you should update.  But this takes knowing about WordPress security and backing your website up.  There are great resources available to know about WordPress security concerns.  Check out a great article from Sucuri Security regarding WordPress security.

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In most cases you will find WordPress the easiest tool to use that’s available to use for a content management system.  Especially for open source software like Drupal and Joomla.  If you’re a small business owner and you’re considering WordPress we’re here to help answer any questions you might have. 

Cody Landefeld

My passion is helping organizations solve problems creatively. I am a user experience problem solver by nature and have over 10 years of experience in the creative field. I currently lead the team at codyL where we are privileged to work with some amazing clients

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  • ux-marketing-wordpress

Yesterday I joined Roger Williams of Roger Williams Media for a live Google Hangout that covered the recent UX, Marketing, and WordPress.  We also touched on some points that were covered in our presentations at Digital Summit Phoenix as well.

The subject of UX or “User Experience” is a passion for me.  We at codyL are driven to solve UX challenges for our clients and present solutions that would allow them to have more success with their websites.  If you’re having a challenge with the User Experience on your site I’d love to talk with you.

Please checkout our video archive from our Google Hangout on UX, Marketing and WordPress and leave a comment below with any questions you have.  Thanks for checking it out!

Cody Landefeld

My passion is helping organizations solve problems creatively. I am a user experience problem solver by nature and have over 10 years of experience in the creative field. I currently lead the team at codyL where we are privileged to work with some amazing clients

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The cost of getting a website built can be confusing!

It’s the wild west out here.  With so much of a price gap that you as the client can easily get confused.  For some companies, it’s a race to the bottom with pre-made “one-size-fits-all” websites, large advertising agencies who charge a ton, and everything else in between.  Who wouldn’t be confused?

Whenever I talk with possible clients, price is always a top priority. But exactly how much does it cost to build a website?

I’ve been pondering about assumptions clients make regarding cost. Just the other day as I was speaking to a prospective client who mentioned they had paid a low amount and had gotten a terrible result from their website company. This gave me an opportunity to educate them a on how much it costs to build a website.

What do you get for what you pay?

I’ve seen how in most cases the cost to build a website is often a giveaway in regards to the experience of the person or company who builds your website.

At the low end of the spectrum, any projects below a thousand dollars are often handled by a freelancer, or possibly a developer who builds sites on the side, most likely still learning the craft. As such, the price is reflective of the experience level.  So expect that this could require you to stay on your toes and not be taken for a ride!

As you aim higher you might find someone (or a company) more experienced who charges more.  You’re paying for their experience and quality of their website work. Smaller teams may be able to deliver a high quality product, but are limited in how much time they can dedicate to a project depending on the size of the company and their workload.

Consider compromising on your website goals.

Paying less to start your website isn’t always a bad thing.  You can always compromise on your grand vision and start with your concept to get your website out into the world.  I see this a lot with clients who often want to get all of the features into their first version of the website but are hindered by their budget.  Consider compromising and you’ll set the pace for quality instead of risking a bad experience and possibly wasting time and money!

Planning for your website design is key.

There is a saying that time is more valuable than money. When a client tells me how long they spent making their current site, I can only wonder what the true cost of the site was. How much productivity was taken from the company by focusing on building their website beyond the intended deadline?

Have you experienced a long grueling process building your website?   Have you lost business and revenue because your website wasn’t online?  A client we recently worked with had told us they had lost tens of thousands of dollars by not having their website up soon enough.

What items are crucial to building an effective website?

If you intend to engage an experienced website company they will ask you important questions about your business goals and website.  Going beyond your website there are other items to consider to get to your business goals.  These services would include: content marketing, social media, and SEO optimization.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to discuss these details with whomever you decide to use to build your website, and establish your expectations before kicking off the project. It’s important to really understand what is going into your website development, both during and after development.

Always consider your time first and foremost, and do the best you can to be prepared to ask the right questions with the web developer you choose to engage. Thusly, you can make the best investment of time and resources for your business.

Cody Landefeld

My passion is helping organizations solve problems creatively. I am a user experience problem solver by nature and have over 10 years of experience in the creative field. I currently lead the team at codyL where we are privileged to work with some amazing clients

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  • digital-summit-phoenix

The Digital Summit Phoenix is a 2 days of career advancing – business growing content, hours of peer networking, open bars, good food, cool swag and lots more. An unforgettable experience at an unbelievable value. (according to the website)

The content will includes: Content Strategy, Usability/Design, Mobile Marketing, Customer Engagement, Social Media, Ecommerce, Email, Search, Marketing Automation, Analytics & Data, Video & Multi-Screen Experience and much, much more!

I had a chance to kick off the event on User Experience.  My talk addressed some key items to consider when solving challenges for clients and how their users interact with their websites and services.  I received some great feedback and audience participation from the group.  Thanks to eberyone for their input!  I hope to connect further with you here at Digital Summit Phoenix.

Please send me an e-mail or follow me on Twitter @codyL

Cody Landefeld

My passion is helping organizations solve problems creatively. I am a user experience problem solver by nature and have over 10 years of experience in the creative field. I currently lead the team at codyL where we are privileged to work with some amazing clients

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As a business owner you know that time is greatest constraint we face.  There are too many examples of how the need for time and time management can help or stall our business.  One observation I have continually is how people value their money over their time.

Do you value time over money?

As a business owner it can be a challenge how we invest in our business to solve problems we face.   I know I’ve been challenged to make decisions that would gain me more time to create a greater impact and earn more money.  Do you notice the same challenges?

I recorded a quick video regarding this challenge and I’d love your feedback regarding this topic.  What types of challenges present themselves with regards to time and money?  How do you usually solve those challenges?

I hope this helps to encourage you to consider this as you work towards your business goals as an owner and entrepreneur.  Thanks for watching!

Cody Landefeld

My passion is helping organizations solve problems creatively. I am a user experience problem solver by nature and have over 10 years of experience in the creative field. I currently lead the team at codyL where we are privileged to work with some amazing clients

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  • codyL-the-great-business-podcast
  • codyL-the-great-business-podcast

I’m a big fan of podcasts.  I especially enjoy podcasts about business and how to create a better business.  Recently I connected with fellow valley resident Zach Gacia of Chromis Technology.  He is the creator of the Great Business Podcast which runs weekly.

This week I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Great Business Podcast.  We talked a little bit of my professional background and of course got into some WordPress and marketing shop talk for business.  Something I’m truly passionate about helping our clients solve so I’m happy to get a chance to discuss this with other folks in the space.

Please give a listen to the podcast and let us know what you think in the comments.

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast if you enjoy it on iTunes by clicking here.

Cody Landefeld

My passion is helping organizations solve problems creatively. I am a user experience problem solver by nature and have over 10 years of experience in the creative field. I currently lead the team at codyL where we are privileged to work with some amazing clients

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  • codyl-what-does-a-wordpress-website-cost

The biggest challenge I see with business with regard to website design is cost.  This is one of the biggest problems facing the website development industry.  Normal or new business owners find it difficult to comprehend the cost of building a website is or understanding the value of the website.

If you’re running a business there’s no question you’ll need a website.  The website is the essential hub to market your business.  Once you’ve arrived at building or re-building your website you’ll start asking for help.

The next step is to ask someone in your circle of friends or professional network for a referral.  You might even begin searching Google for a website design company in your area.  In both cases it can be extremely frustrating to find the best company will be to work with you to build a website.

This is the part where it can become extremely challenging.  How can you really know the right company to work with you if you don’t understand the cost or value??  

I’d like to share some insights to help you in the process of determining the cost for your website.

What type of website does your business need?

If you’re a new business you may not need to build a large of a website.  This is what we we would call a marketing website.  A marketing website usually has 3-5 pages including a blog for ongoing marketing.

In most cases WordPress is going to be the most effective tool for you to have a website built with.  Because WordPress includes a full back-end system to allow you to make simple changes without having to involve a website company. In most cases, making changes should just as simple as using Microsoft Word.  Easy enough?

If your business has been established or your goals are larger, there are many other types of websites you can build.  E-Commerce websites and Membership websites, are just a couple that would extend beyond a marketing website.

What does it cost to have a WordPress website built?

You can be assured that there are many companies who can build amazing WordPress websites.  The challenge is finding the right company that’s an expert and is affordable.  If you begin your search as I mentioned above by looking amongst friends you might find a mixed result of experience when it comes to building a WordPress website.

Hiring a WordPress development company is just like hiring any other company for any other type of service.  You’ll find a range of the unlicensed, less experienced hobbyists all the way to the overly priced large companies who really aren’t looking to work with smaller businesses.

In most cases the cost is related to the experience and size of the company.  A good range for a small business marketing site would be anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000.  This is of course is dependent on the detail of your project.  The more time a company spends on your project you can expect to pay more, just like in any other industry.

Beyond that you will need to prepare to invest ongoing marketing dollars to create more content for your website to gain traffic and more leads for your business.  The best company to work with will mention this need from day one!  Does that make sense?

I hope you found this article helpful to reference for how much a WordPress website costs.  Please leave us a comment or ask a question below and we would be happy to share any help we can with you.

Questions?

Allow us to answer any below to help you with your website design questions. Please leave us a comment below!

Cody Landefeld

My passion is helping organizations solve problems creatively. I am a user experience problem solver by nature and have over 10 years of experience in the creative field. I currently lead the team at codyL where we are privileged to work with some amazing clients

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  • wordcamp-austin-2014

WordCamp Austin is just around the corner.  Next month on the 26th and 27th of April to be exact.  The team at codyL will be privileged to attend the event again this year.

What is a WordCamp?

WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress. WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other. (taken from WordCamp Central)

There are many WordCamps spread out across the world.  Here is a helpful graphic taken from the WordCamp Central website to show the recent WordCamp events that have taken place.

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 12.45.37 PM

WordCamp in Austin, Texas

Over the last few years I’ve visited Austin, Texas and have enjoyed our stays and met amazing people.  This group of course include the folks at the mighty WP Engine, Bill and Tara Erickson, Jared and Sam Atchinson, and of course many more people!  We love Austin for many reasons including the barbecue (and breakfast tacos).

This year I will also have the privilege to speak and share a business talk about “Better Retail Experiences with WordPress.”  This talk will be focused on marketing towards retail clients by using WordPress.  This is becoming an ever important topic with rise of e-commerce websites for WordPress and mobile applications that are powered by WordPress that contain online shopping carts.

So if you plan to attend this great event I’d love to meet and talk shop!  Please stop by and introduce yourself or let me know you saw my blog post.  So make plans to meet me in Austin next month.  Tickets go on sale this Wednesday so grab yours then!

Cody Landefeld

My passion is helping organizations solve problems creatively. I am a user experience problem solver by nature and have over 10 years of experience in the creative field. I currently lead the team at codyL where we are privileged to work with some amazing clients

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