Let’s face it just about every business has a website. Most business owners probably had their website built for them in 2000 or maybe earlier. It has been five years and Ill bet those websites have not changed since they were launched.
Websites are dynamic just like business. Business is ever changing as should your website. Remember your website is the first thing most of your new business is going to come from, it needs to be current, not only in content, but technology as well. So much has changed in the Web Design industry, that if you have not updated your website with a redesign, you may be left behind.
What has changed in Web Design?
Most websites built in the late 90s were built with static HTML pages. This was an effective method then. You simply built a page for each area of your site, about page, contact page, services page, and home page. That is all you needed then. Now that your competition has a website too, how do you get that edge?
One of the problems with having your website built with static HTML pages is just that, theyre Static. Expanding your website is difficult because each page has to be changed to reflect the new area. That means the navigation must be changed on every page, so how do we fix this?
Dynamic website using content management software.
One of the biggest advances in web design has to be affordable content management software or CMS. Dynamic websites have been around for a long time, but you need a Microsoft development budget to have it. The other problem previously associated with dynamic websites was that the search engines could not index the URLs that it produced. Now with the use of mod_rewrite, dynamic websites can have very search engine friendly URLs making it possible to compete in the search engine rankings with everyone else.
The next most crucial advantage of CMS is functionality and expandability. The ease at which you can expand your website as well as alter the look of it, is like the difference between driving a car and riding a horse. Dynamic websites use a single template to create the look and feel of your website. What does this mean to you? Well it is simple. One day you decide that you want to rebrand your business and you need to change your website. Currently your site consists of about 100 pages. Before you would need to redesign every page to change the look. Now using CMS you change it in one place. Let me say that again one place. Change the template and it effects every page of your website. That will save you hours of work and hundreds if not thousands of dollars. CMS also uses CSS. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheet. This file controls the look of the text, the links, your heading tags, and so on. Again if you want to change the color of your links one day, it only needs to be done in one file. So now you can see just how easy it is to change your site, lets look at further expanding your website.
Your company has just acquired a new product that needs to be featured on your website. Just to reiterate, with static pages you would need to change the navigation on every page of your site. Now that you are using CMS, you simply log in to the administrative area (which Ill discuss later) of the site and add the necessary pages for your new product. Expanding your website is almost endless.
The functionality of CMS
When a person visits your website it is important to keep them on there as long as possible. This increases your chances of making a sale. This means your site needs to have certain functions that will keep your visitors intrigued and want to stay longer. Most CMS has add-on components aside from its normal functionality. These components can be Poll systems for getting feedback from your visitors. You may want a Comments function that will allow your visitors to leave comments about different articles on your site. This is important to see what your visitors think about what you have to offer or what they could be looking for. You can have a links directory built in. This can help you create alliances with other similar businesses, and increase your websites link popularity. You can add a scrolling news box to your site. This would allow your visitors to quickly browse information on your website, and it could also establish you as an authority on your business. These are just some of the extra functions you can have to expand the functionality of your website.
Another function that can be added to your site that has gained a lot of popularity these days is a Blog. Essentially a Blog is a diary of your business. You can post news to it to show your visitors that you are on top of what is happening in your industry.
The infamous Admin area
Every dynamic website has an administrative area. This is an area of your site that you visit on your site that requires a user name and password to enter. Once logged in you can see the back-end of your site. This is where you will update and make changes to your site. The main benefit of this is you the business owner can update your own site without having to know any Web Design skills. If you have used word processing software you can update your website. Think about all the money you can save by doing it yourself.
Advances in the Web Design industry have jumped leaps and bounds. Along with making it easier to add content to your site, and expand your site, you can now add much needed functionality to your website to increase your edge on your competition. If you would like to get more information about updating your website, contact us today, and let us help you take your website to the next level.