Creating a website for your business is a significant investment in presenting your message to the world, and so should not be undertaken lightly. As with many things, proper planning and a strong foundation will prevent wasting both time and money. It is essential that the website we build together is the one you need, and there are different solutions for different needs. The one thing that is common to all solutions is discovering what is required to build the site you need.
All web development projects we work on begin with a discovery process, whether it is a new web presence or a revamp of an existing one. This is where we look at your competitors, users, review an existing site’s web analytics and SEO, and define specifically the project stakeholders, goals, and expectations. All of this will enable everyone involved in the project to get a clear picture of the scope, including the solutions needed, features and functionalities required, the best platform to use, the costs and timelines, and defines the success criteria.
This seems like a lot of work before the work, but it is what makes the rest of the work go more smoothly. Ideas, challenges, and issues are identified in the beginning, providing more accurate cost estimates and avoiding most cost overruns. Website development is always flexible by its nature, but keeping the risks of significant changes to a minimum helps keep a project on time and within the budget. To find out more about discovery please reach out by phone or email.
Once we complete the discovery process, Blue Orchid Web Development can provide a proposal for a website that will fit your needs and budget. Our solutions are designed to be the right fit now and able to grow to meet the needs of the future. The important thing is that the solution is right. All solutions are built with site security, SEO optimization tools, basic contact form, and include training to use the Admin Panel.
A landing page is just like it sounds: a single page website. Themes used for these websites are available through the WordPress repository and customized with your corporate colors and logo. It is a good solution for introducing a new product, service, or company and usually includes an opt-in for visitors to provide contact information. There may be an offer of a subscription to a newsletter, downloadable document, or notification of when the website is live or the product is available for sale.
Basic Brochure Website
A basic website, also known as a brochure site, provides more in-depth information about the product or service. Functionalities included on the landing page are included here as well. Additional pages may be a blog, events calendar, video or photo gallery. Themes used may be from the WordPress repository or a paid solution of our choice.
Advanced Brochure Website
As the name implies, the advanced brochure website has more in-depth customization. Some of these customization options are the inclusion of integration with social media posting services and marketing automation, custom forms, custom post types such as episodes of a podcast or vlog, membership management, and specialized styling. Some of these functionalities will require the purchase of themes, plugins or subscriptions.
This is your shop on the web. As this is a more advanced product, it incorporates more functionalities to make it run well. We build our e-commerce sites like the advanced brochure site with the addition of plugins for the shop itself. Since Blue Orchid works exclusively in WordPress, we make shops with WooCommerce. Running a successful shop on the internet requires a robust setup. Additional discovery and planning are expected, including the definition of taxonomies used, set up of selling tools, and integration with payment processors.
The technology in web development is continually advancing, and new capabilities become available almost daily it seems. Ats Blue Orchid we are committed to using the best tools to help you reach your goals. We are open to adding these capabilities after building the site as your needs change, or the technology becomes available. Sometimes that will mean incorporating additional utilities, plugins, or subscriptions to other services. We will present to you what we feel is the best approach, and will always get your consent for anything outside of the original scope of the project.
Themes–There is a great many themes available, both free-of-charge and premium. We strongly recommend that free themes be obtained through the WordPress repository, and are shown to be up to date and currently maintained. This is chiefly to add to the security of your site, but also to ensure that the theme will be viable for some time to come. There are no guarantees for how long a theme will be maintained, but those in the repository have been vetted to meet the requirements of WordPress.
Premium themes are also widely available. It is our firm preference to use the Genesis framework or Beaver Themer with Beaver Builder. Each of these is maintained by a community and designed to optimize SEO and accessibility. There are a very few other premium themes we will work with, but please don’t purchase anything before we have completed the discovery process to determine what you need.
Plugins–Like themes, there are many plugins available, and many of the same guidelines apply. We will make recommendations for plugins, and try to find the most cost-effective solution for the needs and goals of the project.
Maintenance–Like any other system, maintenance is what makes it last. It is critical that all themes and plugins used on your site be regularly updated to ensure the security of your site and that it continues to function the way it should. Also, content needs to be refreshed, especially in the case of an e-commerce site where products are added and removed frequently. Like any other tool, a website needs to earn its keep, so analysis of the performance of the site informs the effectiveness of all of your marketing. It is vital that during the discovery phase consideration is given to who will be doing this work. Do you or does someone on your staff have the time and knowledge necessary to perform these tasks? If not, we will be happy to talk with you about the ways we can support you and your business as it goes forward.
Beyond the Site–Having the best site in the world won’t mean anything if no one can find you. We create this communication conduit between you and your customers. Blog post scheduling, social media tie-ins, changes to content, and integration with other marketing are all offered. We can set up automatic posting to your social media outlets, like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other industry-specific networks. And don’t forget about direct contact. Newsletters emailed regularly to your customer base keeps your business top-of-mind establishing your expertise. We can set up an email campaign to support your marketing efforts with news, sales, tips and tricks, anything you want to share with your customers to establish and maintain a relationship.