Building a Website
1. Website Consultation
…to discuss your needs and desired outcomes, consider your options, assess your competition, and map out strategies to achieve optimal results.
This is were we learn about you, your business, and your goals. We ask questions like:
- How does your business work?
- What do you want your website to accomplish?
- Who is your audience?
- What search phrases would they use to find you?
- Who are your competition?
- What is their web presence?
- What extended functions should be included?
The availability of suitable materials for the website is assessed. These could include, ad copy, images, logos, brochures, etc. Some projects may require additional resources such as a copy writer, photographer, video producer, or marketing agency.
2. Website Design
…to create a website with the look and feel that will deliver your message.
Designing a website involves listening, research and bringing together page layout, artwork, images, and functions in a tasteful and compelling manner.
The objective of website design is two-fold:
- A website that is Search Engine friendly and anticipates the nuances of its algorithms
- A website that engages the intended audience and compels them to respond
3. Website Development
…to transform design elements into code and database.
A website is built with code, most commonly HTML, CSS, PHP, and Java Script.
Modern tools such as the Divi theme and its Extensive Page Builder enable the expression of design into code with great outcomes.
A very extensive market of theme Plugins (tens of thousands) offer an enormous variety of pre-coded modules for extended functionality such as:
Other tools like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are used for the manipulation of images and digital illustrations.
4. Website Deployment
…to activate the website on the web by linking a domain name to a hosting service account.
All of the code and content of a website resides in an hosting account that is built at various stages of the implementation process.
The website is registered with index services like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Google Analytics is installed and configured. Other indexing services like Yelp are subscribed.
Backups are arranged, security software is configured, and the reporting of performance statistics set up.
5. Website Support
…so the website remains secure, software is kept current, and content is updated.
Defending against malicious hacking attempts is essential to the viability of a website. It requires on-going monitoring using appropriate tools and implementing adjustments as new threats emerge.
All software components require updates as frequently as once per month. The updates must be tested to make sure they do not conflict with other software modules.
Website content is time sensitive to varying degrees thus requiring periodic refreshing along with occasional client tweaks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is WordPress?
At its core, WordPress is the simplest, most popular way to create a website or blog. In fact, WordPress powers over 29% of all the websites on the Internet.
On a slightly more technical level, WordPress is an open-source content management system licensed under GPLv2, which means that anyone can use or modify it. Installed on your Hosting Service Account along with a Theme, it’s a tool that makes it easy to develop and manage important aspects of your website.
Thousands of plugins and templates power a flexible and simple interface, which reduces development costs and deployment time. View a brief introductory video below:
Why do I need a Website?
- It enhances your business credibility/legitimacy
- Your customers expect it
- Your competitors have a website
- It provides a showcase for your products and services
- It attracts new leads and customers
What is a Hosting Service?
A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed in the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers. Top providers’ offerings include redundant data centers equipped with many computer servers, disks, com-gear, operating systems, database management systems, security, email, and support staff.
Site Ground is one of three Hosting providers recomended by WordPress.org
“We’ve dealt with more hosts than you can imagine; in our opinion, the hosts below represent some of the best and brightest of the hosting world.”
What is a search engine?
Search engines include Google, Bing, Yahoo, and more. When someone searches for a product or service you offer on your website, it’s the search engine that determines if your website should be included in the search results and if it should appear on page 1 or further back.
Here is a brief video by the software engineers that develop search engines:
What is a Mobile Friendly website?
According to Google, a website must include the following features to be classified as “mobile friendly” by their Googlebots:
1. It avoids software that is not common on mobile devices (like Flash),
2. Uses text that is readable without zooming,
3. Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom,
4. Places links far enough apart so that the correct on can be easily tapped.
Mobile-based searches make up one-quarter of all web searches (Mobify), so whether it’s being able to easily read content on any screen or having a page that loads at the snap of a finger, it’s never been more important to ensure that your website meets these standards.
Here is a link to Google were you can test your website to see if it’s mobile friendly: Mobile Friendly Test
What is a website? domain? URL?
In digital terms, a website is a collection of content, often on multiple pages, that is grouped together under the same domain. You can think of it like a store, where the domain is the store name, the URL is the store address, and the website is the actual store, with shelves full of products and a cash register.
In order to create a website, you need a few things:
- A domain name (such as yoursite.com)
- A domain registrar and host (such as InMotion Hosting, GoDaddy, 1on1, etc.)
- A web designer or a do-it-yourself website builder
- Digital content — the text, images, videos, and other media that visitors will see when they come to your site.
What is a Secure website?
Until recently, most website owners have not had to worry about special measures to secure their web pages unless they were conducting eCommerce transactions, or collecting sensitive information such as medical or banking data. But now all that is changing.
Google now officially recommends securing websites with HTTPS, which means that not only will this be important for organizations that want their websites to perform well in search, but more and more visitors will come to expect it.
In short, website security is no longer something for only certain types of websites to worry about – it’s a best practice for all businesses and organizations that want to optimize their search engine performance, establish credibility with visitors, and maintain a professional web presence.
What is a “Secure” Website Anyhow?
Website security covers many areas , but for the purposes being discussed here, it means that the website utilizes SSL , which stands for Secure Socket Layer, a standard security technology that establishes an encrypted connection between a web server and a browser, with the URL being prefixed with “HTTPS” rather than the standard and unsecure “HTTP” (with that extra “S” standing for “Secure”).
Put simply, SSL secures the information that is shared between you (the browser) and the website that you are viewing or interacting with. Any information that you normally submit to a website (or retrieve from a site) is sent as plain text and can be viewed if an attacker is able to intercept the information. SSL encrypts the information that is shared between the browser and the web server, so that even if a user’s information is intercepted by someone who is not supposed to have it they will not be able to read the data.
It’s not hard to understand why SSL has historically been considered a best practice for any website that is processing transactions with sensitive data such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, personal health records, or login credentials. Now, SSL is becoming a best practice standard for all websites, including those that do not necessarily process sensitive data.
Google Wants You to Have a Secure Website
Back in 2014, Google introduced the idea of “HTTPS everywhere” and also indicated that websites using SSL would receive a small search benefit from https as a ranking signal. You would think that these public declarations would have been enough to get everyone using HTTPS as a new standard, but that never really happened on a wide scale outside of cCommerce sites that were already using HTTPS anyhow. But in 2016 Google really changed the game when they updated their Chrome browser to explicitly identify sites that do not use HTTPS as “Unsecure”.
Browsers Now Shame Unsecured Websites
You may have noticed that most common desktop browsers such Internet Explorer, Chrome, FireFox, and even mobile browsers, such as Chrome on Android, and Safari on iOS prominently show lock icons to indicate when a site is secure via HTTPS. Chrome in particular goes a step further by labeling standard HTTP sites as “unsecure”, as you can see in these examples (the same page for wholefoodsmarket.com viewed in Chrome – one with HTTP, and the other with HTTPS).
What is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO is short for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.
Below are some specific SEO considerations about a pages content:
- The focus keyword appears in the first paragraph of the copy.
- The keyword density is not too low.
- The images on this page alt attributes containing the focus keyword.
- Page has no broken links.
- The length of the meta description is sufficient.
- The focus keyword appears in a sufficient number of subheadings in your copy.
- The meta description contains the focus keyword.
- The text contains more than minimum of 300 words.
350 Linden Ave.
Wilmette, IL 60091