The Digital World seems to create more questions than answers for people who don’t have a lot of experience with websites – and sometimes even for the ones who do.
Here at Alpha Digital we build most of our websites using the WordPress content management system. This means that, besides looking great, our websites also have an easy to use system that allows editing of the text, images and adding new content without touching a line of code. Sounds great, right?
However, if you are new to having a website you might still have lots of questions. That’s no problem, but we have found that not everyone wants to ask many of those questions in fear of appearing a bit ‘behind the times’. We’ve decided to try and answer a few of those here and remind you that we all had to start somewhere! When it comes to websites, it is definitely better to ask than to be in the dark – no question is too basic or simple here!
The WordPress core can be downloaded and used by everyone for free – that is absolutely right. It is a beautifully made Content Management System that can be used straight out of the box and even comes with a couple of free themes. However the developers behind WordPress intentionally have not added too many extra features to the core files to keep it lean and agile. If you are after a simple blog – you probably don’t need to engage a developer. However, if your dream website needs to feature the colours of your brand, have custom icons and buttons, multiple pages and a quote form – the WordPress core needs to be extended to include all of those extras. This will probably require the expertise of a web developer.
In order for your website to be always available for your potential customers, there are several services that you have to pay for on top of the fees charged by the website developer:
1) Domain name – that is the URL people will type in to find your website online. For example, for us it is alphadigital.com.au. It is important that you secure a domain name that features your business name or your core service, depending on the type of the business you have.
2) Hosting – your website’s files and text needs to be stored somewhere. This is so your potential customer can access it any time (like a shopfront that is open 27/7). With a brick-and-mortar store you have to pay rent for the building, whereas with a website you’ll need space in a giant computer that is constantly up and running so your website is always available.
3) Email hosting – if you would like to use email addresses that match the domain name of your website that may cost extra. Just ask!
4) Maintenance – a website needs regular checkups and maintenance to keep up with the updates and protect your website from being hacked.
All of the above are vital for your website and emails to be available, so be careful with renewing those services on time! Your website may not be available if you don’t!
Here at Alpha Digital, we do not have our own servers to host your website on. We do however have a couple of Australian companies we have been working with on an on-going basis, and we can definitely provide advice on what hosting, email and domain registration solution would suit your website best. We also provide a one-off setup service, which includes getting the domain registration, hosting and emails up and running, and then handing them over to you in an easy to follow document. This way, you will know exactly what services you have and when they are due for renewal.
The downside to the popularity of WordPress is that the free access to the files has made it a very popular target for hacker attacks. WordPress contributors regularly release new versions of the system to remove potentially vulnerable parts of the code, which is why keeping the WordPress version up to date is so important.
First of all, asking a website developer about getting to the top of Google is the same as asking a plumber about a gas leak. Whilst a developer may have some knowledge of digital marketing strategies, these are very much different fields of expertise. That being said, having a good website definitely helps in getting to the top position in search results. Search Engine Optimisation is based around ensuring your customers can easily find your business on Google, but it is a long-term strategic process that involves much more than website development. If your new website is still not appearing in the search results, it might be a good idea to speak to a Digital Marketing specialist.
If any of the above answered some of your questions – great. It was never aimed at answering all of them though, so if something is still unclear don’t fret! As a specialist digital agency, we are happy to provide support to our clients every step of the way – so don’t hesitate to contact us. Explaining difficult concepts in simple terms is one of our favourite things to do!