Responsive and Optimised WordPress Websites
Our preferred content management system is WordPress. It is a popular choice for businesses and website owners world wide, by some estimates it powers up to one quarter of the web. Designing, building and managing thousands of WordPress websites has given us a chance to encounter just about every situation you could imagine and we take a very ‘can do’ approach to solving problems and implementing your ideas and design.
The scale of the WordPress usage makes it possible for us to get free and paid plugins (addons) that extend the core functionality at a dramatically reduced cost than if we had to develop everything from scratch. We have a general aversion to using custom built, in house systems that are not widely available. Sometimes it is necessary but for most promotional business websites, shopping carts and blogs, WordPress works just fine.
The websites we create a mobile responsive, optimised to Google requirements and designed to suit your business branding and content
WP is also pre-optimised for SEO. There are always best practices to follow, and there are tools which can be added to WP to enhance SEO, but WP sites are ready for Google right out of the box.
WordPress also makes it very easy to maintain your blog, and to embed the blog in your site. Writing the blog on WordPress is really just adding new pages and content to the site, which helps Google to see that the site is active and interesting things are happening there. The blog can be used to reinforce Keywords and topics on the main pages, and WordPress provides a nice Tagging tool so that you can interlink posts of similar topics. It is a simple matter to send alerts to all of your Social Media connections when there is a new post on the blog, and that traffic will be seen as positive by Google.
Our experience with using pre-made WordPress templates and why we avoid using them.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of using a pre-made WordPress template only to find that it would have been simpler to build the website from a simple standard framework and add in features as required. We have found that even though the upfront cost to code a site is more than buying a template that buying templates tends to be false economy. If you buy a template you get stuck with whatever features the developer creates, usually a bunch of features you won’t use.
Eventually the developer may abandon the theme and you are stuck with a bunch of code that is quite difficult to work with. Premade themes often include all sorts of extra code, sometimes licenced by the developer and hey may not be updated regularly
It is not unusual for a complex premade theme to have ongoing security issues and be a target for hacking. One example of this was that there was a major hack of a certain image thumbnail creating addon that many developers were using and we had to find all the sites using that code and replace it.
It may still be sensible and appropriate for you to use a premade theme. If the lifespan of your website is not expected to be long or if you don’t care too much about whether you can customise the design later then a premade theme could be fine.
Just about every time we start from a template the review process results in people asking for changes to a template that are costly to do compared to working with a trusted framework. So whilst we often use an existing template like one from template monster for inspiration we almost never buy or use them.
Key insights from this video of Matt Cutts speaking about WordPress
- wordpress automatically solves a ton of seo issues… the mechanics of search optimisation
- you want to have people know about you, you want those people to be reputable
- there is a tension between relevance (what you say on your website and how) and reputable (what people say about you).
- your website needs to be on topic, something that you care about, write often and with enthusiasm
- keywords are important
- what keywords do your clients use to find your products and services
- throw in one or two variants that people might type of keywords
- you can overdo it, google doesn’t say include a keywords 400 times, just a few times on a page is fine
- don’t bold every keyword all the time
- how do you get more reputation… to be more known… be interesting
- add new insight to a topic, add something of value
- update often so that people want to come looking for whats new
- the secret of blogging… katamari… start small… start in a niche where you can do well
- then build up and build up.. rollup other topics into your blog gradually
- original research and reporting is an outstanding way to ‘add value’
- its really easy to do video, it can drive a lot of attention to your site and google really loves video
- things you should not do….
- if something looks too good to be true it probably is, don’t publish spammy BS
- don’t spam
- keep wordpress updated
At Jezweb, we love WordPress and we’re sure you will too.
Matt Cutts of Google on WordPress
Matt Cutts comes on stage at about 21sec in from the start of the clip and speaks for 45min. Matt Cutts is the head of Google’s spam team talked about the basics of how Google search works and how you can boost your site’s results in Google searches. He also talks about how WordPress takes care of 80-90% of Google’s crawling issues simply because it makes an excellent platform for not only blogging but for any web site.