We’re definitely interested in seeing your website reach its full potential. And we know full well how hard it can be to navigate the wonderful World of website development. Today, we open the mail and we answer three questions that we often get. We sincerely hope that we’ll shed some light on the matter!
“What’s the best way to choose appropriate content for my website?”
This is an important question. The answer will set the colours and the flavour of your website. On its website, a law firm doesn’t typically post pictures of its last corporate fishing trip, right? Of course not, but you get the picture.
First, we advise our clients to schedule photo shoots so that they have their own images. Why? We don’t want to have the same shots that have been seen over and over, it gives an impersonal feel to your site. This is especially true for an e-commerce. As customers, we want to get a glimpse of what we’re going to buy!
It’s easier to get a sense of a company’s philosophy and culture when you can take a peek at its work environment, get a feel for it. Click here and here for a little example. If a potential client has to choose to do business with one of two sites offering the same service, he’s going to choose the one that seems the most trustworthy. Why? Because we, as humans, don’t just buy services and products, first and foremost, we buy the people that are behind them.
After the pictures, comes the text. Everything stems from the integration strategy of the content that must be true to the target market. It’s okay to have a website with a casual and friendly feel to it, but only if it suits your industry. If you’re an anti-corruption prosecutor for example, you’re not going to list a suspected firm as a sponsor, you’d lose all credibility.
Beyond the actual tone, we analyze its key words to have a better natural indexing and thus increase the traffic. Is this all gibberish to you? We can translate it for you! Give us a call if you’d like to optimize your content. The most important thing is that you stay on the path you chose.
In other words, a website’s content is kind of like home staging. People like it when a place is furnished and decorated, it’s warm and inviting, even online. You want your clients to feel good and at ease on your website.
“My WordPress site is slow, what could be causing this?”
When this question comes up, here’s the first thing we ask: is it a custom built theme or premium theme purchased online? Should it be the latter, a couple of things might be triggering the loss of speed.
A theme purchased online on a marketplace operates with a lot of different features to suit many users and accommodate as many markets as possible. It may look good at first sight, but it can put you at a disadvantage. Let us explain: when we build a customized theme for a client, our coding is tailored to his needs, and stays clear of anything unnecessary.
When someone goes for a premade theme, which already contains a lot of integrated features that we won’t necessarily need for our purposes (same as if a car salesman wanted to sell you a race car with all the bells and whistles when a bicycle is all you really need), the site may have a tendency to slow down.
Another reason for the slow speed might be that someone is building a theme themselves without having the required development knowledge, and is adding many plugins. WordPress may be one of the most accessible platforms out there, allowing you to make a ton of interesting stuff, but the same can’t be said about the validation process for the plugin library. As a result, one of the first things we do when a client comes to us because of a slow site, we deactivate all the plugins. If the problem persists, we change the theme and replace it with the default WordPress theme developed and optimized by the WordPress community. Most of the time, it’s enough to fix the problem.
Another thing that may cause a site to lag behind is the hosting. Is the server efficient? Can the server handle the extra traffic? Can the server hardware handle the extra visitors? If you answered no to any of these, we would recommend an upgrade to boost the performance.
The trouble can also arise from images that are not optimized, in other words, if their format is too big, which in turn slows the site down (a big nuisance for Google by the way, but also for its users!). On the Web, pictures should be compressed and optimized. To do so, we save pictures under a web format in Photoshop, and a compression is automatically performed. Yet sometimes, that’s not enough. There are tools that you can use to compress a picture up to 70 or even 80% of its original size.
You may also ask yourself whether the site is cached. Without going into too much technical details, if the site isn’t cached, every time a request is made, it’s as if you asked the server to go fetch information in the database, to roll this code out and generate the home page. However, for a cached website, it’s as if you asked the server to take a picture of the home page and to store a record of it that can be accessed the next time, rather than having to generate the entire site all over again. Here’s another way to look at it: without a cache, when you turn the TV on, you have to go through every channel before getting to the one you want; by contrast, with a cache, your favourite channel pops up automatically when you turn the TV on. In the first scenario, you lose a lot of time.
Finally, the quality of the programming code also has an impact on a site’s speed. If it was coded the wrong way, or if the programming language dates back to the second World War (we might be exaggerating a tad), that’s why the site is performing poorly. In any case, don’t get the lack of speed take you down, take action. Why don’t you give us a call, we’ll have a look at it together.
“Why is it more expensive to create a tailored website than to buy a premade template?”
It’s better to build a website using a premade template than to have no website at all; no argument there. Especially if your budget is very limited. That being said, one has to realize that such a website will never be as efficient as a customized website, tailored to hit its performance targets and reach the intended clientele. When you deal with an agency, you acquire an expertise and an entire thought process that eventually leads to the design of your website.
Picture someone learning how to cut their own hair through YouTube tutorials, instead of going to a barber or a hair dresser. Out of the two, we don’t need to tell you who gives the most professional and better looking haircut. The brainstorming meetings and the analyses conducted ahead of time are precious, it’s the foundation on which we build the wireframe, the interfaces, the visuals and the programming designed specifically for the client. And above all, we allow for the site’s evolution through time. As a result, when the company expends and starts playing in the big leagues, we get bigger too (just not our heads) and we walk that path alongside. We want your site to be unique and to be like nothing else out there.
You won’t get the package deal service we offer by buying a template online. For someone who doesn’t know how to operate WordPress, creating a database, configuring the system, or integrating the content can be a real nightmare, whereas we make it look easy. More importantly, following the creation of your website, you aren’t hung out to dry. We’re by your side, providing you some advice and recommendations. Besides, when you subscribe to a maintenance plan and performance monitoring, such as this, you’re in good hands. Keep in mind that if your website is well built, you can ride the wave for a few years. And don’t forget that it’s the sites that receive the most love that perform the best!