Build and Release Websites
At Flying Cloud Design we want you to own your own website. For the small business owner, start-up or individual this is a good entry into managing a website. We design, build then release your website to you, for you to own — including hosting. Hosting is set-up for one year with a domain, an email account, and usually a back-up security plan.
Flying Cloud Design helps define and organize content, flow and user experience. Your site will look and perform beautifully from the inside out. Written content is created web-friendly, with page info added for search engines. Images are optimized and meta data is inserted with descriptions for web crawlers. Professional photography and competent SEO writing is essential to make this work. Their builds are responsive and will look good on desktop and mobile devices.
Brochure and Blog-type websites
There are many web builder tools out there. Some geared toward full blown ecommerce, and others better used for government agencies. Flying Cloud Design selected WordPress for the brochure and blog-type websites. This is the optimal choice for their client-base. It offers ease of use by the end user, and developer support. That said, it is easy to edit yourself, or to find someone to help.
What they really do, is help get your message out in the best light possible. They care about your success and want you to look good.
What to know about a WordPress website?
WordPress is a popular website builder platform which is written in PHP and database driven. It uses a Content Management System (CMS). This makes it ideal for editing. It is the leading CMS with over 60% of the billion websites out there. It is a great tool for blogging as well as building flat brochure-type websites. These sites are cost effective in that the client can easily make simple edits without having to pay hundreds of dollars to a developer or agency. It also makes it easier for developers to add and change code. Because of the database it’s easy to collect and sort information.
See the WordPress video tutorials to learn more.
How long will the site last?
Shelf life for a website can be short unless you have planned for easy expansion and upgrades. WordPress is part of an open source software project. This means upgrades to the platform are free or by donation. It also means there are hundreds of people around the world adding to the code and framework. Over time this has enabled the ease of use, simplifying insertion of videos, creating mobile friendly responsive sites and more. As the technology advances, developers start implementing current trends.
This type of platform allows for programmers to add snippets and applications which can be added to the framework. Many third-party applications can be plugged into the framework. These mini applications can be simple or advanced. Some are free, some are not. Some are bought, or licensed, or by donation. Often a developer will offer a free version and a paid-for version with more functions. Most all WordPress sites use these plugins. We use them for SEO, security, forms and site specific needs.
WordPress uses themes much like PowerPoint uses templates, the overall look can be change somewhat easily. If your site starts to look old in a couple of years it can be re-themed, or have a new template applied.
Editing a site – the short story
The User Logs-in and accesses pages in a content editor (somewhat similar to editing a Word doc). Once the edits are made the page can be viewed.
The sites which Flying Cloud Design builds uses a third-party theme company which applies an extended web builder module tool. The module tool allows the user to access the pages on the front end. The user can make live edits while viewing the page, depending on how the page was set-up. Modules may be added using a drag and drop editor.
The WordPress install, theme, and plugins need occasional maintenance. When an upgrade is released for WordPress many hosting companies will automatically upgrade the WordPress install — and nothing more is needed. These upgrades can add functionality, but at times, are necessary for fixing bugs or increasing security. WordPress is popular and like anything else online, may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks and hackers.
Every once in a while, check for new upgrade releases on the theme and plugins and keep everything up to date. (or ask your developer to check). This will prevent the site from hack-attacks or possible down-time.
At Flying Cloud Design, when a client submits edits, they also check for upgrade releases. Clients may also opt-in for a maintenance plan – which means checking your site and make the necessary updates. It’s good to keep on top of your website. Adding new content routinely will help in search engine ranking.
What are the occurring costs?
You will need to pay for hosting and the domain. Hosting is like renting space on a hard drive where all your files reside. Your domain (mycomapny.com), will also need to be renewed where it’s registered. We like to see the domain and hosting with the same company. However, the domain may reside somewhere other than your hosting company. For instance, your domain may be registered at Go Daddy, but the hosting is at Blue Host, or Host Gator, or Site Ground, or other an other hosting service. The cost for hosting and domain may run about $150/year. Plugins or themes may need to be upgraded yearly as well. This is usually a minimal charge.
Let people find you
I’ve been asked a lot about SEO. Basically, buy ads. The more your pay Google the higher your ranking. Not to be cynical, but there’s some truth to this. I implement SEO on all my sites. I build in a good architecture which is easy for web crawlers to read. The structure of the pages, building site maps and adding page info, titles, URL naming conventions is the part you don’t see, that is, till you come up in a search.
There are many companies offering SEO services. I’m a little cautious about using SEO services. They may have methods with good intention, then Google will ban their method and you’ll end up with a lower ranking.
You can drive people to your site through advertising, social media, news releases, and getting link backs from high ranking sites.
The best way to rank high is to offer something someone wants. Keep things straight forward, honest and current. And don’t try to trick Google, they’re much smarter than us.