The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Every company should have a website. There should be no questions or issues about having a website. If you do not have a website, you technically do not exist, at least, online. It will be hard for people to find you, except through the yellow pages of a phonebook or through online reviews for anyone who has bothered to write them about your company – and for those who have written reviews, there are only two types of reviews that could have been written about your company: negative reviews and positive reviews. While relying on this route will certainly give you a very minimal online presence, you should consider having a visual online presence that represents who you are and what you do in your business. You could spend a few hundred to a few thousand dollars setting up a website or you could spend a few hours learning how to make a website and have it up within a few days.
Most web developers would probably kill me for sharing this information, but what we do is not hard nor is it complicated. It can, however, be very tedious and challenging, depending on what a client wants and how much customization they want. We like to put on the perception that what web developers do is a lot of work and complicated, but no, in many occasions, it’s not. The tasks we do can range from very easy to extremely complicated – and it all depends on the client. It is not always the easiest thing in the world and requires some learning, patience, and practice, especially if you want customization and advanced coding done, but anyone can be a web designer or a web developer. No college degree necessary and no experience with any code of any kind is even necessary. You should have a basic understanding of computers and browsing the Internet. That is about all you will need to know.
Most coding and setting up of a website nowadays is done through a Content Management System or CMS. If businesses and web developers had to hand code everything — at one point, this was the only way to do things — but new programming languages were developed that allowed for the easy development of websites to evolve, also known as a web framework or web application framework. Now many websites are set up and completed in minutes to just a few hours with a point and click system and a few pages that require your input.
While I could go over several CMS including Joomal, Drupal, Magenta, and a personal favorite of mine, ocPortal, which comes with just about everything you could want in a website, I am only going to tell about a rising framework that is becoming ever more popular with and used by many large corporations and universities. Rather than hire a single web developer who is the only one who can run the website, many companies are turning to WordPress, which allows for multiple Web Developers to develop on the website without interfering too much in each other’s work. The Content Management System is known as WordPress. And you can set it up in about 5 minutes.
The creator of WordPress wanted to make sure that everyone could use WordPress and could easily understand it. To test his theory and the ease of use, he had his own mother create a website and use the WordPress framework. She was able to do it with ease, and from there on out, she was developing websites while still taking care of her precious son. Yes, so easy that any mother can do it while changing diapers, getting the kids ready for school, getting the kids from school, helping the kids with homework, cooking dinner, and even while spending time with her husband and her children.
You can develop a website any time and anywhere with distractions! So is my sharing this information going to kill the business for web developers? Not at all. There is still a great demand for us and the demand is only growing. Companies are still going to hire and need web developers for the next 10 years until something better comes along and everything becomes completely automated with point and click and speak. Even then, companies will probably still need web developers.
Why do companies and people still need to hire web developers? Honestly, the owner of a company is focused on his or her business. They do not have the time to sit down and learn how to set up a WordPress website or create pages and write on the blog. They would much prefer to hire someone to do it for them. Why not, especially if the services are good and they can afford it. If a business owner spends more of his time on his website and less of the time running his business, the business will ultimately suffer and possibly fail. The website is a forefront to represent the business and in most cases is not the actual business itself. There are plenty of E-Commerce websites where the owner solely relies on the sales from that E-Commerce store, but it would probably cost less to hire a professional to set up an attractive store than to learn how to do it.
There are still some store owners and companies that would prefer to hire in-house and pay an employee to upkeep the website. This is certainly manageable as well. Other company owners may prefer to still do it themselves. If this is the case, you can do it in 5 minutes and if you’re willing to learn some code, you can even customize your own website.
The Ebook, The Basics of WordPress, will teach you everything you need to know about getting started with WordPress and immediately begin developing your own company website. In order to receive the free Ebook, you may subscribe to the IdeaLady Insider to gain ideas to grow your businesses by email.
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I was not endorsed or paid by the IdeaLady to write this article. I am subscribed to her newsletter and I downloaded and read her Ebook myself and, after having read the Ebook, wrote this article to provide to you information to help you get started on your own personal or company website. I fully endorse the contents inside of The Basics of WordPress.
Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.