Deciding to upgrade your website can be a big move for a small business. There are so many decent themes available for platforms like WordPress that it is easier than ever for entrepreneurs and startups to look good online, but if you are growing as a business there comes a time when you start to think about ways to solidify your brand online.
How can you tell if you are ready to spend money on customizing your website and how can you make sure that you get the most out of it? Make sure you’re ready to take the next step by asking yourself these three simple questions:
Do you really know why you want to upgrade your website?
So many people know that they need a website for their business, or understand that their current website looks dated, but when I ask them, “What do you want your website to do for your business?” they invariably say, “Um. . . I guess I want more customers?”
Of course the goal of any custom web design and development project should be to increase revenue for the business, but “have a website” is not a clear path to increased revenue.
Is there a specific demographic that your company is trying to reach? Do you want to sell products online? Would you like to create a members only forum and build a loyal community of repeat customers? Would you like to capture emails so that you can market your services to interested people in a weekly newsletter?
Before you spend money on design make sure you know what exactly your website is being designed to do. What do you want your website to do for your business?
Are you firmly committed to your brand identity?
If you haven’t developed your brand to the point where making drastic changes to the overall look and feel of your website seems like a big deal that could impact the business as a whole, you can probably get away with some basic consultation. Ask a WordPress pro to discuss your goals and suggest the right plugins and a suitable theme. You can expect to pay for consultation, but it shouldn’t cost as much as custom WordPress theme development by a long shot.
Unless you have a fairly clear idea of your brand and message, professional WordPress design and development services are likely a waste of your time and money. You should probably find a good marketing consultant first.
However, if you know who your clients are and what they expect from your brand; if you have a clear vision of where you want your business to go and how you plan to get there, hiring a WordPress Pro to help you meet the technical requirements on your journey might be just the thing your business needs.
Do you have time to research different themes and plugins for various features you may want?
And more to the point, can you tell the difference between a well crafted theme and a theme that is nicely packaged but amounts to leftover scraps from other development projects?
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons to hire a pro is that as a business owner you understand trading money for the ability to effectively leverage your time. You hire an accountant rather than spend your time learning Tax Law even though the information is public and anyone can learn to do the required math, hiring a WordPress professional is no different.
Hiring a WordPress pro can save you countless hours of searching for plugins and themes that will play nice with each other and will continue to work well through multiple upgrades.
Goals, Branding, and Effectiveness
Being clear about those three things can help you make a good decision when it comes time to refurbish your WordPress site.
Know what you want your website to accomplish and set tangible goals to inform your designer. Decide if you are ready to solidify your brand image and develop a custom theme that looks and feels like your company. And don’t forget to consider the effectiveness of how you spend your time as a business owner. If you are like many of the entrepreneurs I know, you may not be able to afford NOT to hire a professional to help you reach your goals.
If you know you are ready to build your online marketing platform with a WordPress specialist you can trust, contact me today and let’s talk about how we can reach your goals.