Websites for small businesses. Which way?

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A website is, with no doubt, an essential part of a business. In the past, and not so long ago, a web site was just a business card on the internet. Having your telephone number and address was more than adequate. Today, just a simple web site is not enough and it may have a negative impact on your business.

Today, a web site is more like the platform to connect with your clients. It must provide accurate information about the business product or services and provide your opinions, thoughts and business activity through blog and social media that are connected to the site.

Many small businesses pay a web developer to design and develop the web site. However, after the deployment, it is really hard to change the content or to improve its functionality. For minor content changes, the business usually has to pay their IT support (on an hourly rate). If the change is more complicated (e.g. a new feature) that needs structural changes, the business may end up paying a lot more that initially predicted.

In Fehons, and for both web sites (fehons.com.au and fehonsgrow.com.au) we used WordPress a free framework for building web sites. It is particularly popular for small businesses.  To be honest, Wordpress requires someone to have some technical knowledge. Your staff will will have to spend some time in training and hands-on experience. However, they will be compensated by the flexibility to have control on the business web content.

With WordPress you can choose one of thousands free themes available online. Most of the themes incorporate the latest design trends (e.g. responsive design, which is the ability the web site to be shaped differently depending on the medium, mobile or desktop). They usually offer a free and a premium version. Just type in “free WordPress templates” in your web search machine and it is highly unlikely not to find a theme that covers your needs.

Training material is also available for free. Just type in “Free training material for WordPress” and you will find tutorials to begin with.  In the past we used a paid service lynda.com, and some of our staff attended the “WordPress essentials” package. The training was well structure and straight to the point and we highly recommend it if you are willing to pay.

WordPress is free. It is an open source software and you can find more information in www.wordpress.org.

Moving to WordPress improved the way we connect with our clients and audience. We are a lot more flexible and in control of our content. That’s what a small business needs.

Websites for small businesses. Which way?
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