When Building a Website is Like Building a House

Not wanting to be guilty of speaking “techie jargon” that the client doesn’t understand, I often use analogies to explain website options and services. While none of my analogies are perfect, I hope they make clearer some of the matters related to websites for most people.

Tract Home or Custom Home?

When selecting a platform for your website, what is more critical for you? Cost vs. Flexibility

If you were having a new home built, there are many approaches you can choose.

A tract home is typically faster to build and less expensive than designing and building a custom-built home. But you will also have less options and flexibility. For example, you can select from perhaps several available floor plans, and choose your paint color and carpeting from the options offered.

In both cases, you can bring whatever furniture (i.e., your website content) you want into each room, but perhaps that gorgeous hardwood table you inherited from your grandparents won’t fit into the tract home’s dining area. In a custom home, you can have the architect design a formal dining room around the dimensions of the table AND that antique rosewood buffet you found that complemented it so nicely. You can even install an elevator to accommodate your aging parent in your custom-designed home.

It is likely you will need to pay substantially more for a custom home, but you can specify pretty much anything you want, as long as it is possible and you have the budget for it.

Of course, just as there are many different tract home developments, there are different website platforms to select from. Each have their own pros and cons, features and functionalities, limitations, and pricing structure.

After learning about your business and website needs, UmeWorks can discuss with you the options that make sense for your specific website and budget, and the options pros and cons for each.

Teeth Cleaning vs. Root Canals

Why It is Important to Maintain Your Website’s Software

Most people don’t enjoy paying for and going for teeth cleanings and oral check-ups. However, keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy can prevent, or at least reduce the risk of, needing often painful and expensive major dental work such as root canals or gum surgery.

For those who have a WordPress-based website, or any other site that has software version updates, I strongly recommend you invest in regular software maintenance service.

Why? Because just like regular dental check-ups and teeth cleaning, most software updates are preventive health measures for your website.  Most updates are for security protection, bug fixes, and compatibility resolution. Yes, some also include new functionality as well.

Having these updates done regularly prevents potential display and functionality issues, and expensive and lengthy clean up to track down and apply a backlog of software updates from WordPress core files, patches, plugins and theme files.

UmeWorks can provide monthly software maintenance of your WordPress site and Machform script.

Are you a Wallflower at Cocktail Parties?

The Importance of Social Media Engagement

So, you’ve been proudly posting regularly to your Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. But no one is commenting or Liking your posts.

Why that may be can be a plethora of reasons (too many to cover here), but one of the reasons can be is because you are a wallflower at the cocktail party. Or worst you’re acting like BMOC*-in-your-own-mind and talking about yourself and how great you and your company are every chance you have.

Think of the other party goers’ reaction. Instead, if you introduce them to others you know and talk them up, perhaps they’ll do the same for you. Some of their friends may even come over and ask you to tell them about you.

*Big Man On Campus

I Want Red Marbles

Why You Should Choose Keyword Phrases Per Web Page

If you want some red marbles, which glass would you choose to get them?  The one on the right that contain the most red marbles, of course.

which glass would you choose to get red marbles?

Imagine that a web page is a glass full of marbles. The marbles are the words (and metadata) on that page.

If you are a local auto repair shop in Torrance and you have expertise in hybrid auto repair. You want hybrid car owners in Torrance to find you. Be sure you have a web page (glass) dedicated to hybrid auto repair so those hybrid car owners in Torrance can find you. Be sure to fill the page with the keywords hybrid auto service Torrance (red marbles).

UmeWorks can help you integrate red marbles into each page of your website.

Learn more about on-page SEO, keyword phrases and red marbles.

How Much Does it Cost to Maintain a Website?

The Cost of Website Maintenance

Congratulations! You’re glad your beautiful website is built. You’re done, right? Well, not quite…. Website owners need to be aware that building their website is only the first part of the process – regular maintenance and updates are as important in keeping your site healthy and effective.

There are two main types of website maintenance:

  1. The first type is updating your website content.
  2. The second type is maintaining the integrity of the website software and programming code. These are what allow your website to display and function.

Just as with most equipment and appliances we use, and especially those that run with software, regular maintenance is required to keep websites running optimally. Software updates to plugins, extensions, and your website framework are needed to reduce bugs and hacking.

How Much Does It Cost You NOT to Maintain Your Website?

You can choose not to do either type of website maintenance, but this is not recommended in both cases because:

  1. Your Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP) can be hurt if you do not update/supplement your content on a consistent basis. Search engines will view your website content as stale, and bias towards websites with fresh, unique content, will serve them up in response to keywords searched.In addition, you need to provide users a reason, i.e., new, valuable content, to return to your website.
  2. Some individuals who opted NOT to keep current with their software updates have come to me for help after their website was no longer displaying properly or was hacked. Most often, more time was spent repairing these websites than regular maintenance would have taken. In some cases, older software updates were no longer available, and the website had to be rebuilt completely with fresh software.

Content Update Maintenance Options

This post-publication choice should be discussed before the website project commences as this can determine the best method/platform on which to build your website.

Option 1: If your website will have frequent content updates and your business has sufficient in-house staff, having a website built on a Content Management System (CMS) is the best option for businesses with non-coders. Your team will be trained on how to make at-will basic website content updates

Option 2: If content updates will be infrequent or your business does not have the bandwidth to make content updates, then outsourcing your content updates to a website firm may be your best option. UmeWorks offers this service and will make content updates to your website per your requests, and bill those at our hourly rate.

Website Software Maintenance Options

Option 1: You can opt to perform the maintenance yourself, depending on your:

  • Technical capability
  • Time available
  • Priorities
  • Budget

Option 2: You can opt to outsource maintenance to a website firm so you can concentrate your efforts on what you do best – building your business and providing service to your clients. UmeWorks offers maintenance service and will check for software update availability, make updates as needed, troubleshoot and resolve compatibility issues at least once per month. You may also opt for updates-as-released maintenance to minimize vulnerability. These services are billed at our hourly rate.

Related Services: Site Security

Recommended services are site monitoring, malware removal and hack response. There are firms that specialize in this such as Sucuri.* You can either manage your account, or hire UmeWorks to respond to alerts for our website on your behalf.

What if you opted not to use this security monitoring service, but your website gets hacked? Sucuri also offers immediate help for hacked site, with various response time price points.

*Disclosure: UmeWorks is an affiliate of Sucuri and may receive compensation for referrals to them from this website.