Brochure site - a 2-3 page web site that simply states who your company is, where you do business, and how to contact you. This is really an important first step to help people find you. How this is done is important, for how you begin can have lasting future repercussions.
A brochure site satisfies the "well I have to have something on-line, I guess" reasoning of a business owner who is not very pro-web. It is a fading value base, since the power of internet usage in the marketplace is undeniable. However, there are those businesses who for whatever reason, just do not want a larger on-line presence other than allowing folks to find their location via an on-line static brochure type of web site. These static, "probably will not change in the next 5 years" sites are often referred to as brochure sites. They provide the ability for a possible brick and mortar customer to find your address or phone number on-line, and simply see if you are still in business. A brochure site can take one to two days. One day is reserverd for getting a "design" approved, whether that design is from a pre-made template, or custom made for you. Then, day two is used to implement the design and post the content you asked to have included on your site.
- wordpress installation and design integration.
The benefits of WordPress are speed to launch, the ability to update the site yourself, as well as plug and play various development options created specifically for the WordPress platform by WordPress savvy developers, often offered as free "plugins". If the controls and plugins available in WordPress are all you need, then you can have this kind of site active in two days. One day is again typically reserved to finalize a design or template and implement that design, and the second day in posting the content you desire into the design.
- a site that does more than sit there - offering on-line product and / or requires a company admin, employees, and/or customers to log in. A site that manages your customers, your leads, possibly integrates with your sales program, your inventory program, and so forth.
This project brings with it a new level of complexity. Some people think that they will begin with a WordPress site, and then hire a coder later to make it do exactly what they need. But later on, when that business owner needs customization of the core code to allow special functionality, such as a specialized customer login, a special shipping grid, an interactive page, or what have you, they find to their chagrin that getting WordPress customized this deeply is a tall order. You can see more information about this and perhaps get some insight by using my interactive activity: "How to Hire a Coder"
. I did not make this activity to push my own services, but to inform.
The best approach to a custom web site is iterative process design. You get up version one of your site, which has your core functionality. Then every month or so, add to your site and change or tailor your site, based on how customers are using it, and what next modules are deemed most important to you. When you find that a series of customers drop off a certain page, how can that page be changed to capture those potential customers? Iterative design continually improves what you have, builds on it, and continuously tests, as well as adds modules that were deemed able to be implemented at a later stage (month 2, month 3...). Because your project is on-line in stages, it is the most cost effective way to develop a web site. Google "iterative design", it really is the best way to develop a smart and effective web site.
The bottom line is, any one of these three options might be what you need to get started. Most web developers can give you some free advice about which direction is the best first step for your particular business. So find one and ask! Want to ask me? firstname.lastname@example.org