Mommatown has been making web sites since 1994.

Located in: Jacksonville, FL
sally's coding portfolio
sally's design portfolio


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 Site - wordpress installation and design integration.

The benefits of WordPress are speed to launch, the ability to update the site yourself from day one, as well as plug and play for various development options created specifically for the WordPress platform by WordPress savvy developers. If the controls and plugins available in WordPress are all you need, then you can have this kind of site active in one to two days, depending on how much content you need to fill the new site with. It only takes a couple of hours to plop a WordPress engine and WordPress design template onto a server, it's tweaking the styling, editing the page layout, and adding the content, that takes up the rest of the time.

Be sure what commitment you are getting from the people who will be adding your WordPress site. I have seen hosting services offer WordPress for 100 bucks, and all they did was slap a WordPress frame and a design template up, and then washed their hands of it. The site owner, expecting to have his imagery, logo, products and page content up, or expecting to have help editing the design colors and menus and so forth, was left with that work, and they were not aware that this minimal help was all their payment covered.

WordPress can be customized internally by a coder who knows how to handle the WordPress framework. Therefore, 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, once their needs get more complex. But later on, when that business owner needs customization of the core code to allow special functionality, they find to their chagrin that getting WordPress customized this deeply is a tall order. Customization only makes the system more and more needlessly complex and fragile as every function of WordPress and the installed plugins now become "cluged" or "manhandled" to force the next customized thing to work with the last customized thing. Sometimes the whole system becomes so sensitive that you are afraid to run a standard update on your WordPress system and thereby lose your customizations, and this is dangerous because WordPress updates fix security holes. I've heard more than one programmer say "Don't touch X plugin or you'll break the site." That plugin probably can not be updated and if so, is a security risk. Remember, every plugin is created "out there" by a different "team" they were created to work within WordPress, but they were not created to work together.

So, WordPress is great for a blog, a brochure type static site, or as a quick "version one" of your more dynamic business. But, if you are growing your product line or page count by the dozens, convert the site to a custom site before your site grows large, or else that conversion will costs you many thousands.
Custom Site

You want to go with a custom site when you need some deeper functionality such as a shopping cart or other dynamic content and you are aware that WordPress will not meet your needs. WordPress and the related plugins, do offer shopping carts and such, but every web owner that I have met that had begun their "power site" with WordPress became stuck when their site could not do something, whether it be a certain way of calculating shipping and handling, or a certain way of displaying their product, setting up special product menus, or some other complex function. However, a purely custom site can be made to do anything you need - it can be a site that manages your customers, integrates with your sales program, does marketing for you, posts to social media, trains employees, connects to your inventory program, and so forth.

With a custom site, everything stays solid and is made to work natively with everything else.

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 has been around for a while. It's a way of viewing your web site as an ongoing marketing and sales piece that can be continually improved, added on to, and rearranged, in order to reach more customers, capture more sales, and move with the market and with user preferences. 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! You can see more information about this here: "How to Hire a Coder". I did not make this activity to push my own services, but to inform.
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Mommatown began with me Sally, a mom, who learned to code web sites in the early 90's as a hobby. Eventually, my daughter signed on as a junior coder, and we two became "Mommatown". We've coded and created together ever since, and now, many web jobs later, Mommatown is still going strong.

Sally's open to take on freelance work on a limited basis. Email for information.

Fun News: I finally wrote a book Purple Rain Sprinkles

Location: Jacksonville, FL
coding portfolio
design portfolio

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