There are two versions of WordPress available today:
This version is pre-hosted and easy to configure. It’s completely free, although there are monthly payment plans which provide various add-ons to give greater control and flexibility.
Unless you upgrade to a paid plan that includes a custom domain name, a WordPress.com site will always have the extension ‘WordPress.com’, in the site name, which, in our opinion, doesn’t look very professional.
This is the version we at PRG use to power all our CMS sites. Yes, there are many themes available to provide an instant look, but with free or even premium themes there are limitations.
A free or premium theme usually depends on specific plugins (add-ons that provide extra functionality). Unfortunately, the plugins that are often bundled with these themes require the licence to keep the plugin up to date. Furthermore, using too many plugins, whilst they can add some great functionality, can fill a website with unnecessary or poorly written code or lead to a conflict between plugins. This could cause the website to slow down or not operate correctly.
Why we use WordPress
So why do we use WordPress? To put it simply, if it’s good enough for companies like The Walt Disney Company, Beyonce, Mercedes Benz, PlayStation, MTV News, Sony Music and other Forbes 500 companies, then we think it’s good enough for us to develop your website!
WordPress is an incredibly powerful CMS. With the latest version and our flexible layouts solution, you can use the live editor to build and preview your page before publishing it. This used to be where alternative website builders like Wix and WebFlow had the advantage. Those website builders also prevent you from owning your site. If you wish to move elsewhere, sadly you may find you come unstuck.
Using WordPress gives you full control of your website, giving you the freedom to move to other agencies or developers should you need to without having to pay extra. With WebFlow built websites, there are far fewer agencies using this platform, so they may charge more to help with your requirements, not to mention they aren’t as flexible with custom code. Online website builders usually restrict this sort of functionality, which could limit the growth or enhancement of your website.
This is where WordPress excels. As mentioned above, being able to custom build the theme and the code of your website allows you to have greater control and greater flexibility when we help you build your dream website.
WordPress and SEO: a match made in heaven
Part of our custom build also helps us to ensure we cover the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) aspect of the site. Not only is WordPress great for SEO already, but we work to ensure we optimise the site as best as possible. Our choices in custom building ensure things like non-bloated code due to minimal plugins, a well-coded theme helps with page load speed and more to help with SEO. We also host on dedicated WordPress servers, fine-tuned to run your new WordPress or WooCommerce site to the best of its abilities. We carry out speed tests on launch of the site and keep adjusting everything we can until the site is running as best as can be.
Over time your website may slow down, but by using one of our SEO packages, we can help tune the site again. We like to think of websites as cars – if you’re using it constantly then you should service the car regularly to ensure its running as efficiently as possible. After all, why spend big on a car and then neglect it? Your website is exactly the same. It’s an investment, an extension of your business and often a ‘shop window’ to show case you and your products or services, so don’t deter potential clients or sales by not optimising your website. The likes of Google also include page load speed in their algorithms, so ensuring your website is at its best benefits Google and ensures your clients remain on your website.
Adding safety and functionality to your WordPress website
We create all our themes bespoke to the client’s needs and requirements. This gives us far greater control and doesn’t provide the ‘off the shelf’ appearance that many feel WordPress sites have, making each one unique for each client.
Furthermore, we keep the number of plugins we use to an absolute bare minimum. Why? Because it helps with keeping code clean and minimal. It also helps us ensure we know our site inside and out. When it comes to adding functionality, we use custom code as much as we can. It ensures we know the code is compatible and doesn’t mean you need to update plugins, saving us time and saving you money.
Don’t get me wrong, plugins are a great extra tool when used correctly, but you need to be careful. We only use a handful of tried and tested plugins we are familiar with, which we also have the developer licences for, allowing us to install and run the latest versions.
We also ensure we use and follow one of the most reliable security plugins. With regular updates on vulnerabilities, it helps ensure we stay ahead of the curve. These days, everything is online and with WordPress being open source, it doesn’t come without some an element of risk, as does any website. Unfortunately, anything online is fair game, you only have to look at the likes of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin to realise that a heist of over $600 million dollars means nothing is out of reach!
Therefore, we know it’s important to ensure the use of plugins are kept to a minimum, as themes aren’t free and premium and general security best practice is followed. If you have one of our WordPress support packages, we’ll ensure your site is checked and updated as and when required.
We can also take your site into a full ecommerce solution by using the complimentary WooCommerce add-on. Used by big players like Björk, Arsenal FC Celebration Corner, Greene King, Dr Scholl’s, Weber and New Zealand’s All Blacks, why not use it to sell your products? PRG has created reservation and quotation systems to music downloads and auction websites as well as exhibition floor plans and online shops.