The power of a good website cannot be underestimated. If your website is working it will rank highly in search engines, generate new enquiries into your business, communicate effectively with new and existing customers and differentiate you from your competitors.
Yet in recent times there has been a growth in the number of web agencies and web designers – each with their own content management system (CMS). A CMS is the foundation or engine on which a website is built, and by programming each of their websites using a particular CMS platform the web designer or agency can effectively tie in each client for the duration.
Many companies use an outsourced web designer because they do not have the skills in-house to build and maintain a website. As a result, the process of choosing a website is driven to a greater extent by the designs proposed rather than the engine the designs ‘sit’ on. The issue comes if a website – which has been sold on its look and feel – does not perform. By this stage, a great deal of time and money has been spent in getting a new site up and running and the company may not have the appetite or the funds to begin the process again.
There may also be future proofing issues for websites which have been designed by an agency or designer, on a unique CMS. If the designer or agency ceases trading, or is acquired by another business, companies could find themselves with a site which is virtually redundant.
A Real Life Case Study
Recently, we were asked to take over a client’s website which had not been ranking well – despite a significant design and build cost just 12 months ago. After some time working with their existing agency, the client discovered that it was the framework of the site which was the issue and felt they had no choice but to move their site away from their existing agency. The client liked the design so when we took over the project we kept the same look and feel, and simply changed the engine the website worked on. Notably, we used an engine which is recognised as being a leading CMS in the industry and which is not tied to any particular web agency or designer. In truth it is ‘portable’ – enabling the client to properly own the site both now and in the future, without being tied into a particular designer or agency. Using the engine we have also ensured that each page is optimised for its own unique keywords, that proper page titles and meta descriptions (the way search engines ‘read’ the page) are in place, and that regular, original news items, are being added. Within six weeks of the changes the site began ranking on page 1 of Google for its key search terms, and increased its visitor numbers by 20%.
Most importantly, the site is now built on a suitable system which can be ported to a different designer or hosting company as the client’s needs require.
For more information about effective website management, or to see examples of our website work, please contact Emma Cooper on 01243 217175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.