New Web Site Tips
What are Plugins and Should I use Them?
Not all plugins are created equal.
Plugins are useful small to large programs designed to increase functionality of your WordPress web site. The basic use of wordpress is an easy way to get your web site up and running quickly. Plugins are useful in employing functions to your site at a lower cost due to the fact that you will not have to pay a developer to customize features to have on your web site.
Plug-ins are SUPPOSED to integrate seamlessly with WordPress so you do not have to work with php code.
There are plugins for forms, photo galleries, seo components, ecommerce and just about everything you can imagine and are created by developers from all around the world. Most basic plugins are offered for free with an pro upgrade or at a cost that is considerably less expensive than employing a developer to create from scratch.
But not all plugins are created equal. What I mean by this is that if you are considering a plugin, you should employ due diligence when selecting the proper plugin.
- A great plugin is one that has developer support.
- A useful plugin needs to be updated frequently by the developer who created it in order to keep up with ever changing wordpress upgrades.
- A good plugin needs to be compatible with other plugins you may have installed on your wordpress platform.
When purchasing a plugin, it is essential to do your research to be sure that it will work as the description indicates. You need to consider that you will have ample support available from the creator should you have issues with it working properly. Even with due diligence, a plugin could be mis-represented in any aspect. So the number one benefit for this web designer is to have expectations that we get timely support should it not function or integrate with the web site.
As a web designers and developers we build and manage many word press web sites and have to look at plugins frequently to determine if it is a fit for a client’s site.
We look for a number of factors to make a determination whether to install and many times have to select and configure a number of plugins to see if it is the right fit.
Unfortunately, many plugins do not have a conscientious developer who updates the plugin regularly, many plugins do not perform as the details indicate or once a plugin is purchased, the support is poor to non-existent resulting in a waste of money or time because the plugin is rendered useless.
With that said there are a number of plugins that provide superb support or are designed to work exactly as promised.
One plugin that gets our thumbs up is the wp photo seller. Recently we needed to locate a plugin for a client who sold stock photos online and we were seeking a lightweight plugin that would display and sell photos for their stock photography business.
Research was done to locate this functionality. Trial and error until we discovered the plugin that appeared to have most of the functions needed. Once the decision was made we purchased the plugin and installed. There were some hiccups with integration but each and every time the developer of the wp photo seller plug provided timely and conscientious support.
This developer went beyond what was expected to make sure it functioned properly, even when it was an oversight on the user side. This was a rare and delightful experience. We did not have to wait to see when and if we would get assistance with our problem and most often we received help within hours. For me as a designer, I give this plugin one hundred stars.
On a sadder note, we purchased a plugin for a client who wanted a simple but attractive slider on their home page web site. Again we researched and settled on a plugin that had the functions we were looking for. Unfortunately from day one, the plugin was crashing and not working as promised. We reached out for support and did not hear back for over a week, and were disappointed when they did not answer the questions asked or they just emailed back with an obvious not so clear understanding of the issue. Then again we had to wait another week for an answer that did not address the problem.
It becomes a nightmare when you have to wait for a plugin to work on your site resulting in delaying the completion of a web site.
So not all plugins are created equal. The moral to this article is to be diligent, understand the pitfalls of these small plugin programs, and if you do not know what you are doing, get with one of our San Diego based web designers who have experience, understanding and who has reviewed thousands of wordpress plugins. They will help keep your frustration at a minimum as well as to help you spend your money wisely.
Webmaster Developer – Internet Web Site Consultant
If you don’t need one of our webmaster’s and want to work on your own web site, consider hiring a webmaster consultant. Someone who can work with you to design, develop and market your web site. Learn and get private instruction from the professionals on how to create or manage a web site.
If You Have Questions Such As:
- How do I set-up a web site?
- What is search engine marketing?
- can I get help to learn how to work on my own web site?
- How do I move my site to a different host?
- How do i make changes on my own web site?
- How can I add a BLOG to my web site?
- What is a web site and how does it work?
- How do I add a database to my web site?
- What is a domain?
- What is a host?
- Do I need a Webmaster?
We assist business and private web site owners on how to manage their own web sites. If you have the above questions or something else you need to know, you need WebmasterDeveloper.com
We have consultants on staff to work with you on your web site. They will teach you or your employees what it takes to control a web site, make changes, market and more.
Our consultation rates vary depending on your needs. Call our project coordinators for more information to talk about your online presence or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You have an idea for a great web site or just need to get your business an online presence. Before you do so, there are some things you should consider when creating your new web site:
There are millions of web sites on the internet. All shapes and sizes. Products and services can be located by logging on and searching for what you need. But, when you do that Internet search, your search results will include all sorts of web sites. Web sites include individuals with sites about themselves for a number any number of reasons, there are small business and services that need an online presence and then there are the large business with a web site presence that incorporate the newest technology and features that the Internet can provide. Your site will be in competition with all those millions of personal and business web sites.
So, below are some important considerations before any work is done to develop a new web site.
Determining the purpose of the site is the first step. Will the web site just provide information about your company, or will you be selling goods/services online? How will users interact with your web site? Will there be a customer or member-driven section? All of these considerations change the time and cost it will take to get your site operational.
Budget: One of the first questions we get is “How much will my web site cost?” Our response to this question is for the client to first determine a budget and then, when discussing this project with our coordinator or webmaster, they can help you get as much out of your site as possible within your budget. The number of pages, the design, the graphic work needed, programming, and content you need are all part of the components that have to be considered when making a budget.
How Many Pages: In addition to the custom pages addressing your product or service, this is a good time to start thinking about the standard pages found on websites. Do you need an About Us Page, Contact Us page, a Careers page, a listing of the current Staff, or a overview of the your company and a listing of each department?
Domain name: Do you have a domain name for your web site? A domain name is important for a number of reasons; your domain name can consist of your business name, or a service you provide. If you have not purchased a domain, our company recommends purchasing at GoDaddy at affordable prices.
Website Hosting: The hosting of your web site is a very important component. A host for your web site is akin to your landlord, and like any tenant, you need to determine if your landlord offers the residence you desire. You web host should provide customer service in a timely manner. It should supply all the necessary packages to allow your web site to expand, and to support any programming needed to run your site. Your host may also need the ability to provide you with email functions and reports on your web site’s traffic and usage.
Design: the design of your web site is another component. It must reflect your branding and identity. This is often referred to as the “Look and Feel”. In addition, to the “Look and Feel”, a navigation structure must be planned to provide a user friendly experience for your visitors. Users should be able to immediately locate the information about your business or service, to get answers to any questions, to locate your contact information, and to purchase your products and services easily.
Help your webmaster help you. Web masters work with hundreds of businesses and services but can’t possibly be experts in every business and service available. Webmaster know a lot about web sites, but they generally know nothing at all about your business. You, as a client, must be prepared to help your Webmaster help you in developing your web site. You need to be prepared to provide your webmaster with text content and information how your business works. Not only will this make it easier to develop a good web site, it will cost you less in the long run–especially if budget is a consideration. The more content you can supply, the less time it will take to create your new site.
Prepare a spec sheet or outline of your web site. At WebmasterDeveloper, our programmers, web designer and graphic artists work from a client-approved document of specifications, or “spec sheet”. This spec sheet outlines all the components of a new web site, and all of the tasks that must be completed to create the completed site. A spec sheet MUST be created and approved by the client to insure that the site is developed with all of the components the client desires. The project coordinator will help you in preparation of a spec sheet.
Room for growth: Web sites are businesses and may grow depending on your goals, so you need to be sure that you have room to expand in your online business. This is an issue that you should discuss with your project coordinator or webmaster. They will help you to make sure that when your business is ready for expansion or additional services, you have a plan in place to implement with minimum disruption and cost to your current online presence.
Who is your Webmaster? An ideal webmaster can be compared to a general or store manager; someone who you can trust to implement any business decisions, marketing campaigns, or just to be sure that your online business runs smoothly. It is important to select a webmaster that you can rely on. Having a webmaster is SEPERATE from your hosting. A webmaster is a person who will guide you, consult with you, and implement any web site updates. A webmaster may also assist you with online marketing, graphic design, or programming issues. Be sure to select a webmaster who is available to you during business hours, and is timely in responding to any needs you may have.
Support, service and communication: Your web site is your business, you must be able to control it. You have to be sure that your webmaster and web host performs updates and maintenance in a timely manner. You also need to be sure that you OWN your web site. We occasionally see sites hosted by a webmaster on his own server, or contained in the webmaster’s GoDaddy or hosting account. Sometimes, we even see that the domain is owned by the webmaster, not the client. NEVER allow your webmaster to own your domain or hosting account. You should be able to directly access your account administration, hosting control panel, etc. This will allow you to change webmasters if necessary. You webmaster should NEVER control your access to your web site. You should control the webmaster’s access, so you can change or suspend it when you need to.
At webmasterDeveloper.com we offer 24/7 technical support via email for your web site hosting, and the staff answers the phone during business hours to discuss, implement or respond to any issues you have in a in a timely manner.
Marketing: Just creating a web site is not all that it will take to help it become successful and attract customers, especially if you have lots of competition. There are millions of web sites in competition with yours, so merely creating a web site doesn’t mean that you will be noticed among the millions of competing sites. There are a number of marketing techniques available to help your web site gain visibility on the internet, and to attract users to your online business. Online marketing can include advertising, SEO optimization techniques, social networking, blogs, graphic art, promotions and more. You webmaster should be well-versed in these techniques in order to help you determine and implement marketing strategies that help you grow.
The staff at WebmasterDeveloper.Com LLC takes any size web site development or maintenance project seriously. Before we begin any work on development, we need to make sure that a client understands what it will take to create a web site as well.
To begin the process of building your web site, call our project coordinator today to get started.