Building Smarter Websites is Easier – and Faster – Than Ever
Does your website look like it was built by Mike Brady and/or styled by Austin Powers? Are you embarrassed to have people visit it? Concerned that the current design and (lack of) functionality may be turning people away? Overwhelmed by the time and effort it takes to maintain it, and/or frustrated by having to depend on someone else to make even the most basic changes? The Denovati Group now offers a Website Development and Management service that enables individuals and organizations to build and maintain smarter websites.
The World Wide Web is over twenty years old, and websites have evolved into the primary digital hub of virtually all organizations. Many websites, however, have not been updated to reflect current standards and best practices, which can be detrimental to an organization’s ability to meet its goals and objectives.
Is your website up to snuff? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you know how much traffic your website gets, what pages people go to most, and how they get there?
- Does your website have a modern look and feel and sophisticated functionality? Is it text heavy or image rich? Is it well structured and easy to navigate?
- Is the site optimized for mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets?
- Does it have a fully integrated blog or other dynamic element?
- Can non-technical staff make simple site updates, or do you have to rely on a web manager to make all changes?
- Are you or your website manager able to upgrade and/or redesign some or all of the site relatively easily?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it may be time to build a smarter website!
Building Smarter Websites is Easier – and Faster – Than Ever
Recently I shared five essential considerations for building smarter websites. Generally speaking most organizations don’t need someone to design or code their websites from scratch. Instead, they can rely on a content management system (like WordPress.org, which is no longer “just” a blogging platform) and a pre-defined theme (which is basically a site template) that meets their needs. The best themes are going to built using responsive design, will have a modern look and feel, and will incorporate a variety of features that can be used to easily produce a range of functionality. They’ll also enable organizations to build sites that not only meet their current needs but also lay a foundation for future growth and expansion.
With modern tools, website design doesn’t have to be a complicated, cumbersome process. There’s really no need for a multi-phased approach, complex specification documents, wireframes, and extensive testing across multiple browsers and devices. Instead, organizations can employ a lean and agile iterative approach that enables a site to be designed, built and tested virtually simultaneously, thereby saving both time and money (and increasing the likelihood that the end product will meet the organization’s needs).
Building smarter websites not only requires using better tools and processes. It’s also imperative to have the best possible site builder – and the definition of who that is is changing. What most organizations should look for is a development partner, guide, and coach, not a hired gun or “old school” web developer who wants to build the site from scratch and maintain it him/herself.
How Does The Denovati Group Help Build Smarter Websites?
The Denovati Group doesn’t match any of the profiles of traditional web designers or developers. We aren’t coders… though we do know our way around HTML and CSS. We don’t have roots in graphic design… though we do have high aesthetic standards and a keen eye. And we aren’t classic marketers… though we do think branding, promotion, and business development are extremely important.
We offer what we believe is a better way to build smarter websites. We approach website projects as a partner rather than as a developer for hire (after all, it is your site not ours). Emphasizing and leveraging the latest tools and technologies (based on the WordPress content management system), we strive to educate, empower, and emancipate our clients so they can maintain and optimize their own websites without having to rely exclusively on an external “webmaster.” The sites we help create are designed for ease of use and maintenance and are easily enhanced and upgradeable.
We also alleviate our clients from having to understand – and specify – everything that should be included in a site design before the building begins. Given our broad perspective on and understanding of social and digital technologies, we can quickly understand a client’s organization, its key stakeholders, and its priorities so that they can be incorporated into the new site design relatively quickly and easily. Not only that, but by “listening between the lines” we can also identify immediate enhancements and improved functionality that goes beyond what many clients realize is possible. Consequently, wishes get filled and vision becomes reality much more quickly than they could anticipate.
Finally, in addition to providing direct training and coaching while sites are being built, we also offer SMART Resources focused on Website Optimization, including blogging, which clients (and others) can use to further educate themselves and ensure they’re following best practices. If they’re going to take a DIY approach to site maintenance, at least in part, we want to make sure that approach is also DIR (Do It Right) and DIS (Do It Smart).
A Special Offer
We didn’t set out to be web developers, but our Website Development and Management services are a logical and fitting addition to our other Social and Digital Engagement services. Since it is a relatively new offering, and we just began helping clients build smarter websites this past spring. Besides our own sites (of course), we have one finished project so far (Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts) and one site under development (to be revealed soon!).
We’re really enjoying these projects and would like to build out our portfolio of work quickly, so from now until the end of September we’re featuring website development as a spotlight service and offering discounted pricing for all new projects. If you or someone you know is due for a website upgrade and is interested in our help, please contact us for a free website review and consultation.