The purpose of this article is to provide useful information pertaining to WordPress development and what to look for when hiring a WordPress developer. At BizBudding, we focus exclusively on WordPress site development.
A Holistic Approach to Website Development
The process of website development is far more involved than simply hiring a web designer and saying “go”. To match a beautiful design with well-written content that attracts search engines, you should begin with a well thought out plan. Robust and remarkable websites are built with a complete understanding of all disciplines of web technologies, including information architecture, content management, and user experience.
Be sure to hire a WordPress developer who practices a holistic and integrated approach to website development. Simply put, the combination of design, content, hosting, and security are critical. Speed and responsiveness are paramount for success in today’s competitive online environment. Many freelance WordPress developers offer custom theme design — and then deliver code that is too complicated with too few features, or they use a page builder to create the design you requested. Page builders, while easy to implement and use, are often overloaded with code and bloat and perform poorly. Be sure your custom theme development is based upon a solid foundation.
BizBudding is a top website development company with clients located both internationally and throughout the United States. Project management is a critical skill set with remote customers. Zoom video conferencing and Basecamp project management are two of our favorite project management tools.
Our full-time web professionals understand the front-end user design as well as the back-end systems development. Our team includes WordPress developers, network engineers, content writers, and graphic designers who are experts with user experience, web design, software testing, and hosting infrastructure. We also use version control software as part of our web services deployment methodology.
Today is more important than ever that WordPress developers understand the full-stack of web development: web servers, network security, information technology, web design, mysql, html5, and user experience. Web technologies are constantly changing, and our team stays current and expert to ensure your WordPress website performs for you. We consider ourselves WordPress experts, with the know how to build and maintain high-traffic websites.
We care about building remarkable websites. Talk to us before you begin your next website development or website refresh project.
More About WordPress Development
Open source has been a software development trend for years and provides many benefits over proprietary systems. WordPress, one of the most popular content management systems (CMS), is built on open source and is maintained and improved by a global community of advanced web developers. Websites built using WordPress CMS tend to have their web pages rank well in Google.
BizBudding focuses solely on WordPress for our web development. WordPress allows you to customize the user experience by developing website themes and plugins. We leveraged our experience creating custom themes for our clients and developed a very popular and performant WordPress theme. Mai Theme, is one of the leading themes sold on the Genesis Framework. We have built hundreds of custom websites for our clients based on Mai Theme. And thousands of others have developed their own websites using Mai Theme. (Check out our 5.0 rating and great reviews on social media!)
We focus our WordPress theme development and WordPress plugin development is around Mai Theme. If we work together on your website, you can be assured that your website will be running on the same performant code base used by thousands of other websites.
A WordPress theme is the engine behind a website’s performance. It provides the design layout and implements the information architecture and content structure. Choosing the wrong theme can be the single biggest problem in site performance.
WordPress plugins are functional tools that add features to your website. Plugins can be another potential bottleneck with performance. In fact, some plugins are so poorly developed that we ban them from use on our Mai Hosting web hosting platform. We can recommend a core set of plugins to use on your website. In addition, we’ve developed our own plugins that add custom features to our clients’ sites. For example, our Mai Ads and Extra Content plugin enables us to insert lead generation call to actions or display ads effectively and efficiently in different sections of your website.
We understand the potential issues created by poorly performing themes and plugins. We built Mai Theme to be lightweight, performant, feature-rich, fast, and secure. Mai Theme is used on hundreds of websites with tens of millions of monthly page views.
We are active with WordPress.org and frequently attend WordCamps. If you are interested in learning more about building WordPress websites or want to get involved in the community, be sure to check out all the good content at Make WordPress.
Custom Website Development
We build custom websites for bloggers, business, and publishers. Membership areas, subscription services, online courses, enterprise content management, and ecommerce functions are all common features we’ve built into website solutions for our clients.
Our Custom Website Solutions
Membership websites require proper planning and architecture to balance free vs restricted content and the incentive and requirement to join. We’ve developed free and paid membership areas, protected file downloads, and other members-only features like post/trip/event submissions, post commenting, product discounts, and more. The possibilities are endless and are only limited by creativity, though analytics drive most of our decisions.
Ecommerce can mean many things to different people and businesses. We use the term to define any site that will take payments on the actual website. The payment could be for a product, digital download, membership, or course. We love using WooCommerce for most ecommerce projects, but often Easy Digital Downloads or a direct payment form via Gravity Forms is a better solution to reach the goals of the project more effectively and efficiently. We’ve built custom ecommerce websites for beautiful apparel display, custom product filtering, efficient 1-page checkout flows, and more. No solution is ever the same, and we custom build and configure each website to remedy our client’s pain points and help drive revenue for their business.
Courses often go hand and hand with membership and ecommerce, but require much different planning and functionality. Free vs paid, course progress, quizzes, certifications, topics, and lessons, are some many of the features we’ve built and configured for our custom membership solutions. Our client’s digital courses feel natural to use and facilitate learning in a modern environment. We’ve also implemented Facebook comments, private Facebook groups, social login, and other community-based features with our courses for many of our clients.
Calendar Event & Directory Sites
It is imperative for a directory website to have a clean and functional UX (user experience) or users become quickly frustrated and move on. The same thing applies for directory entries, whether user-submitted or managed by a website editor/administrator. BizBudding puts usability, speed, and functionality at the forefront of our decision-making when building our websites, including directory sites. We’ve built sites to display events, consultants, coaches, and more, often including front end (public) user submissions that require admin approval before automatic display and categorization.
Merging, Combining, & Acquiring Websites
We help website acquisitions or businesses with multiple websites combine separate sites, content, and domains into a single website. This helps administration and can benefit user navigation and SEO as well. There are many factors to consider and combining multiple websites into one should be done with careful consideration. We’ve helped clients merge websites to refine their business, and also during site/content acquisition to help boost content and SEO.
Geo-Location & Store Manager
We’ve built and continue to maintain a custom plugin to allow a single website to have multiple businesses/locations/stores while allowing each store to have a manager that only has access to that store’s pages and content. This is a great tool/solution for franchises or organizations with multiple locations.
Recipes, Ingredients, & Advanced Recipe Search
When you have a medium/high traffic website with a lot of content, it’s very important to allow users to easily find the content they are looking for. This is particularly important for recipes. We build custom search and filtering solutions specific to the needs of our clients, and more importantly, the users trying to get to the content they want.
Information Architecture is a Map for Web Development
BizBudding recommends taking the time to audit your website and to create an information architecture (IA). We’ve found that one of the most important components to successful web applications is gaining a clear understanding of information architecture and content management. These processes should be completed prior to a website redesign. This is especially important for publishers and ecommerce sites, or bloggers who’ve overloaded their websites with tags and categories.
An information architecture helps establish the best URL and category structure for the website. Once that is determined, the best menu structure can be implemented. On a well-structured site, most URLs are reachable within three clicks. We use information architecture to create content maps of website information. Implementing an information architecture ensures that your website information is well organized, easy for Google to crawl, and in alignment with SEO best practices.
A solid content management plan leverages the information architecture to create a structure around refreshing old content, creating new content, and categorizing content.
The Importance of Running a Website Audit
A website audit offers a complete look at the configuration and setup of the site. A site audit analyzes the site for crawl efficiency and indexability to make sure that search engines are receiving and displaying the right information. The website audit provides insights into site speed and performance, indicating any pages that may not be performing. Additionally, the site audit can be used to identify any technical SEO issues that need to be addressed that may be preventing your website from ranking well.
Mobile Website Development – Apps, AMP, and PWAs
Mobile use continues to grow and change the way web applications are developed. Mobile users are also changing how bloggers, small businesses, and publishers display content.
Mobile apps were quite popular a few years ago, and everyone was downloading them from the app store to their phones. How many do you still use today? Native mobile apps continue to be the preferred method of use for applications such as Facebook or Snapchat. But do you really need to build a custom native mobile app to give your mobile users the best experience on your website? The answer is no, and here’s why.
It’s all about speed. When it comes to website page load times, faster is better, and less is more. In February 2018 Google reported, “speed drives revenue while a slow site drives bounces.”
Speed is so important that Google began backing and leading the AMP project in 2015. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, and aims to simplify the HTML code behind mobile web content. It prioritizes speed over other functions and aims to improve caching by storing copies of web content on Google servers.
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is important for websites to have configured properly as it can be a bit complicated to configure. Publishers who want their content to be listed in Top Stories in the Google News feed need AMP installed.
New technology in modern browsers allows developers to deploy progressive web apps (PWAs). PWAs are regular web pages or websites that appear to the user to look like traditional applications or native mobile applications. PWAs combine the features of most modern browsers with the benefits of a mobile experience.
PWAs have several really cool features for publishers:
- While offline, or in bad coverage areas, the user can still have access to content that was cached.
- Publishers can easily send push notifications to mobile devices.
- Users can view the website in a full-screen option.
Most importantly, PWAs provide faster browsing experiences and fast experiences between page transitions.
Lessen your reliance on platforms like Facebook and Google by using a combination of AMP and PWAs to connect directly with your audience. PWAs are gaining traction, and now both Google and Microsoft have announced they will index PWAs in their app stores. Microsoft has huge plans to bring PWAs to more than a half billion devices running Windows 10.
Website Development Programming Languages
Talk to us today about how mobile apps deployed as progressive web apps can help you stay engaged with your audience.