Technology rolls forward. The best construction company website five years ago probably now is not performing to your level of expectations.
Since the word, “best,” is ambiguous, let’s definite it relating to a construction company website.
Broken down into finite parts, a website must deliver two things:
- A great design
- Great performance.
Planning a new website redo that will look great but is horrible on performance is like buying a billboard on a road that’s closed.
How a website is built is just as imporant as what it looks like.
Today, website designs are now developed in one of two ways:
- Use a theme builder.
- Code by hand (using data structures, coding stacks and snippits).
A theme builder is a piece of software—an app a designer uses to generate the actual set of themes making a complete website. The user uses the software to "paint" the design and structure of a website and the software generates the website.
Thinking about a website redo for your business? If so, you have three choices and only three:
- Hire an agency to build a custom website.
- Hire an agency to buy a $50 theme or template and have them modify it slightly.
- Buy the $50 theme yourself and load the content yourself.
We think the only viable choice is #1, a custom design. We think it’s the only choice even if you’re a startup or small local business on a budget. That's because whatever you spend on digital marketing—and your website is the foundation for that—is the most important investment you can make.
Not everyone agrees. In fact, Forbes published an article entitled, “Why You Should Never Build A $10,000 Website.” I agree: Not everyone needs a $10,000 website but that doesn't mean you should compromise.
While I could list 50 other issues that plague web design (like don’t hire a crappy agency), the following are the top five issues we've observed. Go to any business website and you’ll stand a chance to see at least one of these five issues.
Here’s the key question: Does it really cost any more $$ to do something right the first time? Even if it did, what’s it worth to you and your brand to do a website update, maintaining a sense of excellence among your prospects instead of sloppiness?
The #1 reason marketers begin a website redo is, “our site looks old, stale, or low tech.” Everyone knows performance factors that drive SEO are important, but it’s usually aesthetics that initially drive a new website project.
Looks can be deceiving—because there’s a lot more to a website than it’s styling. Here’s the three-legged stool of professional web design:
- UX – “User Experience.” The design and how users interact with the design.
- SEO – “Search Engine Optimization.” How users find and access your content.
- CRO – “Conversion Rate Optimization.” How users convert from visitors to leads on your website.
A few years ago, responsive design represented a huge leap in web design. Back then, as today, issues with responsive design websites of all platforms have plagued developers.
The much touted “responsive design,” only solves one issue: It reformats the structure of a desktop-sized website to display on mobile devices. Responsive isn't magic; it doesn’t do anything else.
Responsive design is a coding sequence developed in 2010 withe the sole purpose of forcing a website to respond to the screen size or device on which it is viewed. Responsive design was developed to give the growing number of users accessing the web on small-screen mobile devices a better viewing experience.
Responsive design still is touted as the be-all, end-all of web design, when, in reality, it's not. If responsive design is the only mobile-ready technology your website possesses, chances are your website could kill your top ranking in Google.
As of 2017, we made the decision to ditch WordPress for Hubspot CMS. We are no longer building new websites on WordPress. If you insist on WordPress, we’ll point you to some links to show you how to get a totally free WordPress website. But that new website will do nothing to help grow your business. (BTW: You get what you pay for.)
Vetting out a web design agency actually is not the first step you should take. Setting goals and expectations of your new website is. But as soon as you’re done with goals, you are going to have to hire a web developer or agency.
As you may assume, there is very little difference between me hiring a web developer and you hiring one. While there are many qualifications you could look for, we put the following five qualifications to hire a web developer at the top:
Choosing a website platform often is one of the hardest choices a company can make. After all, the digital marketing choices you make will either make or break your entire marketing efforts.
WordPress is a website platform you either grow to love or to hate. Like many products, there are things that make a product popular but just because everyone else thinks something is great doesn’t mean it will be great for you.
If you want a high-performance website, just go buy the Hubspot COS and forget WordPress as a website platform.
You'll pay a little for a Hubspot website whereas WordPress is free. But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for (or don't pay for).
One popular question we get all the time regarding WordPress vs Hubspot is, “which is easiest to use?”
“Set up” is relative. If you only had 5 minutes to begin to launch a website, how would you rank the WordPress vs Hubspot platforms?
There are only two ways to promote your business: using traditional marketing or digital (inbound) marketing.
Contracting for a new company website most often is a highly frustrating experience. How do I decide on a web development company? How much should I pay for a website? What platform should I get? How much time will it take? What's it going to do for me?
Company websites today are built on an endless variety of platforms but can be bucketed into two categories and two categories only:
- Traditional or
- Hubspot's Growth Driven Design.
One of marketers’ and business owners’ greatest pain points is contracting for a website redo. You know how it goes: After vetting many agencies, you finally hire one. Then, you spend countless hours on design choices, strategy sessions, team meetings, and content planning.
The newest trend in website construction is Growth Driven Design built on the Hubspot COS platform. Only about 900 agencies worldwide currently are trained and certified to create and maintain this new model of website design.
Hubspot’s Growth Driven Design is an exciting, new set of strategies and practices that when executed, produce a website that will never grow old or stale. So, say “good bye” to website redesign projects forever.
A Website platform is a mission-critical choice if you’re planning a website redesign because that one choice will drive everything you do from there on.
The WordPress CMS (Content Management System) and the Hubspot COS (Content Optimization System) platforms are among the more popular choices today.
While I have written at least one thorough article on the topic, it’s always fun to see what everyone else is saying.
With any website dated from about 2002-2005 on, both the visual portion and the backend portion relies on the so-called “theme.”
In my mega review covering choosing between WordPress and Hubspot, I mentioned most websites have not one, but two themes: The first theme displays what everyone coming to the Internet sees—the frontend—and the second, the part you can edit, is normally called, "the backend." All edits, pages changes, settings changes, and coding changes occur under the hood, on the backend.
While platform choices are important—like the WordPress vs. Hubspot COS choice, marketers and company owners know one thing is more of a pain than even a website platform choice—the website redesign project itself.
A platform is a tool. While tools are critical to accomplishing your goals, the actual process you use to achieve your goals is mission-critical.
Making a comparison of WordPress and Hubspot can involve many factors including cost, popularity, and even what your web designer recommends. But if you’re interested in mission-critical features like ease of use and performance, you might consider having the latest technology as being vital to your goals.
How to improve SEO should be one of your deciding points in trying to choose between popular platforms like WordPress or Hubspot.
One of the most overlook SEO metrics is page load speed.
You may be aware that slow loading pages can impact search engine rankings negatively, especially on mobile devices. Focusing on ways to improve SEO page load speed can help your ranking and help your visitors not become annoyed by your slow loading website as well.
You know the importance of SEO and why it's important to have the website platform that's best for SEO. If you don’t do SEO correctly, your potential customers won’t find your website.
If visitors can't find your website, why do you even need a website?
SEO only works according to the sum of its parts. Basically, what I’m saying is that to get top ranking in Google, you need to do everything right, not just some things right.
The WordPress and Hubspot platforms differ on how you execute SEO.
With WordPress, SEO relies on the theme you choose and on an SEO plugin. With Hubspot, all SEO features are is built in.
WordPress is one of the best known and most popular software applications for website development today. I fact, it has a fanatical following. It’s popularity is bolstered by the plethora of plugins and free or cheap themes available. Because of those assets, WordPress remains as a top contender to the many other CMS (Content Management Systems) from which to choose.