WordPress powers over 25% of websites on the entire internet which is why it is our platform of choice for many website development projects. The only constant is change, particularly when it comes to WordPress development. To allow you to stay ahead of your competitors, your WordPress website needs to be built on solid foundations to allow you to adapt and change quickly in an Agile way. To help you do this, our slick website development process is designed to deliver value to your organisation that is high quality and quickly. We do this by utilising industry leading technologies, platforms, and processes to ensure we can meet the high demands of rapidly growing businesses like yours.
There are many ways to built a WordPress website, and very few ways you should build a WordPress website. Our staff are WordPress experts who work with WordPress development on a daily basis and know how to build a WordPress website the right way. We also run local WordPress group BeeWUG and our staff have co-organised WordCamp Manchester in previous years. Most of the common problems we see with companies who have invested in WordPress websites is that they have assumed that their old digital agency actually knew what they were doing, when in reality when they ask us to help, often the solution is a full rebuild as their entire WordPress website is built on extremely flakey foundations that are incapable of scaling. We make your WordPress website work for your company.
Anyone can build a WordPress website. Very few can build scalable, high quality, secure and well optimised WordPress websites that are designed to perform and work for your company. If you are simply looking for a “pretty website”, then we probably aren’t the company for you. If you are looking to use your WordPress website as a platform for growth within your organisation, then you’ve come to the right place.
Our approach to WordPress development is carefully considered and strategically aligned to the goals of your organisation. As your strategic digital partner we work closely with you throughout the entire WordPress development process to ensure every aspect has been covered from start to finish. Below outlines an average process behind our WordPress development projects along which explains why following a structured Agile process as outlined below is extremely important to ensure the delivered WordPress website is suitable for your needs.
We understand that a WordPress website is more than just a something to look at. A WordPress website is a core part of your business and an asset to help you grow. Successful WordPress development projects are an on-going process as a website is never ‘complete’ as there are always improvements to be made, features added, content changed and further integrations to enhance the platform to connect with your customers. Which is why we seek to truly understand your business goals at the very start to ensure the right foundations are being put in place for growth.
While you will no doubt have a clear idea what you are looking for from a WordPress website, there are many aspects which are often overlooked when planning WordPress development projects. Considerations need to be made for how your entire organisation and key members of staff use the website and what this means from a marketing and promotional aspect too.
At this early stage we ask questions around Search Engine Optimisation, Pay per Click Advertising, Email Marketing, Social Media, Mobile Applications, Integrations and more. This is so we can truly uncover the requirements for your new WordPress website to ensure that all key aspects are considered throughout. Afterall, a new flashy WordPress website isn’t much good if you lose all of your website traffic and sales which is why we take all of these factors into consideration from the start.
Once we understand your business goals we can start to translate this into how customers are going to navigate their way around your WordPress website in the form of a user journey sitemap. By planning this we can identify improvements throughout the user journey to ensure users are being directed towards the key areas that are aligned with your business goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). To map out this process we take into analyse historical data from your Analytics platforms that are currently in use on your old website to see how current users are behaving on the website.
Once we understand how users are likely move around your WordPress website we start to look at the user experience as a whole. This is a blended approach between what your business goals are and what your customers are trying to achieve on your WordPress website. Your customers want your website to be usable, useful, desirable, valuable, findable, credible and accessible. Which is why we take all of these factors into account to create relevant User Stories which link Agile development methodologies directly to users instead of focusing on the technology. For example, “As a tennant of a housing association, I want to be able to report a problem with my house so that I can get my shower working again”. This is a User Story in a nutshell which is part of an Agile development methodology and is how we tie everything back to the end user to ensure that what is being built is valuable.
As part of this process we then take into account the rough wireframes for how each of the core pages on the website is going to look and feel. Think of this like a pencil sketch of a page, which helps to discuss the general layout, the key Calls to Action and how they link in with the overall user experience. You’ll notice that we haven’t even started talking about the design or technology yet as at this point we’re working closely with you to ensure that we’re on the same page and clear about what is going to be built before we start with the build process.
Once we understand what we’re about to build, the first thing we think about it security. To keep your business data and customer’s data secure, it is essential to plan cyber security into projects at the earliest stage possible. All our specialist WordPress developers have security embedded in everything they do which is essential for delivering a secure WordPress website for your company. Many inexperienced WordPress developers openly add in backdoors and security issues to the websites they build without even realising, which is why we take security seriously as website development isn’t simply about writing a bit of code, it is about developing software the WordPress way.
To keep your business data and customer’s data secure we encrypt by default, meaning that all connections between your customers accessing the website and yourself are secured using SSL certificates running over HTTPS. We also consider the implications for encryption at the database level when required for additional levels of security along with a wide range of security considerations which cover all aspects of the technology stack.
As WordPress powers over 25% of websites on the entire internet, the technology is a large target for cyber attacks which is why we ensure your WordPress website is secured against common cyber attacks from the start. To keep your data safe, we only work with industry leading WordPress Themes and Plugins to ensure that security holes aren’t added to your website inadvertantly.
Once we understand what we’re building, for whom, how we’re securing the build we then start to move onto the more practical steps. Next we look at your current web server infrastructure to determine the suitability for your new WordPress website both now and in the near future. Web servers are complex and can be a complete black box to non-technical people. In essence, we’ll recommend the right technology for you. Think about web servers like cars, they aren’t all the same. So if you are looking to win in business, then you need the right powerful motor to get you there. We’ll talk you through the finer details about the options available so it is clear in your mind.
Content Management System
WordPress is a full Content Mangement System (CMS) and not simply a blogging platform that it used to be. WordPress allows anyone within your company to login to your website and make ammends as you need, without keep paying an external agency to make basic changes to your website. Our of the box WordPress comes with some awesome features including the following to name just a few; image upload facility; embed videos into your website; blogging and commenting; publishing tools; user access rights management; Search Engine Optimisation; APIs and more.
Mobile First Approach
All our WordPress development projects operate on a mobile first approach, which simply means that your WordPress website is designed to work responsively across all devices including mobiles, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. Your customers live in a multi-touch world and want the same experience using your website regardless of what device they are accessing from. The modern customer journey path to purchase is highly complex, with your customers viewing your website across multiple different devices before deciding to make a purchase or enquire for further information. As such, it is essential that a mobile first approach is taken to keep your customers happy when they are browsing your WordPress website.
Back End Technologies
The next step we look at is the finer technical details about how we are going to build your new website. Unless you have a specific preference for commercial reasons, we’ll recommnend the best solution for your needs. We’ll take into account the early requirements from key stakeholders throughout your organisation to understand what additional features and functionality need to be built and how we are going to do this. WordPress runs on PHP which means this will be the primary language we’ll use. We’ll also look at various technology stacks specific to your organisation along with APIs and other integration with 3rd party systems.
We’re happy to explain to you the finer details if you so wish, although you can be confident in the high quality work we do that we’ll only be working with industry leading technologies which keeps your website safe, secure, maintainable and scalable for your needs. As mentioned previously, there are many ways to build a WordPress website, and very few ways that you should build a WordPress website correctly. Our highly experienced WordPress developers know how to build WordPress websites the right way and we can talk you through this in more detail.
Front End Technologies
In the same way we selected the right back end technologies, we’ll also align the right technologies based on your requirements for the project. We know what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to selecting technology stacks. Interestingly, this is the part of the project that most people are interested in as this is when you can start to see the website taking shape and what it looks like. Many times companies and other agencies want to start with this process at the very beginning which is highly risky as a pretty WordPress website that hasn’t taken into account all of the prior steps that are outlined above is likely to fail in the short to medium term which can cost a lot of money to rectify.
Themes and Plugins
Selecting the right Theme and Plugins for your WordPress website is essential to get right. When you get this part wrong, the consequences can be disasterous from hacked websites and cyber security attacks to full rebuilds to resolve even the most seemingly basic problems. We only work with industry leading WordPress Themes and Plugins to make sure your WordPress website is capable of scaling as you grow.
While we’re working through the design and build part of your website development project, you’ll be working on the actual website content. Ultimately you know your customers best which is why we recommend that you create the actual content for your website so you can communicate your key messages to your customers. We’ll guide you through this process about the type of content and style of content that is needed throughout the website as we work collaborative throughout all WordPress website development projects.
Tracking and Analytics
To ensure the new WordPress website delivers on your requirements we track absolutely everything you can imagine and even more that you likely haven’t even heard of before. Having staff who are qualified Analytics experts, we implement the tracking that you’ll need to determine the success of the project. This links in with the wider requirements from key stakeholders throughout your company who will also feed into this process to ensure the data that is important to them is also tracked correctly from start to finish.
Development Process and Delivery
In practice the above is very much an iterative process throughout every stage of the project which enables us to deliver work in stages which you sign off accordingly. Doing this ensures that your internal team are an integral part of the WordPress development project and that requirements are being met. Prior to any delivery phases the entire technolgy stack goes through rigorous User Acceptance Testing, Unit Testing and Functional Testing to make sure that what we have built actually works and is fit for purpose.
The general development process we follow is to first build the general framework of the technology stack which is flexbile for your needs, we then move onto the actual design stages which allows us to chop and change design elements as needed which is much easier with the right framework in place. All of our website development projects are strategically segmented which means we have a Development Server that our developers work on your new website on, which then moves over to a Staging Server which you have access to view how the new website will look, before eventually the website is pushed to the Live Server that your customers can see.
Naturally for many WordPress development projects as we iterate through this process in an Agile way, it is possible to deliver new features and functionality to your customers much faster so you can start to see business value generated as a direct result of this quick iterative process.