Web Development – Words From Our Wise

From free websites, to cheap websites to extremely pricey websites, how do you make the right choice?  In our series of blogs to help you get exactly what you want from your website, we’ve pooled our individual strengths, as we do here at Project Lemon Sizzle, to tell you what we advise and know so you make the right choice for you.

Let’s start with Andrea, our very smart web developer who has shared her 10 cents worth (really, it’s worth a lot, lot more than that) and a few reasons why those nice and enticing free websites aren’t always the right choice and why from a technical point of how their flaws and weaknesses could affect you and your business.

“The main things people don't realize are:

  1. "Free" to setup CMS's like Wordpress don't include security updates or plugin updates.  They can work well if it’s just a basic website you’re looking for or for blogging with automated security updates, but people get into trouble when they start adding functionality with plugins made by independent developers.

    That's the big reason why we use Drupal as all major modules (equivalent of plugins) are controlled by the Drupal open-source community so you have a bunch of website app specialists available to help.  This control means your plugins have been assessed, reviewed and only released if they are durable and solid enough to add extra functionality that is exactly what you were after in the first place.

  2. Others like Wix and Weebly are self-hosted which again can work fine if it’s just a basic website you are after.  Where issues arise is if you need backups or extracting data.  Often it’s not easy and you don't usually get access to the actual database.
  3. Also, let’s be very clear here.  If you get a free website off a provider there is usually the catch that if you decide to exit their services, you will also lose your “free website”.  If you think that you’ll be with your service provider for ever and ever, then that works fine but if you are more of a shopper around’a sort of person who likes the best deal, then this option won’t suit you.”

So in as much non-techy speak as we can muster up here is our summing up of the key facets of great web development:

  • Include security updates or plug in updates
  • Include controls around the process and systems for approved plug ins and apps
  • Include back up services and easy to extract data capability
  • Be satisfied with your service provider for ever (bit of wishful thinking perhaps?)
  • If it looks too good to be true (i.e. free), it usually is.

Next up Sarah-Jayne will talk about why if you want a great brand and web design, you need a great graphic designer.

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