Building websites from the ground up can be a daunting task. Your standard, out-of-the-box WordPress theme or a cookie-cutter drag-and-drop builder will not always have the level of customization you need in order to promote engagement and generate leads. That’s why we advocate for a fully-custom build at Mountain Mojo Group. Our clients know that when a website is built, we’re breaking down all user experience barriers and recruiting our designers to make the user interface interactive and clean.
So what does that look like in practice? Where does a website build begin? It starts at the beginning. Before the bones, before the muscles, we build the blueprints. When complete, a custom website functions like a body from top to bottom, with intricate systems within, and attractive features without.
When we build new sites, it starts with the following:
Information Architecture and User Groups, Pathways and Goals (nervous system)
We start by laying out how each of your target audience members might navigate your site, considering for each one what they might be looking for when they come to visit. Your information architecture is your website’s nervous system. It give us an idea of how one page might connect to the next, how data and content will travel from one page to the next.
Next we build out that navigation in a wireframe. These are the bones to the skeleton that defines your site. When wireframes are built, the simple content blocks or “modules” are laid out from top to bottom on each individual page of the site. In this way, the wireframes function as the framework for designers to lay out what the individual artistic elements will look like.
The closest analogy for design is the skin and flesh of your site. The aesthetic of the pages gives your site shape, curves, lines, and color. It is the reason many users find your site attractive and appealing. Design ensures that each time a visitor is welcomed, they have a face to remember, and all of the standard trappings of a webpage.
Backing up the design is the development — the muscle of your site. The back-end development gives your site the functionality it needs to perform simple tasks. Without development, your site will be able to accomplish simple tasks, but will never be able to “wow” your visitors. Functionality solidifies your site’s ability to serve content in a timely manner, to complete basic searches, to direct toward relevant partner websites, and more.
Though many custom sites function well within their framework, nearly all web builds incorporate plug-ins as a way to accomplish very specific web tasks with ease. In this way, Plug-ins serve as your site’s motor skills, lending direction to the function placed by your developer muscle. At times, plug-ins work to ensure data is collected properly, and in other situations, they serve to support other web functions, like Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Search Engine Optimization (Gym)
Congrats! You have a fully-functional site. Now what? You want to maintain that web property, right?
Search engine optimization helps to ensure that not only is your site well-put-together, it’s one of the top prospects around. Using plug-ins (like Yoast) and strategic, strongly-written content, you can ensure that your website is held in high-esteem by search engines like Google.
The best analogy for content creation is eating food. If your create (ingest) food that is good (relevant) for your body, it’ll keep your website (body) fighting fit. If you don’t put in the right kind of content, it can make your site fat, sluggish and irrelevant. Meanwhile, strong content creation with meaningful intention and proper planning can make your site healthier than any others in the industry.
All in all, the your website body likely already has all of the necessary components it needs to function properly, but may not have the facets needed to function at peak-performance. Need a trainer? Let us help you!
By Alex Carel