Website designs can be created using a number of platforms. Popular options today include the big three of content management systems- Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal. Each have their strengths- and weaknesses. There are other content management systems in use too- those which are a proprietary application built on a hosting platform, like a one stop shop. Your web design platform must fully support creating custom tags for search engine optimisation- you need to be able to edit the html code of pages to provide clean semantic markup.
Content for website visitors needs to provide an engaging user experience, as well as cater for the search engine crawlers making their way through your website, soaking up all that information. Read more about what makes the best website designs work.
The most visually appealing designs are a waste of server space if they cannot be found or indexed, and remain hidden from humans and search engine indexes.
The important thing to keep in mind when evaluating the system that's right for you- is how well your content management system- and website will evolve with your changing needs tomorrow. A proprietary system linked to a website hosting company usually means you cannot take the website with you to another host, or you cannot make an effective backup to be stored offsite.
If the hosting company crashes- and they do- you're out on your own.
Ensure your website can go anywhere with you- all our projects provide clients with a full local backup of their website in our system, as well as a copy for them to keep on USB. Even if there have been updates since the backup was archived, the restoration time is reduced by around 90% in the event of a disaster. Read more about things to look for in a web host. We've made this article completely impartial by not mentioning any hosting companies' names.
And website, as well as web hosting disasters do happen!
The main technology to avoid, is Flash. The occasional flash element installed to liven up a page is ok- but building a website in Flash is not good. Flash prevents complete indexing by search engines, as they cannot read the text embedded within the flash files.
Not good if you hope to attract visitors via organic search!
Website designs which support Search Engine Optimisation often work best on content management systems which allow users to develop their own content. These systems are not without limitations or pitfalls however- website owners need to understand that it's possible for things to come unstuck from not understanding the system on which the website is built. You should always ensure that you are familiar with basic content management system operation before diving in and making your own changes.