Planning A New Website Build; Developer Q&A

hire a web content manager who uses wordpress CMS

Sooner or later every business is confronted with planning a new website and hiring the right team. The process can be especially agonizing for business owners who already have their hands full. Don’t fret! The more information you have about the process and who to hire, the more effective you’ll be in decision-making. This article will focus on the most common skill sets and the most important questions to ask.

Planning A Website Build
Project Manager Developer / Designer Database / Network Admin SEO Lead Content Manager Copywriter / Editor Marketing / Branding Expert


Functions Of A Specialized Team

Developing a website that provides a competitive advantage requires a specialized team. (One person simply can’t do it all, and do it well.) There ARE freelancers out there that have the experience and skill sets to cover several functions. For example, a developer may also serve as a project manager, designer, and database admin. An experienced digital strategist may handle SEO, branding, and all of content-related functions. If you have a smaller budget, it’s advantageous to find a specialized team of two or three that can work well together. For larger-scale projects, expect to need more and invest more.

The Bare Minimum Requirements

If you can’t afford to hire a specialist for every function, then these are the bare minimum requirements:

    • Web Developers for WordPress websites should be “full stack developers” that understand all of the technologies behind the build. They cover CSS Stylesheets and arrange the core structure of a website. At the least, they are proficient in HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS. A good developer will be good at solving problems and have the end-user experience top of their mind. They may not have the most advanced graphic design skills but are talented enough to customize a template and find images that are not copyrighted.


    • Digital Strategists will understand the  SEO and content requirements of project management for any type of website build. Using available tools and research, they can effectively edit and develop content. They know where to put the effort to gain organic search visibility, rankings, and traffic. (Including local SEO if it’s applicable.) Incorporating a professional freelancer into the planning stage will help the website’s performance on day one. But even after publishing, they identify where the “low-hanging” fruit is and what is needed for long-term success. A digital strategist is a long-term partner who continues to optimize and keep your website healthy long after publishing.


How Fast Will My New Website Load?

A highly competitive website must load fast. An experienced developer will have solid recommendations regarding where to host your website for optimal performance results. They should also be comfortable with guaranteeing a site load speed. (within reason) The ideal website load time for mobile sites is 1-2 seconds. Why is this important to know? Most searches today are done on mobile, and more than half of those searches are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load. (Google’s 2021 Core Web Vitals update accentuated the “need for speed.”) Site loading time, responsiveness, and visual stability are all core web vitals. How fast and how well your website loads has a direct impact on your overall search optimization efforts.

Which Website Platform Should I Use?

Not serious about ranking higher in search engine results? Then you may prefer an “easy website builder” such as Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly. These site builds require little website-building knowledge and can be done quickly. They are limited to templates and drag/drop tools and don’t require coding knowledge. These “do-it-yourself” websites are not recommended for highly competitive industries such as automotive, legal, medical, retail, or home-related products and services. On the other hand, if you ARE serious about search engine optimization, then WordPress websites are the way to go.

How Much Will My Website Cost?

The investment into a new or updated website will weigh heavily on who you hire, and what type of web platform they are building for you. Get creative with your website to make it stand out and provide a nice user experience. Easy websites such as Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly will have the lowest investment but they also have the most minimal performance. Expect to pay $1k-$3k. Superior content management systems like WordPress will require a larger investment. But, the customization and return on investment is SO MUCH greater. The range for a WordPress website build typically runs $4k-$10k. (Larger-scale WordPress websites can run well over $10k.) There are many variables involved, which is why the range is so large for more sophisticated websites.

Planning Your Website- A Final Word

Developers and designers are NOT expected to have advanced SEO skills, and most don’t because it’s not that relevant to their work. The problem is that many will claim that they have these skills. When this happens, a client sits on a newly built website thinking that it’s “good to go,” but it’s not. Establish a relationship with a digital strategist or equivalent who has experience with organic and technical SEO as well as content organization and development. These skills will create important “checks and balances” with other team players and help ensure long-term success.

Have your new website audited to ensure it’s indexable, crawlable, and optimized to rank for key industry terms. Contact form to reach Leaning Tree Digital