When I founded Newton Designs in 1999, and for many years to follow, my specialty was in creating custom websites that were “from scratch” – built from the ground up using HTML coding and no templates. Clients would often send me a rough sketch of a layout idea and I would bring it to life on-screen. This process worked for a long time and satisfied clients who were excited to see their ideas be translated to the online world, and for me it was a wonderful creative outlet.
However times have changed, and I now turn to WordPress as my platform of choice in creating new websites. WordPress offers many advantages over my former “from scratch” method. I select themes (a.k.a. templates) that are guaranteed to adhere to responsive design. This means that your website will not only look fabulous on a desktop computer, but it will also translate beautifully to tablets, iPads, and mobile phones. In early 2015, Google began penalizing websites that were not “mobile friendly” (i.e., using responsive design) and pushed these websites down in search results – sometimes even leaving them off search results entirely. Effective responsive design doesn’t just mean shrinking the dimensions of a website to fit on a phone screen; it means often rearranging page elements on the fly, making them more readable and useable on many devices. In addition, navigation must be mobile friendly with easy access to links and buttons. WordPress allows me as a designer to ensure proper responsive design is in place.
In addition to being search engine friendly, WordPress is also safe and secure. We can install plug-ins to monitor security threats. It offers a great Content Management System to organize pages, posts, videos, images, and other data you may upload to your website. If you are selling products or services on your website, we can use plug-ins for shopping cart function as well. WordPress has an easily accessible admin area that makes edits and updates easy for my clients to perform on their own. Finally, WordPress in itself is free to use, and open source.