Tag Archives: Wordpress Themes

Rid the World of Outdated Website Designs [with WordPress]

How to Rid the World of Outdated Websites

We are designers and marketers to the core. Bringing  outdated website designs into a fully functioning attractive website design gets our hearts pumping.  We know design, we know code, we know CSS, PHP and  java script and a few other web language tricks. What we are not are high priced write-from-scratch-mathematic-genius- coding-geeks.  Thank goodness, the majority of small business websites no longer need us to be code crunchers.

 The days of web developers holding small business customers hostage with inflated hourly fees over months and months of undelivered promises are in the past. When high end custom web programming is required or clean and simple small business website updates are needed, talented web programmers who are ethical, affordable and a pleasure to work with are just an email away.

Today, small businesses have a plethora of affordable options available when it comes to redesigning a website. Web design software, drag and drop content management systems, and even free website builders offer beautiful website designs at affordable rates. Redesigning outdated websites has never been easier.

Resources That Make Updating Your Website Easier

  • Local experts – a small business in Lansing can work with a a local website designer in Lansing area. You don’t have to go to a large design and development firm in Detroit, or Chicago.
  • Website Design Applications  – from Dreamweaver, to Joomla, to blogging systems, website development is easier and faster
  • CMS – content management systems, back end administration areas. With standard WYSIWYG editors these systems are as easy as Word or Facebook for adding posts
  • Responsive – websites can automatically detect the size of the monitor or device the web visitor is using and elements are scaled to fit. Not having to constantly scrolls makes for a more pleasant web experience on any device.
  • Standardized features – reduces the need for changes and troubleshooting features. A lot of code is Open Source and free to use.

wordpress responsive website packagesHow Do We Rid the World of Outdated Website Designs?

As web design software and systems flooded the market we researched and tested nearly every industry product. The solution we embraced is the WordPress platform.  There were many reasons the WordPress platform stood out to us. First and foremost WordPress gives us the ability to meet customer needs by customizing existing themes. Instead of building CMS or custom features for every project, a superior system was ready to plug and play. Thousands of dollars and hours were saved and small businesses gained new websites they can update easily themselves.

We also needed to be able to easily customize templates. WordPress themes are like builder white walls – they don’t fit everyones style and may have very little personality. Most often we may start with a WordPress template and by the time we incorporate customer branding elements and add-on features, even the template developer could have a hard time picking out their design. Web designers, like graphic designers, are rebels – we always need to be able to break the mold!

Benefits of WordPress Responsive Websites and Blogs

  • Small business owners and their staff can easily update website content. From website copy, to website photos, to adding new pages, and forms, staff with little to no website development or coding experience can update web information.
  • Small business websites benefit from increasing their search engine optimization with each update  made. Web spiders and bots travel the net devouring information. The newer the information the more likely your site will be indexed for search engines.
  • Plethora of WordPress design themes available. There are endless WordPress design themes that offer increased functionality, built in CMS, and appealing design for your websites. Because of the amount of themes developed they are touted as a do-it-yourself web design solution…not always so, my friend… more about that later.
  •  Wordpress plug-ins eliminate the need for custom coding, add increased functionality and offer cost savings to small businesses. WordPress plug-ins can be used for web features such as adding a real time calendar, a slideshow, a shopping cart,  a feed to automatically post content to your social media networks.  Some plug-ins are free, others have a one time fee and still others have a monthly or annual license fee.

Outdated web designs be gone with do-it-yourself website design

We’ve established WordPress website themes serve as good jump off points for outdated website designs. All of the basic coding is done for you and installing a theme can be quick. Plus WordPress themes can, theoretically, be installed by any level of user. However, most people without html coding knowledge might find this to be a slight stretch.

There are still some technical steps that need to be understood right out the gate. Choosing a website hosting company, managing the domain, transferring the DNS correctly, optimizing photos fro web, to name a few. There is often a need or desire for some form of customization to a site also. If you’re not familiar with web coding, installing a theme and applying special functionality to a standard WordPress website design can be a nightmare. A manufacturing company website and a professional speaker website could take weeks or even months to complete without basic knowledge of html and web development.

Also, keep in mind when you purchase a WordPress theme you are not purchasing a service. The theme developer doesn’t help you build your website – even it there may be questionable coding issues – in most cases you are buying as-is without technical support.

If you choose to design your own website, remember to look at website themes that are responsive. Responsive WordPress theme designs will load well on any size monitor and they offer mobile website readiness. Plus, Google searches now put  a precedence on mobile sites when returning mobile search inquiries. If you do not have a mobile or responsive website your site may not come up in mobile Google searches. Search our site to learn more about responsive website design in related blog posts.

Check out WordPress and learn how you can bring your outdated website into a contemporary, highly functioning marketing and sales tool. If you decide you prefer spending your time building your business, give us a call – remember, design is what gets our hearts pumping!

Membership Website Ideas – WordPress Makes it Easy to Update

Jug&Mug Club Membership website home pageWe recently were selected to provide new membership website ideas and design for a local Lansing Michigan All Seasons Club JugAndMug.org. We worked with the president and a few other board members to re-create the site. I wish I had a screen capture of the old membership website – a before and after would have been dramatic and impressive.

We were happy to hear the group contacted us because we were referred to them as a company who would provide quality service and a website design that met all the goals of the organization at a reasonable rate. Upon our initial meeting with the website committee we learned more details about their ideas for the new membership website.

Local Club Membership Website Ideas:

  • Bring website design into the current decade
  • Offer a content management system that was easy for non-programmers to update
  • Responsive website format: detects screen size and format for smart phones, tablets or desktop monitors
  • Slide show of photos that can be updated easily
  • Blog page to be part of the membership website and not a separate url
  • Online inquiry forms, contact forms or registration forms
  • Emails with domain name (name@jugandmug.org) that forward to each board persons personal email if desired.
  • Ease in updating content and adding photos in all areas
  • E-commerce capability for accepting payments, ticket sales, membership dues, etc.
  • Members only section – password protected with different access levels


We have provided similar membership website ideas and solutions in the past with password protected areas, e-commerce, events pages, and specific administrative access. Membership websites can range between local clubs like jugandmug or large national or state associations, non-profit and political groups as well as business groups membership sites.

When we’re provided membership website ideas and solutions throughout our  17 years of business that incorporated content management systems (CMS) we typically built them from scratch. Now we can often use the robust WordPress options available.

Jug&Mug.org was built with a WordPress theme that supports e-commerce interactions. There were a plethora of plug ins available if we needed for the password protected area or the photo slide shows. The use of WordPress for this particular project was ideal primarily because of the ease in updates. Since membership websites are often updated by different people and the administrator may change with each board member update it is important to keep website updates simple. Jug and Mug is lucky, they have a President and website committee right now who is knowledgeable of computer programming and interested to learn. Other memberships, associations and clubs may have people responsible for managing the website who have no clue what web code is. Use of WordPress CMS helps alleviate worries and errors and helps newbie website managers to feel at ease.

ski club responsive website - on smart phoneThere are some particular rules to follow when choosing a website company and a WordPress theme,

  • do you want the website for business or just for fun
  • do you want to use your own domain name (hosted on it’s own)
  • a responsive theme
  • a theme that allows e-commerce
  • a theme that allows third party plug-ins
  • customizable
  • … and more depending on your website goals

Discussing WordPress, membership website ideas as well as customizing existing WordPress themes really requires another article. For instance I throw WordPress plug ins out there like they are little miracles… they can also be mean little sprites that choke your website speed and may not play nice together… So much to cover so little blog space.

If you are interested in using WordPress as a new website design solution and would like to talk to us about your considerations whether you have your own membership website ideas, an e-commerce site, or a website offering a service that you need help with. please call us today, 517-645-4387.

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