It’s a beautiful (but cold) Saturday in New York City, and I want to head out, so I will keep this post brief. Before you develop a domain name into a website, you should map out your 3, 6, and 12 month plan for the site. I didn’t do this on a few of my websites, and I am regretting it.
With my geodomain names, I did not build them on a content management system (CMS) like WordPress or Joomla. I didn’t have the expertise and didn’t ask the right questions. I gave direction like I knew exactly what I wanted, and I got exactly what I asked to have built. Basically every time I want to add a page of content, I need to do it in Dreamweaver and then make a few tweaks on other related pages, sitemap, home page…etc. With a CMS like WordPress, it would be automatic. Instead of taking 15 minutes to post an article (not counting the writing part), it takes 5 minutes. My bad. You don’t need to make the same mistake.
You should also think about how often you plan to work on the site and add content or business listings. If you want to be hands-off, you should use a platform that will allow others to add their listings (for a fee or free) where you can simply moderate it. I didn’t do this on my sites, so this is a struggle. I get listing requests practically every day, so it’s a lot of additional work for me. It isn’t difficult, but it can be time consuming.
One reason you need to think about where you will be in a few months and/or even years is that development can be expensive, especially. However, if you go about it the wrong way, it can be even more expensive and anxiety-provoking down the road. I am very thankful this blog was built on WordPress because it’s pretty easy to make changes to design, advertising, and even the SEO is practically done for me with a few plugins.
It’s essential to consider the amount of revenue you can derive from your site when you are making your plans. If you don’t really think people will pay for listings or advertisers won’t pay to be on your site, you should reconsider development. It can be expensive, and if you don’t really have a business plan, it can be a huge waste of money for you.
Because of the lack of knowledge I had when I started, I have to make a decision about whether to use a CMS on my geodomain names and then import all of my content, which will be a tedious and time consuming (expensive) job. Eventually I will get around to doing it, but there are other decisions and ramifications that will result.
The newest site I am working on will be an automated directory and should have limited online involvement from me. I’ve learned my lesson and gained enough knowledge, which I hope can help you as you develop.
whats the new site?
enjoy getting out on a nice day, scowl at a yankee fan for me.
bah. at least it was matsui
Haven’t blogged about the new site yet.
I hate the Yankees.
Hate is a strong word Elliot.
I do too.
I strongly dislike Philly sports fans (I have several good friends and can’t stand watching games with them). I was avidly rooting for the Phillies.
As they say, I cheer for the Red Sox and whoever is playing the Yankees.
With the amount of detail and volume on a site like Burbank.com, I am curious if WordPress is able to simplify the process.
Obviously, you had a designer who was able to put together (with you) an awesome site.
I am curious if you feel that this can be done with as much aplomb on a CMS site.
By the way, is it possible that you know of any GEO sites that were built on WordPress that I can check out.
Thanks for an especially informative post.
After attending several conferences and speaking with all the great folks there, I felt ready to get started with my GEOs. I hired a developer, gave him all kinds of direction on what I wanted, then launched the site. I was so wrong. I couldn’t do anything to the site myself – even minor changes he would have to do. That was so totally not what I wanted. So I have given up (I didn’t get anywhere near as far as you have with your GEOs) and decided to start from scratch with a WordPress site. Unless you are ready/able to hire staff and go big (a la Shaun Pilfold) in my experience hiring a developer can be almost counter-productive.
Thanks for another great, honest post.
need a hand with CMS, let me know.
Why not use and learn Dreamweaver and have total control?
I agree w/ using Dreamweaver – teach yourself Div’s, CSS, a little PHP and mySQL and you can do most anything you want.
Planning is the most important aspect to any design and development project — and often the most overlooked. You are so correct in the thought that extending the planning stage to include both short and long term goals for the site is important!!