Website platform, development, and build strategy.
Welcome to installment #4 of the Digital Publishing Experiment. This is an evolving podcast that is right now focusing in on the interesting ways in which content — be that words, or video, or audio — is being showcased and shared in the digital space. And I wanted to start with the old, trusty, not-quite-updated-enough, likely-in need-of-a-redesign website — because no matter what the project, there’s always a website at the root of it all. With that in mind, I reached out to Gordon Clemmons, a website developer who I think very highly of and have gotten the opportunity to work with on countless projects.
In this podcast we explore the issue of figuring out which platform is right for your personal or company/organization website, and how to approach not only the development process, but the long-term management of the site and all the data associated with it. While we opt for WordPress, there are many other options out there based on each person’s/company’s unique needs. Key points we make: the importance of building a website in stages; and that no matter what platform you decide on, you should always keep in mind that you might have to move to another platform in the not-so-distant future.
These are the questions I asked Gordon:
1. It’s still important to have a website, even with all the social media platforms now available, right?
2. WordPress is our go-to platform when we work together — Why?
3. What are some sites that you admire — both sites that you’ve worked on, but also, just sites out there that you always look to as models to learn from and be inspired by?
4. If you’re an individual — an author or an artist, you’ve got lots of options in terms of what platform to build your website on. Squarespace seems to be the go-to platform these days. What’s your opinion on Squarespace?
It takes a while to really understand how you are going to use a site — be it a brand or an individual. We always plan and strategize our projects together as “stages.” I love this approach — can you talk a little bit about this?
Creating a new website is exciting — a way to build and figure out a cool and efficient way of presenting information and connecting with an audience. You’ve built so many sites — what keeps it creatively engaging for you?
A few sites that Gordon and I have worked on together:
A good primer on wordpress.com vs wordpress.org.
Platforms beyond WordPress discussed:
— About.me — a platform that makes sense if all you want/need is a simple landing page that can showcase a bio and your social media links.
— Squarespace — the current go-to platform for building out websites. Good looking template options, easy-to-use backend, no need to worry about hosting, but limiting and likely not a good long-term option.
— Medium — be sure to also check out Medium’s blog to read about the latest changes to the platform.
Here’s an article written for authors, but useful for anyone looking to develop a web presence: 12 things to discuss with your website designer if you are going to build an author website.
More Digital Publishing Experiment episodes.