Websites. Lately I’ve been talking with lots of business owners about their websites, and the stories out there about them are truly terrifying!

I’m astonished! When did it get to commonplace for service providers to hold their clients’ hostage to their services? To ignore, to intimidate, and to charge an arm and three legs for their services?

website design

photo credit: Margaret Ornsby

Yet for many business owners I talk with, that’s exactly what the website provider is doing. Unfortunately for the business owners, if the website provider doesn’t fall into that category, they seem to fall into the “I don’t know how to reach my webmaster” category — which is at least as bad for the business owner.

This might be acceptable if we were talking about a brochure that was designed 5 years ago, and sent to print in large quantity. But we’re talking about WEBSITES! And in the Age of Facebook, they need current information and updated stories. Today we value substance over sizzle, real information over moving pictures, and social media hooks over sound.

It’s not unreasonable for a business owner to expect and demand that their web designer/host provide them call backs, responsive service, and CUSTOMER service. What we are talking about here is a reflection on the brand for your business. If you don’t have easy access to make updates and changes to your website – how do you expect to compete in today’s online world?

If you find yourself among the vast number of business owners who no longer have control of their website you MUST get control if it soon. It’s a lot easier today than it ever has been to manage your own website. In fact, if you can operate Microsoft Word, you should be able to manage your own website. At Paradux Media Group, we recommend self-hosted WordPress sites for small to medium-sized business owners. WordPress was developed as a blogging platform – so created for people who wanted to maintain a presence on the web, but didn’t have advanced IT degrees. Since then, WordPress has grown into one of the top content management systems available. Great looking business websites can be created on WordPress architecture, simply by emphasizing the pages more than the posts. With a few handy plugins and a little knowledge, you can position your website to be found on the first page of Google, giving your business the opportunity to gather new customers.

With WordPress, there are lots of resources available, check out the Paradux Media Group Resources page for some of the best resources we’ve come across. If you need help create a custom theme for you website, do a little investigation – then hire a professional. Just be sure that whoever you hire will be available for questions in the upcoming years and believes in providing quality customer service.

While there’s nothing wrong with using a stock template for your site in the short run, you will want to have a site design that is not immediately identifiable as “freeware” in the long run. Custom WordPress designs don’t cost a lot, and will give you the flexibility you need to strengthen your brand in the future.

But the most important part about a WordPress website is that with not much more than 1 hour training, you’ll be able to create new posts and edit content for your website. Providing the all important updated-content in the Age of Facebook. Take back control of your website today — your brand will be glad you did.

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About the Author:

Tisha Oehmen

Tisha Oehmen is a professional brand strategist and a leader in the branding field. She has been named a member of the Global Guru’s Top 30 Brand Gurus. She is also the co-founder of Oregon-based Paradux Media Group and the best-selling author of the book, Finding Brand: The Brand Book Tutorial.

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