Should you use WordPress for your Toronto website design project?

One of the most vital components of your Toronto website design project is a system that you can use to update content. This is typically referred to as a Content Management System or CMS. The CMS allows you to keep the content of your website design current, which is mandatory for high search engine placement.

A common question we are asked for Toronto web development is which CMS solution to use. The options generally come down to either a custom solution, or out-of-the-box software. Custom CMS solutions for Toronto web design are developed from scratch and cater to your unique requirements. Out-of-the-box solutions are generally less expensive but can have limitations for website design Toronto.

Your web development services company should be able to determine the best fit for you. If your web design Toronto project requires simple updates to text, then a 3rd party system may be all you need. There are many platforms to choose from including WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal – WordPress being the most popular. These systems offer a host of functionality for your web development Toronto project. They also tend to be less expensive than a custom website development solution.

However, the 3rd party solutions also can be quite limited in their functionality. While they do provide basic content management system services, their functionality generally ends there. Most of the time, a client will require some sort of unique functionality that the 3rd party software is not capable of delivering. This can include functionality like dynamic or interactive content, database requirements, compatibility with existing systems, or even simple tasks like searching and sorting. 3rd party solutions are best left to small business or personal websites where the functional requirements are at a minimum.

Custom solutions are usually more expensive, however they offer no limits when it comes to functionality. A good Toronto website development firm will gauge your needs and be able to propose a custom system that will accommodate all of your needs. Should your needs change, or if you need to upgrade your custom solution, there are never any issues or limitations. The system expands with your requirements no matter how unique they are. Custom solutions can also be designed to work with your internal systems, and be fully compatible with your existing digital infrastructure.

If you are unsure if which solution if best for your Toronto website design project, talk to a professional website consultant. They can assist you in determining your online goals and requirements and then help you select the best solutions for your website.

Should You Build a Mobile Website

Many clients have asked us if they should build a secondary ‘mobile website’ to complement their primary website. Smartphones and other ultra-portable devices is the fastest growing market share of the website browsing world, and businesses are eager to cater to this audience.

There are many factors to consider when contemplating the development of a mobile website, but the most important of which would be screen size. The question to ask is: Will users be able to experience and navigate my website easily on a 3 – 6 inch screen as they would with a 7 – 27 inch monitor or tablet? In most cases, the answer is no.

When viewing websites with a mobile device, even the simplest of tasks can be made difficult. Consider the act of clicking on a text link; this is effortless on a larger monitor, but with a mobile device it may require scrolling, zooming, pinching, and often results in clicking on the wrong link on the miniature screen. This results in a frustrating experience for the user, and frustrated users are not likely to return to your website.

A mobile website should be ‘thumbs-compatible’, where buttons and links are larger and easily clicked on by the chubbiest of digits. Mobile websites should be stripped of all non-essential graphics and formats to allow for fast loading pages, and a simplified user experience. Mobile sites should be fully compatible with social media sites and make it simple for a user to share and spread your content or products.

Some clients are concerned that the additional of a mobile website to their standard website will result in double the maintenance. They do not want to spend extra time updating the content on two sites. At Rebel Trail, we develop smart Content Management Systems (CMS) where you input your new content or product once, and the system will publish it to your standard website, mobile website, as well as any associated social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google +. We call this single-input/multi-output and it is a true time-saver for our clients, while making it easy to organize content and products.

If you choose to not adopt a mobile website, then you should at least test that your existing website is mobile compliant. Many websites are using Adobe’s Flash on their introductory or landing pages which will not display on Apple mobile devices. There are a many other formatting features that look great on a larger monitor, but simply will not work on a mobile device. Make sure to test your website on as many mobile devices as possible and notify your web developer of any formatting or display issues.

If you would like to discuss your options for a mobile website please contact Rebel Trail today.