Having a professional WordPress website created
Written by Finn Ruijter, 14 July 2020

10 expectations for a new custom WordPress website

More than 30% of websites on the Internet run on WordPress. This CMS is ideal for organizations that want to be able to publish and edit content themselves. But what exactly should you look for in a custom WordPress website?

A professional company or institution does not have its corporate website created by a handy nephew. The demands are stringent and the desires ambitious. When it comes to choosing the right Internet agency, there are a few things that separate the wheat from the chaff. We list 10 expectations you should have when you want a custom WordPress website built.

1. The Internet agency thinks with you

After submitting your website brief, you will meet with several agencies. In the presentations, you will see how your brief is interpreted and get a good idea of the possible, future collaboration.

The ideal WordPress partner has done previous projects in your niche. The agency knows your target audience and the challenges in the market. Therefore, it can also come up with relevant recommendations. The agency comes up with fresh, realizable ideas based on the latest thinking. In summary, the agency actively thinks with you because it acts as an equal partner.

2. You know what it will cost

It sounds so logical to know how much to pay for that new WordPress website. But still too many Internet agencies are vague about it or come up with unforeseen additional costs halfway through the process. This is not only frustrating for your organization, but simply unacceptable.

With a reliable Internet agency, you make clear agreements. These are on paper and agreements are clear to all. Preferably, choose an Internet agency with an in-house team of developers and designers, which does not rely on outside or freelancers and can thus move relatively quickly.

3. The web design agency dares to be contrary

Of course you have clear ideas about that new website. But what you don’t want is an Internet agency that consists only of a bunch of yes-men in the “you ask, we turn” category. Both your organization and the Internet agency are knowledgeable, each in their respective fields. Together, you are the perfect team for developing that new site.

That means you must listen carefully to each other. Criticism, if constructive, is allowed. And if the Internet agency slams on the brakes because a feature is becoming too expensive or not contributing enough to achieving your goals, be grateful instead of piqued; the Internet agency’s success is your success.

4. Everything can be customized

A standard WordPress theme can be installed and configured by almost anyone. You don’t need an Internet agency for that. But for a company or institution of your size, such a thirteen-in-a-dozen website is not appropriate. For example, you want secure interfacing with your CRM system, your ATS or other software that a WordPress plugin does not offer.

Your new website therefore requires a team of strategists, designers, programmers and developers. A team with preferably demonstrable experience. Instead of modifying an existing theme, such a team builds a custom WordPress website from scratch. You get a site that does exactly what you want, is fast and meets the strict requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (AVG), among others.

5. You use only secure plugins

A WordPress site is often only complete with the necessary plug-ins. Still, you want to be cautious about installing them. After all, they require many updates to keep working and ensure data security – and not every developer implements that many updates. When creating a custom WordPress website, you can assume that the agency knows which plug-ins are safe and which are better avoided. In other words, look for programmers, not installers!

6. Anyone (with administrator rights) can post content

One of the great advantages of a Content Management System (CMS) is that you can create accounts for the various administrators. This way, one person does not have to take care of the content (news items, in-depth articles, page texts) all the time. As a team, you can keep the site up-to-date and you don’t have to keep turning to the Internet agency.

In WordPress, you can assign a role of your choice to administrators. For example, there is the role of writer, who can create posts but cannot publish them. Or the role of author, who may publish his or her own posts but cannot edit others’ posts. Levels above that are those of editor and administrator.

7. Your website becomes easily findable (SEO)

WordPress and Google go well together. WordPress creates pages that are easily readable by search engines. In addition, you have the ability to customize the URLs of the pages themselves to include important keywords. Titles and headings are automatically given the necessary HTML tags, allowing search engines to properly value the content of your articles and page headings.

Usually, Internet agencies also know what follow-up steps are possible for further optimization.

8. The website is hosted on a WordPress-optimized server

For an organization seeking online success, any hosting solution is risky. In fact, if problems arise on other sites on the same server, it could have a negative impact on your site. In addition, due to lack of specialized knowledge at such hosters, support often leaves much to be desired.

No, prefer to choose managed WordPress hosting. Many Internet agencies expect that they also manage the website through their hosting provider. This allows them to work more effectively and help immediately in case of a failure.

9. The Internet agency provides support

We wrote above about the agencies that create WordPress sites using ready-made themes. Their modus operandi is focused on volume: completing many projects in a short period of time. And when such a project is finished, the agency pulls its hands off it. Then, irreverently, you have to figure it out for yourself.

Because you have biginterests at stake, it is better to find a partner who will take the time for you. Not only when creating the new website, but also afterwards. An Internet agency that offers a maintenance contract and proactively suggests changes. This keeps your site well-secured, up-to-date and realizes your online goals.

10. The agency continues to optimize

Such a maintenance contract actually includes a piece of conversion optimization. Because the Internet is constantly changing and a target audience’s preferences can change, a Web site is never finished. A site requires ongoing changes to keep working, stay relevant AND convert.

Those who are serious about online success will keep trying new things (such as through A/B testing), measuring the results and then making necessary adjustments. Ideally, the Internet agency that created your new custom WordPress website can take care of this work. That way you can stay focused on your specialty.