Review: Why did we choose WordPress for our web design company in Egypt?

Many years ago the team decided to choose one CMS -content management system- to manage our clients’ websites instead of using multiple CMSs or custom developed CMS for each website project. Our clients in Egypt sometimes ask for a particular CMS, or they ask for custom features that no CMS was able to afford.
The two main options were between using an open source content management system or using a commercial CMS, and after many trials, we decided to go with the liberty of the open source community. The options of the open-source CMS were between WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, and we chose WordPress for the following reasons:

1- Easy to Use

WordPress is the most comfortable dashboard to control your website if you are a webmaster. Drupal or Joomla maybe they were enough from a development point of view, but their dashboard panels weren’t fun and easy like WordPress. Webmasters and editors are having fun controlling their website without a steep learning curve. WordPress runs 30% of the websites on the Internet, with this fact in mind you always find tutorials and how-to videos all over YouTube, to boost your skills as a webmaster.

2- Search Engine Friendly

Search engines، like Google، love WordPress because of its simple and clean code, and the organized structure of the HTML components. WordPress takes care to ideally locate your digital content in the right HTML tags, this way your webpage is eligible to be indexed by Google crawler.
SEO specialists prefer to use popular SEO plugins, like Yoast, to optimize their web pages for search engines, this kind of plugins help them to rank their website on the first page of Google.

3- The World of Plugins

Developers and webmasters can extend the functionality of their websites with the power of WordPress plugins. plugins received 1.2 billion total downloads so far. There are lots of plugins on the Internet, some of them are doing incredible tasks and functionality on the backend, and some of them add excellent features to the frontend. There is almost a plugin for everything, starting with security plugins, to SEO tools, editing tools, payment methods, e-commerce, marketing tools, and travel booking systems, you will find plenty of free plugins on and tons of premium plugins on marketplaces like Code Canyon.

4- Content Marketing

In minutes you can edit your content, website editors can easily write text paragraphs, and authors can upload new articles as many as they can. These days content marketing is a huge thing, 17 posts are published every second on WordPress sites around the world. Brands that don’t publish valuable content online, they won’t reach their targeted customers, and can’t drive much awareness to their marketing funnel. WordPress gives you control over your dynamic content, allows you to manage your images, videos and documents, empowering your visitors to know more about your brand and the services/products you sell, through freshly updated content.

5- Multiple Admins

Users management was one of the main reasons; why we chose to go with an open-source CMS instead of developing our own custom CMS, it was that WordPress could handle all kinds of role permissions and admin privileges for as many users you want to control your website. It is happening in a few minutes without writing any extra code or investing time worrying who manages what.

6- WordPress is Extremely Popular

The keyword “WordPress” gets googled around 2.8 million times every month. Approximately 19,500,000 websites on the entire web use WordPress. In the US (2014 data), WordPress is preferred by 50% of the users, with Drupal scooping up 17% and Joomla getting 6.44%. WordPress is the fastest growing CMS, with roughly 500+ new sites being built daily in the top 10 million websites on the web. These numbers won’t make you worry to migrate your website from a developer to another, there are plenty of WP developers everywhere, and they won’t be stuck because there are a lot of learning materials online about WordPress and its plugins.

7- Security

WordPress as software needs to be updated regularly to avoid keeping old versions that could be vulnerable to threats. Using unauthorized plugins can hurt your website terrible. Always ask your developers to install security plugins, like WordFence, and UpDraft to secure and backup your content. Tech people may debate for hours if WordPress is the best secure CMS or not, I see differently, I know any software is vulnerable if the developers behind it didn’t take security and safety procedures.
WordPress is the fastest growing CMS, with roughly 500+ new sites being built daily in the top 10 million websites on the web, many of them tun on old versions of WordPress that has no maintenance or support, that’s why hackers can easily spot these and attack. Always, keep your WordPress up to date.

8- Cost-effective

The backbone modules of a content management system are already well-developed with WordPress. Each new version the CMS is getting better, and for free! Developers don’t have to develop from scratch features like user management tools, editing tool, publishing tools, media libraries, SEO tools, and more, most of these features are already developed. Designers and developers are more concerned with the theme design and structure. They spend the time to establish a smooth user experience on mobile and desktop that perhaps needs some coding in the core features.
Finding ways to reduce the development time is always cost-effective, we achieve this by building our websites on WordPress.

9- Quick Launch / Lean Start

WordPress is an excellent tool to publish a quick business website to increase the chances for your customers to find you online. The sooner you launch, the more you will learn about and from your visitors. With WordPress, you can immediately create web pages and posts generating rich content to educate your customers about your services.
Since most of the core features are already developed with WordPress, the development time is getting less and less; this helps you to lean your business and proof concepts online.

Let’s Talk

We design elegant corporate websites every day with WordPress. Our team masters its core features and the power of its premium plugins. Let’s talk today if you are considering building your company’s website with WordPress.

Our process of designing and delivering a fabulous website 2018

Several people ask me how do you manage to operate a website design company in Egypt for the last 14 years? What is the best process for a web design agency to deliver a successful website? The short answer is, through practicing and many failures, and a lot of time in process optimization and trying new ways of project management.

Our web design agency is building different types of websites from corporate websites to brochure websites and web applications. We meet new clients every day, looking to close a deal with them and start the fun parts, however, it will never be fun without an innovative process plan that guarantees a smooth workflow.

Through the years we worked on a dynamic and flexible development process that helped us to deliver high-quality websites for our clients. This development process is essential for our team to ensure that we are running a profitable company. It helps us to raise our productivity rate and guarantee a better future. We always keen to iterate and optimize this process to achieve our best performance.

We divided our process into two main stages, the first stage is The Discovery Stage, where we really know things about the website we will build before we build it. Without it, we will fly blind in the execution stage, and that is not good.

The Execution Stage includes the design and development work needed to launch a successful website, this stage work on an Agile methodology called SCRUM. By the end of this stage, we will have a product is functioning well, and delivers the objectives we wanted and planned for in The Discovery Phase.

Stage One – Discovery

The first stage is the discovery stage, in this stage, we collect the client requirements trying to understand the objectives of building the website project. We work on understanding the visitors’ agenda are and what they want to achieve on this website, we also align with the business objectives, which are most of the time purchases, sign-ups, or generating leads.

We draft is a sitemap; it is considered a set of sections and pages of a website, for example, the about us page, our services pages, our portfolio page, contact us page, etc. We also build a project plan document, which includes all the features and the plugins we are going to use in our content management system. Also, we include the web-copy, branding assets, and user stories that generate conversions.

Stage Two- Execution

  1. Web Design
  2. Web Development
  3. Content Moderation

We start with the design, then we develop the web pages with CSS and Javascript, and use WordPress as a content management system.

1- Design

We outlined the design journey into two milestones; the first one is usually low-mockups (low fidelity designs), here we depend more on pencils and papers to draw quick sketches that define the user experience while she or he is visiting the website. We call this milestone “wireframing,” it helps us to explain the customer journey to our clients. We prefer to discuss the buying funnel that we want our users to follow, and the proper actions we want them to take until they reach to their destination on the site and convert into customers, with a fresh lead or purchase for our clients. During wireframing we care more about layout structure, usability, and user psychology; we define customer habits, we study digital marking concepts, and we set KPI’s. This milestone is essential for the rest of the project roadmap.

The second milestone we call it the user interface design, aka UI Design. In this milestone, we deliver high-end mockups where colors, shapes, typography, icons, and any aesthetics styling, in general, are involved. The final output is a trustworthy website design for a business who cares about its brand image in front of their customers. We craft a Pixel Perfect interface to adapt to different screen sizes of mobile phones, tablets, and desktops.

2 – Development

The developers started to work once the discovery phase is done, they already had the features we are going to implement on the website. The developer installs WordPress and configures all the plug-ins needed for the website like the SEO plugins, marketing and remarketing plugins, utility plugins, security, and backup plugins. They can do this easily after the wireframes got approved. They make the backend ready for the second step.

Once our design team releases the interface design after user testing and client’s feedback; now we are ready to code the pages into HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and linked with WordPress.

The developers’ job is to make the output crisp and Pixel Perfect like the interface mockups. They make sure the WordPress CMS is fully managing every page, and our client can edit content easily.

The development step takes up eight weeks to end up with something that is ready to be launched. Our full-stack developers’ way of thinking plus our SCRUM development methodology has several advantages; we will write more about this.

Testing and debugging is usually common during the development process. Each development team has a tester who checks every component and feature carefully and reports any bugs or issues during the development. The number and complexity of reported issues depend on the nature of the project, in case of corporate and brochure websites, the issues are limited and familiar, while eCommerce platforms and web/mobile apps, the issues could be many and more complicated. The tester and the full-stack developers work side by side, with love, for eight or maybe twelve weeks, depending on the size of the project to fix any problem and to optimize the product performance. After that, we are ready to moderate the content and launch the website.

3- Content Moderation and Launching

On this stage, meet our heroes, the web administrator, and SEO specialist. The web administrator publishes the real content, edits the final web copies, uploads images, and embedded videos. The administrator makes sure everything appear in the right placement, and all the information is ready for the customers to achieve the call to actions.

The SEO specialist audits every single page to make sure that the website is a search engine friendly, meaning that there is high opportunity to appear on Google Search Results on the first page. He checks the focus keywords of the web-copy and makes sure that there is a search volume for this keyword and it’s easy for the website to compete on the first page. Our developers link the domain the host server, installing the SSL security certificate, and make sure that the website speed is accepted enough on Google Speed Test.

Now at the end of the build process, your website is ready to launch, “Congratulations!” and you are ready to invite all friends and co-workers to visit your business online. Also, your digital marketing team is ready to advertise some landing pages and target your audience.

I hope, you enjoyed the journey of our website design and development work, we do this at our agency every week with our happy clients from Egypt and Worldwide.