Webdesign Progression of a Startup
Designing a website is challenging, but for a startup even more so. According to Wikipedia: “A startup or start-up is started by individual founders or entrepreneurs to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. More specifically, a startup is a newly emerged business venture that aims to develop a viable business model to meet a marketplace need or problem. Founders design startups to effectively develop and validate a scalable business model.”
In the beginning of November I received a phone call from a founder of a startup here in the Denver area. It was a Monday morning and the site was to be live by Sunday. That was almost 6 days to develop a site from scratch. He stated that he did have WordPress experience and was looking for a Full Stack WordPress developer to get the job done, and others he talked to did not have more experience than he did.
I informed him of our Timber Boot theme which is a blank slate to develop custom WordPress themes on. It utilizes Bootstrap for mobile first design and Timber (Implementation of the Twig framework for WordPress) for speed. I received the “go ahead” that afternoon.
The decision was made to use the Google Cloud to host the site for speed, flexibility, and cost. As for the website, it will be done in phases. Obviously the first phase was to get a web presence built and live within 6 days. Then keeping the same design, additional components would be added in the following phases.
I felt that I would write a series on this, for those starting up new companies, to assist them with the ongoing web development for startups and the reality of expectations. So let’s follow the development and growth of MyCBD.org.
Week One – get the website live
The initial phase was to get the site up with:
- Home Page that included a carousel slider and a feed of the latest and most popular articles.
- About CBD section composed of 3 pages
- CBD terms page
- News Section divided in categories with the most popular per category included
- Google Tag Manager
- Newsletter Integration
The challenges here were:
- Creation of a dynamic secondary menu for the News section
- Coding a function to retrieve the most popular articles in a way that would not consume too many resources
- Keeping the Administration area easy to use
- Deciding to use a plugin or code the Tag Manager and Newsletter Integration
Using Timber functions, the secondary menu was handled. Using Advanced Custom Fields took care of coding a function for the most popular articles and keeping the Administration area clean and easy to use. All areas except for the News and About Pages would be custom post type with its own admin menu, as to keep the back end areas separate when content was added.
The plugin Google Tag Manager for WordPress was decided on instead of custom coding. An excellent plugin that uses minimal resources and added not significant load time to the site.
As for integration to MailChimp, a few plugins were tested. The claims that one would not slow down the load times was proven to be false. The best one that was found added 4 seconds load time to a site that loaded in 3 seconds. An increase of over 100%. This integration was moved to phase 2 to investigate. Probably a custom coding function will be added that will not consume that amount of resources.
For those of you who are interested, I will be posting after each phase is complete. The major additions will be:
- Addition of 3-4 custom post types
- Handling newsletter integration
- Development of a complete advertising component including customer information, ad placement, and billing.
In the meantime, head over to MyCBD.org for some interesting information concerning CBD.
If you have any questions or comments contact us here.