In the last few weeks two customers approached me for help with their Wordpress websites. I knew what Wordpress was but never spent much time on it. At first I was very impressed: the web pages look good and are very easy to create or modify. I thought that maybe I should start using Wordpress myself to work less and make more money with my website design business!
By Alain Houle, Alco Web Design LLC
Then I did some research. Wordpress, as well as Joomla, Drupal, 1&1, Homestead, and many other website building tools are databases that use templates to display information in a web page format. A user friendly interface allows someone with limited technical skills to easily enter text, pictures, layouts, formatting, and all the information that needs to be displayed. At the end, the web pages do not really exist but are dynamically created “on the fly” from the database when pages are being visited. I have to admit, this is pretty clever and it certainly makes it very easy to create and modify web pages.
But if the pages do not exist and are created “on the fly”, how can Google and other search engines find them? I did a fair amount of research on the internet (try “static URL vs dynamic URL”) and it looks like the Webmaster community is pretty divided on this topic. My understanding is that Google is making an effort, got better over the years, but still struggles with dynamic websites. Google is responsible for 70% of the internet traffic these days and making things difficult for Google is not a good idea…
All things being considered, it looks like the Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, 1&1, and Homestead of the world are great tools when there is no website budget at all or when large websites require frequent updates from multiple individuals. However, for the majority of small business owners, a good old fashion static website that Google will find and love is likely the best option. This is what I have been offering for years and I plan to continue to do so. Here go my dreams of working less and making more money…