Every once and a while, someone will ask me if I can build them an app. Depending on how complicated the app is, this is something I can do; however, it’s not always a good idea.
In order to decide if it makes sense for you to get an app for your small business, it’s a good idea to consider the following questions.
What extra value will this app provide to the end user?
As a business owner, it’s appealing to have your app installed on your customer’s phone. The real question, however, is “Why would someone install the app?” Many of the most basic and affordable apps, to create, provide little or no more value than a mobile website.
Do you have the kind of business that is a natural fit for an app?
If you are running a restaurant, you could use an app for things like notifications of specials and a virtual punch card. If you are a plumber, it’s much more difficult to find those things that make your app useful. (See the previous question).
Is this a good use of your money?
It’s uncommon to spend less than $1200 on an app; even the inexpensive ones are regularly more than $2500. If you have a brilliant idea for a custom app, it might even cost 10’s of thousands of dollars or more. Considering the other, more cost effective, ways of accomplishing the same things, an app is mostly a poor investment for a small business.
This is just a quick post because the questions came up again recently. What are your thoughts on it? Do you still have questions or are unsure? Please let me know. I’m happy to update this with further information.
I just launched a website for Busy Bee Daycare in Aloha, OR. This is an example of one of my basic website package websites, and it’s the second preschool/daycare site I’ve built in the last month or so. The other one is Little Scholars University in Forest Grove Oregon.
Busy Bee Daycare
Address: 718 SW 215th Ave, Aloha OR 97003
I recently launched a website for Little Scholars Preschool in Forest Grove, OR. This is one of two preschool/daycare sites I’ve setup in the last month or so. The other one is Busy Bee Daycare in Aloha.
Little Scholars University
Address: 2217 16th Ave, Forest Grove, OR 97116
A local web designer is someone who builds websites and is geographically close to you, right? Maybe, but let’s look at an alternative concept of what local might mean in this context.
Serving small local businesses
Perhaps it’s about who you serve and your expertise, instead of physical proximity. Since inception, the focus of Justin’s Web Design has been serving small businesses who are local in nature. In other words, if you run a small company with local customers (i.e. roofer, plumber, carpet cleaner, etc.), you have specific needs. Developing the expertise and systems to serve those needs is a big factor that separates JWD from the competition.
Buying local is almost as important as…
…selling local. As a local business owner, one of the best things you can do for your local economy is to sell. Just as buying local helps bring money into the economy, the flip side of the coin is selling local. In order to do that well, you need an exceptional web presence. If you can find a trusted adviser to help you with that locally, great! If not, or if the local solutions aren’t affordable, it’s important that you not let that keep you from doing your part–selling local.
The Beaverton connection
This company was founded and run in Beaverton, OR for the first five years of its existence. Even now, a large percentage of my customers are in the Portland area. A big reason for this is that most of my business comes from word-of-mouth. Additionally, I rank well in the search engines for keywords related to Beaverton web design.
Currently (as of 4/18/2016), I’m in Reedsport, OR. Reedsport is between Florence and Coos Bay on the Oregon coast. I moved here to be closer to family in order to help with a medical situation.
In this day and age, most people are comfortable with working primarily over the phone and by email. That said, I have some other great tools that allow me to work from any location without compromising customer service. I can do screen sharing, and video conferencing for those who want the face-to-face experience. Overall, my systems allow me to get more done in less time and therefore save you money.
This is a good place to explain another key difference between JWD and the competition. Most developers are focused, almost completely, on the ‘big ticket’ initial sale. If your initial budget is too low, they don’t even want to deal with you. If you clear that initial hurdle, it can be difficult to get support once the project is complete. More importantly, those developers are no longer actively involved in helping you keep your site up-to-date and secure.
My packages are configured with a long-term business relationship in mind. The key principle is the necessity for you to have a trusted professional to continually help you with your web presence.
While my physical location varies, I am always here to help you with your local business, and in turn that will help your local community. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Justin led me through the process of creating a new website for my organizing business with incredible skill and patience. He made clear all my options, and shared valuable suggestions about what to focus on in terms of content and graphics. Reliability is super important in this process. He was quick to respond to my many emails and he met every single deadline we set. In addition, the aesthetic quality of the new website truly exceeded my expectations. He designed a beautiful site, with great functionality, at an amazing price. Justin is a real pro. I would hire him again in a heartbeat.
Suzanne Lehman Personalized Organizing Solutions
Justin has always been very responsive to my business needs. He provides excellent service and is will spend the time to discuss options and ideas.
Schrock Law Office PC
Justin is very helpful and can break things down so you can get the full picture. He often sends out helpful tips, and is always willing to make changes to our site in a reasonable time frame. Instead of just doing the minimum required, Justin takes the time to guide you the best path for your business.
The question often comes up, regarding where I’m located. As of the writing of this article, I’m living on the Oregon coast (Reedsport Oregon). I started my business and spent the first 7 years in Beaverton. A big percentage of my clientele is still in the Portland area, and I maintain my membership with the Beaverton Chamber of Commerce.
I’ve been fortunate enough, to find this vocation, and enough success, to allow me to be location independent. In other words, I can do my work from just about anywhere. So the question remains, “Am I a local web designer?”
The answer depends on how you look at it. If you are asking if we can sit down at a coffee house and have a meeting, the answer is no, unless your close by or willing to travel. That said, I’m a very good local web developer using a different definition.
My whole business has been optimized to serve small local businesses. Not only businesses that are local to me, but all the businesses that are serving a local community in America. If you have a little restaurant, or you’re a plumber, and you need help promoting your business locally, that’s where I can help. And, that’s true whether you’re in Key Largo, Flagstaff, or Beaverton.
So if you are looking for a rock solid business person, to be your webmaster over the long-haul, you can count on me. If you require proximity, I’m probably not your best choice.
Please take note of this warning advisory: Due to recent technical changes and increased hacker activity, your website may be at risk.
While any aging website can be susceptible to hacking, this article is specifically intended for those running older versions of WordPress. WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for building websites. With the flexibility and functionality provided by WordPress, it’s not hard to understand why it’s a favorite tool. Of course, with the good, comes the not so good…
Over the past few months, it has become increasingly evident that it is crucial to keep your WordPress installation and its plugins up-to-date. Remember, WordPress is the engine that runs your website. Each year, in order to protect against increasingly sophisticated and determined hackers, WordPress makes three or four major revisions to its program and adds a dozen or so new security patches. In addition, each of its plugins — the small programs that run within WordPress for extra functionality — also gets updated.
In plain English: It is absolutely essential that WordPress updates be applied to your website on a regular, ongoing basis — for your security and convenience as well as that of visitors to your site.
If your site seems to be running smoothly, you may be asking, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” So long as your site is working, is updating really necessary? The short answer is “yes.” A neglected website isn’t like a car in need of an oil change that gradually runs rougher and rougher, emitting black smoke and making weird noises, giving you plenty of warning before the engine is seriously damaged. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) your website will probably work just fine without the protection of updates — right up to the moment it crashes and/or is hacked. Once that happens, repairing it will be time-intensive and expensive.
While there are “upgrade buttons” available in WordPress, the process actually requires a high level of technical proficiency, so it’s not generally recommended as a DYI project. If you are considering tackling the upgrade of your site, please click here to read my article, “What you should know before upgrading WordPress yourself.”
Alternatively, you may prefer to engage one of our professional maintenance/upgrade technicians to bring your site up-to-date and keep it that way. If you are interested in this option, you are welcome to simply shoot me an email or give me a call, and I’ll be glad to send you a cost estimate, based on the age and complexity of your particular site.
You may also want to take this opportunity to add new features to your site or even to do a full facelift. Just let me know what you are considering, and I’ll be happy to discuss the options with you.
Please feel free to call (503-828-1763) or email me with any questions.