Thinking of creating a commercial real estate website for yourself or brokerage?  Here are some great tips on how to get started and what to look for!

1. WordPress.  Why use WordPress?  Have you ever had an HTML website made?  Remember all the gobbledy gook nonsense you had to sort through just to change a few words on a page?  That’s what it’s like without a content management system like WordPress.  It’s messy, difficult to move items, and a terrifying if you don’t understand code. WordPress puts all your pages and blogs into separate categories for easy sorting and allows you to edit without a ton of HMTL coding.

2. Website Builders that work with WordPress.  I love Fusion, but Visual Composer / WP Bakery is also very popular.  Although WordPress does a lot of the work with HTML, certain design elements will require it – galleries, flip-boxes, changing photos, hover animations, etc..  Instead of using HTML, you can install a Website Builder with WordPress.  It will have easy to use options like building columns with an easy click, adding elements, and animations – all without any coding knowledge at all.  Most of these programs cost a bit extra, but they’re worth it!

3. Template or Designer?

Templates are great if you have some graphics or HTML knowledge.  Templates can help you create a new website in a few days rather than a few weeks.  However, if you have no experience in graphics or design, this can be a frustrating process.  Sizing images just right – attempting to make the mapping program say “floors” instead of “bedrooms” can be hours of research and headaches.

Designers are great if you can spare the time and money to have it professionally done.  Designers come in all levels of knowledge from novice to expert.  But there’s one important thing to remember – you get what you pay for.  If someone is offering you a $200 website, question the authenticity of their advertised skill level.  I offer Bargain, Custom, and Lead Gen websites for commercial real estate!

4. Hosting.  Most plans will be fine for a basic website host.  Bluehost offers great plans at very cheap that specialize in WordPress websites.  However, if your website gets popular and is pulling more traffic, don’t be shocked when it slows down.  Shared servers will allocate bandwidth evenly among their hosted websites, so if your website is hogging it, they’ll slow down your website to even things out.

5. Domains.  I always suggest you keep your domain.  Don’t transfer it to your website designer, no matter what they say!  This is for two reasons, #1 if your website goes down, your email will too.  Keeping your email on a separate server and you’ll lower your chance of email down time.  #2 It’s a trap!  Some website designers will push you to transfer your website to their care.  Once that’s done, they’ve got you.  They can ignore your calls and emails, shut down your website if you don’t pay a monthly fee, and manage your emails.  None of that is good.  Keep your domain.