How to create a Brochure Site with WordPress and Genesis

In this new series, we’re going to cover exactly what steps we take to create a ‘brochure’ site on WordPress.  Today we’re talking about what it is, how to tell if you need one and why WordPress is the best choice for development.

What is a Brochure Site?

A ‘brochure site’ is usually characterized by a few static webpages (usually up to 6) that represent a company’s online presence.  They are often informational in purpose, with very little interactivity built in.  The content is usually readily available from the company’s other printed and marketing materials.   They are fast to build, easy to design (using the company’s existing branding) and can fit into any budget.

Examples:

MaryMcCoy.com, a consultant, executive coach and speaker.

Best Family Travel Experts, a group of travel writers combining forces.

The downside is that they are not taking advantage of the social networking, drawing in visitors & customers with fresh content, thus becoming an authority in their niche.  They lack the pizazz of the newer interactive sites that are driving the purchasing decisions of consumers.

So why do we still offer a standard brochure site?  Because we believe WordPress is an excellent starting point and can become the foundation for any great website! WordPress is infinitely extensible.  In our four years of existence we’ve integrated forums, live chat functions, shops (of course!), ticketing systems, online classrooms, email auto-responders, polls, FAQs, newsletters, feed aggregators (like a magazine), portfolios, galleries, submissions, google maps and more.   Naturally we think WordPress makes the best sense for a company’s first foray into the web,  because it will prevent the timely and costly transition when its time to grow and add some fancy interactivity into your website.

Do you need a brochure site?

Brochure sites are great for two types of companies: those with start-up budgets, and those whose websites will compose less than 25% of the marketing plan.

In planning a web development project we always go over these questions with clients to help determine the best solutions.  The visionary for your company will be able to talk about the answers to these questions for hours!  If taking this to a developer, be sure to pare it down to a manageable few sentences per answer.

  1. What place in your overall marketing does the website play?  In other words – is it your sole marketing tool?  Or the least important one?
  2. What do you want a reader to DO when they get to your site? Possibilities: read something, sign up to something, contact you, purchase something, learn something.
  3. Who do you want to visit the site? What does this person(s) look like?  What is their age, marital status, location, beliefs, interests, hobbies, past purchases, budget, online habits.  Are they new to your brand? The more you know about your target audience, the more effective your website will be at reaching them.
  4. Are search engines’ ability to read the site paramount?  This answer effects whether you’ll want to budget more time to scrutinize and re-work your copy.
  5. Are legal issues, copyright, and/or privacy of particular concern to your industry?
  6. Various logistical issues with a brochure site – who is the main point of contact; who is creating/editing the content; is content creation or architecture review needed; how much time is going to be spent on the site for updates and security, access issues, translations.

Summary

We all want to see the highest return on our small business dollars.  So starting your first website correctly can be the wisest marketing decision you make.  If you do need something more from your website, talk to a developer about your needs and budget accordingly.  If budget is a concern, learn from available resources (such as this one)  or start small with a brochure website on WordPress. From here, you can extend and grow as needed.

 

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One Comment

  1. I just dumped Drupal after two weeks of agony. I loaded up WordPress. Then I started to look for info on using WordPress to create a brochure site – my first ever website. Your article is well written when it comes to answering questions leading up to choosing WordPress. It fails to answer any of the how that the title purports to give. Strange.

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