Are you looking for a WordPress agency?
Matter of Form is a WordPress development agency based in San Francisco that has spent the last decade designing and developing websites for brands — big and small — all over the world.
With specialist knowledge on developing eCommerce solutions on platforms like WordPress, as well as sites non-eCommerce sites, we are an award-winning agency who brings unparalleled professionalism to every project we work on.
Our team of WordPress experts are on hand at every step of the process should you have any questions or need to get in touch.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that was originally launched in 2003 as a humble blogging platform. Since then we have seen it transform into the world-leading platform that we see today, hosting a staggering 31% of all global websites (60% of CMS market share).
WordPress’ goal is to “democratise publishing” giving people the “freedom to build. The freedom to change. The freedom to share”. It is in keeping to these values that the platform is widely regarded as the most accessible and intuitive content management system that exists and combined with a number of features – like the fact that it’s open source – it will continue to grow and dominate the CMS landscape, whilst also encroaching into eCommerce territory.
Stats and Facts illustrating WordPress’ digital dominance:
- WordPress powers 15% of the world’s top 100 websites
- 120 languages are in use across WordPress sites.
- One of the most popular plugins is WooCommerce turning the platform into an eCommerce store
- Around 40% of all online stores are run on WooCommerce
- 5bn pages are viewed by 409m people each month
- 84% of WordPress sites use Google analytics
There are several reasons for choosing WordPress over rival platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce, one of the main ones is that it was designed to be a content management system and so sites who have an awful lot of content — even if they are require eCommerce services as well – will be better suited to WordPress.
A Few of the Positives
WordPress is open source.
Unlike other platforms, WordPress allowed everyone access to its source code from the outset. This brings in a number of positives that are unmatched by other rivals. *There are downsides to this – read more in the negatives section. Allowing the world’s top developers and designers access to your back-end and front-end code is only going to ensure the platform evolves at an impressive rate. The WordPress development community numbers in the tens of thousands and these people are all there to help one another improve the site, whether it is the functionality or the user experience/interface. Custom WordPress design and development is a central part of the success of the platform and will continue to be well into the future.
Unparalleled Content Management System
Since it’s conception WordPress’ raison d’être has been managing content. It’s focus has been to allow its users to create manage and project its content intuitively and entirely through the platform. Whether you are a global business with thousands of pages or a young blogger venturing out into the digital domain, WordPress is as intuitive as it is functional making it one of the most popular platforms out there.
There are currently over 55,000 plugins in the official directory and this number is always increasing. Everyone one of them is designed to improve the platform in some way, whether that be by bolstering security, adding scroll bars, image sliders, parallax integrations (this is cooler than it sounds!), analytics, SEO….. The list goes on; whatever you can think of the chances are there will be a app that provides you with what you are looking for. Added to this many of these apps are free (*although many aren’t and this can lead to increased monthly costs).
There are over 4000 free themes that giving you an enormous variety to choose from. It’s important to give the visitor to your site the best first impression possible, it therefore really important to find a theme that really captures and works well with your brand. If one of the free templates doesn’t work then there are thousands of customised ones that are available. If these aren’t enough then you can hire a WordPress developer like Matter of Form to build you a fully bespoke site that will encapsulate your business in every single way.
Whilst no platform is impregnable, WordPress has an army of developers striving to make the site and the businesses that use it more secure. These developers and security experts work tirelessly to make sure the updates are secure and when issues do arise they are generally pretty quick to solve them.
A Few Negatives
WordPress is open source
Whilst there are many positives to this as is pointed out above, the open source nature of WordPress does present some vulnerabilities. Seeing as everyone has access to the code this leaves websites exposed to hackers. The more plugins people have, the more openings there are into the website. Ensuring your plugins have the latest updates or getting rid of ones that you no longer use can mitigate the risk.
Can be Expensive
Whilst the most basic version is free (as well as many plugins), if you are building a customised site for a business, costs can start to rise quickly. Many plugins that are used for increasing traffic on the site, SEO tools and overlay call to actions – amongst many others — can cost between $10 and $30 a month.
WordPress is undeniably an SEO friendly platform, however so is pretty much every open source content management system. It is also quite easy to do damage to your SEO on WordPress. For instance it is very easy to over-tag content on your site and by doing this Google might flag it as duplicate content and subsequently rank you further down the results pages. The number of plugins you use can affect rankings – i.e. the more plugins the slower the page will be which is bad for SEO. The theme you use can have a bearing on SEO for example if your theme has placed the title or H1 tags in the wrong place or even styled them incorrectly, they can have a dramatic affect on rankings.
Customization is not easy
Which Plan is best?
As with most things digital, which plan is best entirely depends upon what your requirements are how the platform suits different people is best heard from the horse’s mouth…
Who uses WordPress?
eCommerce giants, international sports teams, global news providers and hospitality brands, to name but a few. Put simply; some of the world’s biggest businesses have put their faith in WordPress as a content management system.
It is testament to keeping things simple in that this platform can cater to the needs of every type of business, big or small, international or local. One of the beautiful aspects of the platform is that it will comfortably scale with your business. Other content management systems will require you to be a certain size before you should think about using their platform, but with WordPress you can start with a five-page blog and turn into a vast eCommerce store without much hassle.
In terms of eCommerce stores using WooCommerce as their platform, these tend to be content heavy sites who want not only an online shop, but a space to create publish and manage content on a continual basis – perhaps brands/businesses whose first purpose is content and selling products or services is a secondary thought. For example the Spectator magazine is principally a periodical producing several articles on a daily basis; they also have a subsidiary shop and this is why they have chosen WordPress, principally as a CMS, secondly as an online store.
Why choose Matter of Form to help make your dream a reality?
Put simply we believe we have brought together a team who individually as well as collectively are second to none in their fields. The pride that each take in their work, together with the skill they have, is the combination that drives the success we have as an award winning WordPress design and development agency based in San Francisco.
Matter of Form has a holistic approach to WordPress web development in that, from discovery to design to development to testing to responsive design to more testing and finally to launch; everything is done in house.
It is very much an iterative process and our teams work tirelessly to deliver a website that is not only beautiful, but intuitive as well. Our mission is to bring to life the character of the business in the digital world. We love building websites that users love to be on, and clients love to be proud of.
Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding. Explore our previous projects to see the beauty and versatility of our client’s websites.
Depending on the complexity of your design this can vary. However Shopify is a very intuitive platform and as a result the simple themed designs are very quick to set up. A simple design can be completed in 8 weeks with more complex designs taking up to 3 months.
- Are you looking for a platform and Content Management System to cater for a content rich site? Yes… WordPress is suited to you
- WordPress is widely regarded as one of the best content management systems in the world with an estimated 28% of all websites using it as a platform.
- If you are looking to sell products online then the WooCommerce plugin will easily allow you to make your site transactional.
- Thanks to the open-source nature of WordPress, and to tens of thousands of third-party plugins; it is possible fully customise your site in order to fit your brands identity.
- WordPress software is free, including some basic templates and themes. However this gives you very limited scope. A standard premium fee is $99/year with additional costs for domain names and web hosting.
- Plugins are typically one-off payments and vary in cost. They range from as little as £5 to £80 but this charge is dependent on the developer so prices may vary.
- When it comes to our fees, they vary enormously from project to project. We are looking to bring big agency expertise to smaller clients and as such we understand your financial constraints.
- Typically a build for a SME will range from £10k – £30k, depending on your requirements.
- £10k will give you a basic customised website with no external integrations.
- 30k will give you a fully customised website with enhanced functionality including design and content.
- If you are looking to make your WordPress site transactional using a plugin such as WooCommerce, prices typically hover around the 40k mark.
- This all rests on the size and complicity of your site – be aware that prices can reach into the 100s of thousands.
- Discovery Phase
- Maintaining your brand identity is at the heart of our methodology. Before we start designing or developing anything, our team will sit down with you to go over your business and objectives and particularly; to get a strong understanding of your brand. Once we are satisfied that we understand the direction you are heading and what it is you want to achieve, we will start creating some template designs.
- Proposal / Quote
- We will issue you with a quote for the whole project, from design to delivery. Details each phase of the project and includes our recommendation of the design and UX, front end development and eCommerce configuration
- UX / Wireframing
- We’ll put together a skeleton design (wireframe) of your website so you can approve the site structure.
- Creative Brief
- You will constantly be in touch with our creative team in order to design a concept that will really bring your brand or products to life online. It is important to us that you are able to have as much or as little input, into the design as you wish. Developing a website is an iterative process and we are only happy if we achieve what our client envisaged.
- Once we agree the final design with our client, we will roll the design out across all of the pages, detailing each one so that it is seamless for your customer. Once the design concepts have been agreed we role out the look and feel across all other page templates and we go through more back forth between the client in order to ensure….
- Once the brief is reached on desktop, we will roll out the designs across all platforms including tablet and mobile.
- Front End / Back End
- Our team of developers are well versed in all the latest technologies (e.g. html, CSS styling, JS and Ajax framework). Our front-end developers cover what the user sees and interacts with. Following this back-end configuration of the platform onto CMS allows you to manage and process your orders, products and other eCommerce processes allowing the site owner to not require further developers down the line.
- Retained services
- We take enormous pride in the business’ and brands that we work with. We want to see them continually develop and grow and in order to guarantee this, we offer a retained service whereby we set aside an agreed amount of time per week or month to ensure everything associated with your website, from content to code, is as up-to-date as possible. This service gives our clients complete peace of mind and enables them to concentrate on making their brand or products as good as they can be.
- The service includes:
- Daily backups of your database and all of the content on your website.
- 24/7 protection of your website for malware, viruses and hackers
- Updates of your plugins and WordPress core files, ensuring there are no vulnerabilities and guaranteeing that performance is maintained.
- Quick fixes to site bugs and other glitches
- Hosting on our secure server
- Content management