(615) 219-9181
Human at a desk typing on their Mac computer.

Web development

Start Climbing

Take the Stairs is a Nashville-based web development agency. We build custom marketing websites for our small business clients that are designed around their exact style preferences and business goals. 

We specialize in marketing websites where potential customers can learn more about products and services, then be funneled further along in the sales process. Our websites are built with WordPress as their content management system (CMS).

Could your small business use a great website?

Schedule a Discovery

WordPress vs. site builders (Wix, GoDaddy, Squarespace, etc.)

Building a website is no longer reserved for expert computer coders. Nowadays, marketers and business owners can take website design into their own hands using site builders like Wix, GoDaddy, or Squarespace.

No website platform is inherently good or bad, so choosing the right one for your website is a matter of drilling down into what you’re trying to accomplish.

WordPress

The website builder sites listed above work well for many businesses, but our Nashville web development agency only uses WordPress, because it offers the best balance between:

Ease-of-use for complete novices

Intuitive backend

Ability for customization

WordPress fits the needs of clients brand-new to marketing websites who are trying to rank better online, as well as experienced web developers who want to customize every aspect of the site. If you are the type of client who wants to own their website and have full control of it’s performance, a WordPress build is our top recommendation for marketing websites.

Website builders

Our team uses WordPress, but that doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with website builders. These platforms make it easy for anyone to get started with a website and they might be right for you if:

You operate a small, simple business that isn’t trying to rank online

You just need something easy to use and want a place where you can send people for basic information

Your business is just starting out and you’re looking to see if the business concept will take off

While they may not be the best choice for customized marketing websites, these platforms are excellent options for businesses with simpler needs.

Web development services

If you compare multiple web development agencies in Nashville, you’ll see that web development services can vary quite a bit from place to place. In order to find the agency that will be the best fit for your business, it’s a good idea to make sure you get a good idea of how they do business, from SEO implementation to pricing structure.

When choosing the right web development company, you’ll also want to take the time to understand exactly what you’ll be getting for your money. The major web development services can be broken down into development, maintenance, and hosting.

Website development

Website development is the design, planning, and building of your website. Your brand’s website is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can have, so be sure to work with a company that takes the time to understand your needs.

A good web development company will take the time to uncover your brand’s “why” and understand the business goals you’re trying to achieve with the website. They will create a unique website that reflects your brand, and keep you updated in every step of the process.

Website maintenance

You should never think of your website as “done.” Business websites need constant updates and improvements in order to keep visitors engaged and ranking well on search engines.

Website maintenance includes things like:

  • Security updates
  • Content refreshes (to keep information up-to-date and help your SEO)
  • Performance monitoring
  • Onsite optimizations

A lot of maintenance can be done by business owners or staff, but it takes time, so many people prefer to let their web development agency handle it.

Website hosting

Websites “live” on web servers, and website hosting is when a hosting provider makes space on their server for your website to live. This is how your information gets stored and shared with the world.

Generally speaking, website developers don’t host your website; they buy hosting services from a third party. Depending on the agency you work with, the site may be hosted under the developer’s name or your own name.

Make sure to find out whether web hosting is included with your website development package price, and what will happen to the hosting service when your contract with the developer ends.

Why should I have a custom-designed website?

Not every business needs a custom-built website; brand-new startups that just need a simple webpage to give them an online presence, for example, might not get much benefit out of a custom design. If you’re only planning on including the bare minimum on your business site, a simple page builder will probably do everything you need it to.

However, many businesses need a little more out of their websites, and a custom-designed site might be the better option for them. If you’re not sure which camp you fall under, see if the following statements ring true. If they do, a custom-designed website might be your best bet.

Website builders are easy for anyone to use. However, they come with significant design limitations. Generally speaking, they only come with a handful of content display formats, which means that if you want your content to be displayed a certain way that isn’t part of the web builder’s tools, you’re out of luck.

A custom-designed website, on the other hand, allows you to display content in the way that makes the most sense for you, instead of forcing it to conform to a pre-existing template. Custom designs give you a website that perfectly reflects your industry and brand.

One of the nice things about website builder platforms is that website hosting is included in your monthly fee. This can make a lot of sense for business owners who don’t have anyone to manage their hosting.

However, it also leaves you completely at the platform’s mercy and unable to make modifications that can allow your site to run faster. Website builders don’t always focus their efforts into speed performance, so you might be left with an underperforming site.

When you have an experienced web development company like Take the Stairs, you can benefit from thoughtful hosting practices like our use of code minification and a content delivery network (CDN), so that your website is always optimized for speed performance, as page speed is one of the many ranking factors for a website.

If you’re in a competitive industry, complete control of factors that affect your ranking is a must. You need to be able to alter things like your:

  • Page titles
  • Header distinctions
  • Alt tags
  • URL slugs
  • Meta descriptions

Website builders have significantly improved their ability to add SEO elements, but they still have plenty of room for improvement.

For example, one of our Nashville clients used a website builder platform for their site. We wanted to update our URL slugs to contain the client’s keywords that were different from the title we used for the page. At the time of writing, the provider offered no way to do so. When we called support, we were told it wasn’t an important ranking factor (even though it’s accepted in the industry that optimized slugs can have a positive effect on SEO rankings).

If you want full control over your site’s SEO, make sure you use a more comprehensive CMS such as WordPress or Drupal.

When you use a web builder platform, you’re renting your website rather than buying it outright. If you stop paying your monthly subscription fees, the platform will eventually take down your site and you’ll lose all the content you built.

When you have your website built with a web development agency like Take the Stairs, you own your website files. That means you still have complete access to, and control over your site even if you stop working with us.

Website builders are easy for anyone to use. However, they come with significant design limitations. Generally speaking, they only come with a handful of content display formats, which means that if you want your content to be displayed a certain way that isn’t part of the web builder’s tools, you’re out of luck.

A custom-designed website, on the other hand, allows you to display content in the way that makes the most sense for you, instead of forcing it to conform to a pre-existing template. Custom designs give you a website that perfectly reflects your industry and brand.

One of the nice things about website builder platforms is that website hosting is included in your monthly fee. This can make a lot of sense for business owners who don’t have anyone to manage their hosting.

However, it also leaves you completely at the platform’s mercy and unable to make modifications that can allow your site to run faster. Website builders don’t always focus their efforts into speed performance, so you might be left with an underperforming site.

When you have an experienced web development company like Take the Stairs, you can benefit from thoughtful hosting practices like our use of code minification and a content delivery network (CDN), so that your website is always optimized for speed performance, as page speed is one of the many ranking factors for a website.

If you’re in a competitive industry, complete control of factors that affect your ranking is a must. You need to be able to alter things like your:

  • Page titles
  • Header distinctions
  • Alt tags
  • URL slugs
  • Meta descriptions

Website builders have significantly improved their ability to add SEO elements, but they still have plenty of room for improvement.

For example, one of our Nashville clients used a website builder platform for their site. We wanted to update our URL slugs to contain the client’s keywords that were different from the title we used for the page. At the time of writing, the provider offered no way to do so. When we called support, we were told it wasn’t an important ranking factor (even though it’s accepted in the industry that optimized slugs can have a positive effect on SEO rankings).

If you want full control over your site’s SEO, make sure you use a more comprehensive CMS such as WordPress or Drupal.

When you use a web builder platform, you’re renting your website rather than buying it outright. If you stop paying your monthly subscription fees, the platform will eventually take down your site and you’ll lose all the content you built.

When you have your website built with a web development agency like Take the Stairs, you own your website files. That means you still have complete access to, and control over your site even if you stop working with us.

Ready to take the first step?

Call now Schedule a Discovery

The Take the Stairs web development process

Our web development agency has a specific process we like to use when developing new websites for our clients. Every website we create starts with WordPress’s Sage starter theme and gets enhanced with custom modules and accordion-style FAQ schema.

take the stairs discovery meeting

Discovery meeting

In our first meeting, we will identify the scope of your website build by reviewing your website preferences and expectations
Take the Stairs mock presentation

Website kickoff

When the scope is agreed upon we move to the kickoff meeting. In this meeting, we will lay out the navigation of the website and discuss design specs for your homepage mock.
Take the Stairs beta review meeting

Beta review

This is the dress rehearsal for the website launch and your first peek at your new website. We review the website with you and look for your feedback before moving to launch

Launch

Once the website is approved for launch, we set a date to complete this process. There are a number of pre and post-launch activities we complete to make sure your website upgrade is seen favorably by search engines

Why Take the Stairs for website development?

Sage starter theme

The Sage starter theme allows for endless customization without compromising loading speed. Sage also offers popular plugins like:

Visual Composer

Revolution Slider

Essential Grid

Custom modules

We develop custom modules as part of our website builds to ensure your website is flexible, easy to maintain, and simple for visitors to navigate. We can add and remove modules as time goes on, providing an easy way to refresh your content and keep information up to date.

FAQ Schema

Our marketing websites include a custom accordion that allows you to enable FAQ Schema with the click of a button.

FAQ Schema is a type of code that tells Google what questions are being asked and answered on your website, and enables Google to show these Q&A as SEO-rich answer snippets that show up on search pages when people search for those questions.

Website development FAQs

If you’re just starting to research website development, you’re probably coming across quite a few unfamiliar terms and concepts. The following questions are some of the most common ones we get from clients in our Nashville office. If you have a question not answered here, feel free to let us know.

A content management system, or CMS, is a platform that supports websites with a backend that non-developers can use to add content. This is opposed to systems that only support code, making it nearly impossible for non-developers to use.

The most popular CMS is WordPress, with Drupal and Joomla following close behind.

A plugin is a third party piece of functionality that you can add to your WordPress website.

You can think of it like an app on your smartphone – it’s been approved to be sold in the store and downloaded to your phone, but the functionality has been developed by another company.

A CDN, or content delivery network, allows your content to be hosted on different servers.

This is useful because it drastically improves load times by pulling content from the servers closest to the web visitor viewing it.

Asking how long it takes to build a website is akin to asking how long it takes to build a house. The honest answer is: it depends.

Most websites can be built in 3-6 weeks. However, the actual timeline will depend on factors such as:

  • The size and scope of the project
  • How quickly the client approves each phase so things can continue

If you want a more detailed idea of how long the site you’re looking to build will take, call us today at (615) 219-9181.

Interested in a website upgrade? Contact our web development agency in Nashville.

If your business website isn’t doing your brand any favors, it might be time for an upgrade. Our Nashville-based web development agency can give your site a complete overhaul so that it:

  • Reflects your brand’s values and aesthetic
  • Builds brand awareness and authority
  • Is easy for visitors to navigate and find the information they need
  • Ranks well on search engines
  • Increases conversions

A strong marketing website is the backbone of any digital marketing plan, and you owe it to your business to invest in one that does its job.

Set up a discovery meeting now and we’ll be happy to learn more about your business and walk you through how we can help make your business even more successful with a beautiful, functional new website.

Schedule a Discovery

Font Resize