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Kubla Software Website Upgrade (Wordpress & Divi)


We recently updated our trusty old website at www.kublasoftware.com.
I thought I would share the technology we used as it might be of interest to any of you thinking that your business could do with a new website.  If you have an old site that is looking slightly dated like ours was and you want to take advantage of some of the features of modern website platforms (Wordpress, SquareSpace, Wix) it could be easier than you think.
Our original website was hand coded in HTML, CSS and JavaScript.  These technologies are like the basic tools of writing websites.  In one way mastering these technologies is useful as it gives you the low-level control to do basically anything you want, however in the modern-day web the advantage of this low-level control is becoming less and less important.  We decided to make the leap to using a web site platform that gave us a much higher level of user experience think “drag and drop” rather than writing code.
There are a lot of successful websites written by some web builders that take almost all the complexity away from you. www.wix.com and www.squarespace.com are two market leaders.  The problem with these is you cannot self-host and you are effectively tied into a contract with those companies to continue hosting your site.  However, the costs are very small, sometimes less than a mobile phone contract. When you factor in the costs of running and maintaining your own server it sometimes becomes a no brainer to go with these options.
In the end, we decided to go with using WordPress installed on one of our virtual servers we rent using Amazon Web Services (An EC2 instance).  This is relatively easy to do although does require some technical knowledge.  You could choose to get an IT freelancer to set up a WordPress site for you if you aren’t confident yourself or pay for the company who make www.wordpress.com to host it for you creating a similar setup to that with other platforms.
WordPress is a great technology that makes it far easier to create web pages than writing raw HTML code.  It is open source and free for anyone to download and install onto their sever.  Apart from making it a lot easier to write web pages another great thing about these platforms is that there are many customisations that you can buy referred to as ‘plugins’.  They can add things like image carousals, count down timers, price charts etc...  You will see these used all the time when visiting websites and can really give you site a quality feel.    
A plugin we decided to use was Divi 3.0 by Elegant Themes.  This plugin is basically a theme and a pack of different tools that made it even easier to edit the website.  It comes with a selection of widgets for displaying images, price tables etc…  There was some frustrating hours spent trying to get it to work initially but I think it is worth it as now editing pages can be done in a few clicks.  
All told the website took two of us about two weeks to create.  However, it is worth noting these things :
A)   A lot of the content was copied from the old site.
B)   Those two staff were very technical.
C)   We do have perhaps a more complex site than some of you will need.
D)  We used stock photography from www.shutterstock.com to get quality images to use.
I hope this info I useful to anyone tackling the same task.  We aren’t recommending\endorsing the companies mentioned just letting you know the route we took. 
If you aren’t confident with technology you might have to employ free lancers or an agency to give you a hand with the technical parts.  The same could be said for graphic design and writing copy etc… but we did it all ourselves.
We are pretty pleased with the results and it is now on a platform which is very easy to work with.  This is ideal as we plan to update it in the future with new areas for a knowledge base, learning section, user manuals and blog etc...
Would love to hear any feedback people have on the site, and am happy to answer questions relating to the upgrade.

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