Knowing these 14 things before building a website will help in the development process, will save you time and money and ensure your project is a success from start to finish.
- Decide what your company will stand for. Have this be reflected in your branding. The development team can then incorporate your brand in your website.
- Build your site with the end customer in mind. Design, graphics, messaging and keywords will logically follow.
- Ask yourself what you want from the website. What audience are you trying to attract? What keywords are likely to draw your audience? The better you can articulate what you want in a site, the more likely your website will attract customers.
- Easy to navigate sites tends to capture more visitors. Simple, easy to navigate websites attract and capture more visitors than ones with a lot of complexity and glitz.
- Be sure to make essential information easy to find. This includes your business address, phone, email and hours of business.
- Expect development to take longer than you initially expect. However, you can greatly speed development by providing all needed materials quickly. Give your developer clear instructions and the amount of time to make your site will be cut considerably. You can do this by doing research particularly looking at competitor sites.
- It will cost more than you expect. Mostly because you don’t understand what goes into making a website, you will undervalue the effort before you get started. Additionally, if you do not set out clear instructions for your web team and there are many changes, each change will raise your cost.
- It is best not to cut corners when developing a website. A site involves excellent writing, design, graphics, SEO and social media integration. Each is equally important.
- Don’t expect visitors to instantly find your site when it goes live. A website attracts visitors by conveying its message clearly in a winning way. Also, it can draw in clients by using optimal keywords and other marketing techniques. Also, companies that rely on reviewer sites such as Google and Yelp, tend to draw in more clients. Encourage your customers to give reviews.
- Regularly maintain your site. Keep up with the latest updates and be sure it can be viewed on the latest electronic devices, web browsers and operating systems. It’s very important to watch your analytics and see if you need to hone your site to draw in more visitors.
- Don’t give away information for free. Use of short forms is a great way for businesses to build up a user profile and collect leads from the website.
- Use reliable web hosting. Solid back-end and hosting, upon which your site rests, will make your site secure, reliable and customers will perceive your site as trustworthy. This will positively influence customers to make purchases.
- Make online payments secure and easy to process. If your site is an online store, it is very important to make payments easy as well as secure.
- You get what you pay for when you purchase website development services. On your team you will need a writer with web content and social media experience, in addition to a web designer and graphics and SEO experts. Each as important as the other. If a developer offers to make you a site on the cheap, critically look at their work and clearly have them write down what they are providing for you.
Now that you’ve read the 14 Things You Should Know Before Building a Website it’s time to start planning your project. Start with answering these questions: what objective do you want your website to achieve? What audience are you trying to attract? In our next article I’ll talk about the 14 Things You Need to Ask Your Web Developer.