Building a website is what most businesses undertake once they have developed their brand. There are a few factors to consider to ensure that the project turns out the way you expected and that mistakes are minimised.
1. Hire the Right Designer
The most important thing to consider when building a website is the designer’s experience. Do they have a portfolio of previous projects on their website? Are there verifiable testimonials about their skills and most importantly, what it was like to work with them? Some designers do great work but are not easy to communicate with and the process you go through is not an enjoyable experience. This tends to happen quite often when using an overseas developer!
The majority of businesses are just starting with developing a digital presence, so it’s important to guide them through the process with as little stress and angst as possible. Having an empathetic designer that also understands business objectives and ROI is a bonus!
2. Don’t build a rocket when you just need a bike
Just because you can have all the bells and whistles available in the tech world, doesn’t mean you a) need them or b) should include them in your site. Don’t pay for what you don’t need when building a website and don’t let a designer talk you into adding cool features that may just clutter your site and distract visitors from your primary message.
3. Your Target Audience
If you build a website with your audience in mind, then it will be much more successful than a site that is “designed” to look flash but does not resonate with your target audience. Putting the audience first and standing in their shoes when developing content, usability and functionality will deliver a site that will keep them coming back.
4. What Platform is Best?
Compare apples and apples when choosing your website platform. Whilst cost is important, there are a couple of other factors to consider.
1. Do you want to maintain the site yourself after handover? Then you need something that is fairly easy to use for adding content, pages & blogging etc.
2. Do you want to be able to expand the site and/or add functionality over time? Then you need a platform that is customisable.
3. Do you want control over your SEO? Then a cheap/free platform just won’t cut it as they manage the SEO or offer paid SEO which you have no control over.
I prefer using WordPress as the software us free to use. Themes and plugins are either free or a very small once off cost (except membership, events, subscription plugins). WordPress can give you:
- Static website
- Video embedded
- Members only sections
- Payment gateways
- Mail program automated integration
- Thousands of widgets & plugins that will do anything from embedding your social media pages into your site to a live chat popup when a visitor lands on your site.
5. Quick Hosted Solutions
I can’t stress enough how important it is for a business to own their site and all content. When you go to a hosted site whether a large player like Shopify or Etsy or a small one like Wix or Squarespace et al:
- you won’t own your site
- you can’t take it to another hoster
- their software is limited
- it’s pretty much a cookie cutter style website AND
- you will be tied to a monthly fee and each additional feature you add costs extra.
My Top Recommendation to get you started
Hosting - VentraIP - The best for Australian-based website hosting & domain name management.