04 Feb Website Development Basics for Businesses
Want to create a new business starting with a website? Here are 6 major things to consider. Hint: Most people stop at #2!
1. WHO WILL DEVELOP THE SITE?
Whether you opt for a DIY solution using a website builder like Wix or Squarespace, or opting for someone to develop the site through a Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress and Shopify, knowing who you would want to develop your site is crucial. Think of the scope of work, timeline and your budget when considering your developer for the project.
2. WHAT PLATFORM WILL YOU USE FOR DEVELOPMENT AND HOSTING?
As mentioned above, the platform for development also plays a big role into your website project. Small portfolio type websites can use Wix or Squarespace but websites with complex features such as e-commerce or integrations with enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools and other third party features may require a higher level of CMS. For hosting, consider how much activity you expect your site to have, how sensitive your data is, and how much files you need to upload into the server to determine what hosting plan will work best for your website.
3. WHO WILL MANAGE THE WEBSITE?
Once your website is live, you need to consistently update it with new content. Not only will that ensure that people will always be informed of your latest news, promos and projects, but having an updated website actually helps increase your search results ranking in Google! One of the key factors that Google considers is the website’s “freshness” score, or how often the site produces and updates new content on the site. So if you plan on keeping your site on the first page of Google, make sure to add content to it regularly.
4. HOW DO YOU KEEP IT SAFE?
We all know how common hacking is nowadays. Websites that collect and store personal information must have increased security feature to ensure the protection of your users data. An SSL certificate must be installed on the site to ensure that data is encrypted and to show that your website is authentic.
5. HOW WILL YOU KNOW IF YOUR WEBSITE IS DOING WELL?
After your website goes live, ensure that you have Google Analytics installed and properly configured before you start promoting it. This step will be helpful in analyzing your traffic and see which promotional method worked best in bringing traffic to your website. Monitor the data monthly to see if you are attracting the right audience via the audience analysis demographic data, which can tell you the gender, age, interests and location of the people visiting your website. What you don’t measure, you won’t improve on.
6. WHO WILL PROMOTE THE WEBSITE?
Contrary to what Kevin Costner said in the film “Field of Dreams”, “Build it and they will come.” does not work for businesses. Once your website is live you need to distribute its content to draw traffic into your site. Use social media marketing by sharing your articles there, educating your audience, and offering some entertainment all while placing Call To Actions (CTA)s on your posts. You can also use email marketing to invite people back to your store and repurchase some items, or even share coupon codes your customers can use for their next purchase. You can also try using Google Adwords to attract people who use Google search to look for products and services, or try Google or Facebook Ads to show your ads to people playing mobile games. Promotion is the key to letting your audience know you exist, and why they should visit your website!
Making a website does not stop when the website goes live. In fact, the work has just begun. In planning for a website, you must always think ten steps ahead. Most people just want a website but do not realize the work that goes into managing and promoting it. Make sure you have a team who will be updating, tracking, monitoring the traffic of tour site so you can make the most out of your website.