A website does not only mark your online presence but also works as your salesperson. This is why if you are to create a website from scratch, it’s important to follow some simple yet essential rules on how to make a website. The website in the past few years has proven to be one of the biggest potential client/customer-generators in all. This is because a well-planned website can not only attract attention worldwide but also can be used to target clients/customers from specific geographical areas or demography.
Companies will say anything to sell their products but it’s logically impossible to create a website that sells your products or service for you in a few easy clicks. In setting up a website, one needs goals, content, structure, design, programming, and maintenance. What one needs is expertise constantly. This blog outlines without attempting to be comprehensive the most important steps for creating a good website.
What are the basic things any website should have?
From functionality and appearance to navigation and coding integrity, a lot goes into creating an eye-catching, user-friendly website. It doesn’t end there, either. Web developers and designers must work together to produce websites that will be located by search engines, engage customers, and stimulate conversions. Before creating a website you need to know basic things that your website should have:
- Choosing a Domain and Host
Great domain names say so much while saying so little. In addition to being memorable, a domain name needs to accurately reflect your brand’s voice and be nearly impossible to misspell. Finding the right name for your brand is crucial, because incorporating a combination of SEO, simple spelling, and brand identity into the domain name leads to a higher chance of being located in search engine results. Simply put, businesses that are easily accessed online get more customers.
When comparing hosting packages, it’s vital to consider the nature of your website and business. Will the website be media-rich, with loads of pictures, videos, and presentations? Do you have technical support in-house, or do you need reliable, responsive support from your hosting provider? Also, think about the amount of traffic your website will receive. Does the hosting company offer scalable solutions? What backup, security, and additional features are offered? Don’t forget to research reviews about the company’s performance on social media and third party websites before making a final decision.
- Backend Services
It’s impossible to develop a great website without a functional program taking care of the backend. If you think of your website as a car, you can understand why. When friends see your shiny new sports car, they look at the sleek paint job, glistening tires, and luxurious leather seating. In the world of websites, this equates to the part of your site that a user experiences directly. Just like the powerful engine in your sports car, the backend of your website is where the magic really happens. Without strong backend services, your website won’t be able to “wow” your guests.
- Clean Design
One of the most important things to remember during the process of website development is to create a clean, appealing design. A quality design is attractive and easy to read with intuitive navigation. Most importantly, a clean design helps viewers focus on the value of your brand and content instead of distracting graphics or large amounts of text. Often, customers associate website designs with the quality of a particular company or product. Hence, a clean design is vital to providing a positive user experience that encourages customers to return.
Branding is important to all businesses, both large and small. The design and placement of your brand’s logo contribute to a viewer’s overall opinion. Professionally designed logos successfully catch the customer’s eye and provide a clear picture of the brand’s unique voice. Choose a location on your site that is readily visible to visitors, such as the upper left corner, since this is where the eye naturally begins to scan a website.
When thinking about functionality, there are a few matters to consider. Namely, is the website functional in the literal sense? Are there loading issues or broken links? Are the site’s security features adequate for your business’s needs? In addition to these operational issues, it’s crucial to view your website’s features from the user’s perspective.
- Call to Action Buttons
Placing call-to-action buttons on your website encourages customers to reach out to you or contact your business. A friendly suggestion, such as “Contact us today!” demonstrates that your business wants to develop a relationship with its customers. It’s important that calls to action are appropriate for a visitor’s level of engagement with your company. If they’re just discovering your brand, invite them to subscribe to your email newsletter. If they’re already a loyal customer, perhaps they’ll enjoy participating in your brand’s loyalty rewards program. Regardless of what you’re asking visitors to do at your site, always include a call to action at least once on each page for people to react.
- Short Loading Times
When looking for information online, nothing aggravates visitors more than slow loading times. Customers can be turned away completely due to this issue. Testing your website ahead of time will help you pinpoint any loading time issues, and these can be fixed before your site’s official release. To increase customer retention and provide positive user experience, periodically evaluate your website’s loading time once it has launched. Short load times give customers the information they want when they want it. If your site can’t deliver, a competitor’s site will.
- Active Blog
An on-site blog helps keep customers informed about the latest products, company events, and industry-related information. Featuring a blog on your website is a great way to connect with them, especially if your posts encourage readers to interact with your brand. Keeping your blog regularly updated informs customers of your brand’s values and desire to promote communication. By regularly providing readers with fresh, helpful, engaging content, your brand becomes a trusted resource and an industry authority.
- Clean, SEO-Friendly Code
Whether you’re developing new webpages or optimizing existing ones, it’s critical to have clean, SEO-friendly code. By taking the time to improve your site’s code, you can increase the overall return on investment. SEO-friendly code acts as a guide for search engine spiders by providing a clear picture of your site’s content.
- Mobile Sites vs. Responsive Sites
Statistics indicate that the use of mobile devices to conduct online searches has increased significantly in the past two years. In fact, approximately 95% of mobile device users count on their devices to search for local products and services. To effectively reach this growing population of mobile users, businesses need to be sure that their websites are available from any device. For a large company with an existing web presence, it makes sense to develop a separate, mobile-friendly website designed to perform well on any device. On the other hand, a business planning the launch of a website would be better served by choosing a responsive design capable of adapting to any device.
- Effective Security
With the evolution of technology, newer and more advanced security risks threaten to compromise your website’s integrity. From malware and viruses to malicious apps and the threat of hackers, websites must prevent security breaches on both the front ends and back ends. Websites built to conduct online transactions, such as eCommerce sites, need additional security measures to protect customer information. To reduce the potential for browser-based threats, businesses must add SSL certificates to their websites. During development, it’s critical to review the security features included in your site’s framework and design. Businesses also need to conduct regular security checks or work with a provider who offers this service.
- Customer Testimonials
Customer testimonials can be used to promote your business. By featuring customer testimonials on your site, you demonstrate your company’s skills, products, and commitment to customers. If you already have a loyal customer base, reach out to a few and solicit online reviews. If they’re willing to provide a recorded testimonial, take advantage of this opportunity to create a branded video. The more genuine, detailed testimonials your company receives, the greater your chances of gaining new customers.
Between Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools, web developers have the mechanisms necessary to accurately and efficiently calculate return on investment. For both traditional and mobile websites, these instruments can be used together to monitor traffic, engagement, and conversion rates. After digging deep into the data, it’s possible to uncover which marketing campaigns work best and which are underperforming. These valuable insights into why customers come to, stay for and leave your website help your team perfect marketing strategies and adjust engagement techniques to maximize results. Since your branded online presence acts as a 24/7 storefront, it’s essential to simplify the outcomes measurement process by using Google Analytics along with Google and bing’s Webmaster Tools.
- Comprehensive Sitemap
When you sit down to read a book, what’s the most helpful section to review first? Typically, it’s the table of contents. Acting as a summary of the book’s details, the table of contents provides a snapshot of material found within. Similarly, a sitemap provides visitors and search engines with the information to easily navigate your website and discover its contents. To keep your site up to date, it’s necessary to revise the site map as new pages are added. Google Webmaster Tools simplifies this process for you.
- Original Content
When designing a website, it is crucial to write high quality, original content that is relevant to your company and products. Everything from the quality of your content to the keywords used affects your site’s ranking in search engine results. Keyword research can provide topic ideas and, if used sparingly, will help customers quickly locate the content they’re seeking. To increase the appeal, each web page should have no less than 150 words and should include links to credible resources and other pages on your website. More than providing information, the content published on your site should be written to echo your brand’s unique voice. Before publishing, use a tool like Copyscape to ensure that it passes duplication standards. Posting duplicate content on your website will result in steep penalties from Google, including possible removal from search engine results.
So these are all the points that you have to take care when developing a website.
How to choose a development company for your website?
It is not as easy to choose a development company as it seems. We can compare the development of a website or an online shop to the process of building a house. If you hire wrong specialists for building the foundation who might possibly use the incorrect materials, your future project will fail, the house might collapse and you can get hurt monetarily if not physically. It’s a scary example but so is the failure of our business. To avoid such situations in the development of your website, we share the most important aspects of choosing the best website development company.
- Check out the company’s work portfolio
Evaluating the experience of an e-commerce team is the central aspect, that a future website owner should do. Knowing the specialization of your e-commerce team will help you to understand whether this agency can fulfil your requirement toward the upcoming project.
For that, the first step is to check out the portfolio of the team. In most cases, IT companies share their projects on their websites. By checking the portfolio, you will evaluate the functionality and usability of their live projects, estimate development and design skills.
An agency’s portfolio could include similar works that can meet your requirements and expectations. Moreover, you will receive insights into the company’s experience in a particular area. Additionally, you can visit the company’s profile on specific networks such as Clutch, GoodFirms, and Behance.
- Read client reviews on Clutch
The best way to find out about IT company competence is from reviews from their previous clients. For that, you can use the Clutch website. The website specializes in gathering feedback from IT companies clients around the globe.
These reviews will give you insights on whether your future agency is favoured for projects similar to yours. Also, you can check if your prospective team has any awards and recognitions by their peers. Such research will give you the idea of their rank among others in the industry.
- Ask for client references
All established web development companies have previous clients. It is a good practice to contact a team’s clients and ask about their experience. In case former clients are satisfied with the services provided, you can trust this agency. If past clients are not satisfied, you should look for other options. A short interview with the previous clients allows you to receive a clear idea about your future IT service provider.
- Evaluate the quality of the company’s website
You can learn more about the quality standards of the e-commerce team by checking their overall digital presence. For that, you need to analyze their social media profile, website, and content.
Pay attention to the website design, features and the quality of the content they publish. Their website design should be up-to-date. If the company does not follow the best practices, they might not be able to handle your project.
- See how fast the company responds to your email
The responsiveness is one among other factors to consider when choosing a web development company. If you decided to work with a small team, they might not have a dedicated sales staff. In this case, you can contact the owner or the assistant at the company. You can give them 24 to 48 hours to answer your request. If the company is interested in learning more about your web project, it is a good sign. Remember that without an understanding of your goals and needs, it is impossible for the team to give you an accurate estimation.
The effort taken to create a website not only comes from proper planning but also in its proper execution as well. As an industry insider who has witnessed my company’s experts help many companies in upgrading, restructuring and maintaining their websites, I need to tell you that the programming language used in developing the website and the kind of resources used in doing it has a major impact on your website since it needs to be future-ready as well. Bad development practices are why a lot of rookie website development companies charge substantially so less compared to other companies or resources.
Beware and most importantly be aware. There’s nothing wrong in consulting before proceeding with IT-related decisions. Safeguard your business as well as plans by being cautious and aware.
It was our duty to guide you with best-practices and insight. Do keep in mind that we too have the best mobile-friendly website developers with high-quality website development & standards. So feel free to check us out on archisys.co and if you wish to connect with us then mail us at [email protected] and we will be there for you as soon as possible.