Building a website, regardless of whether you do it yourself, or hire a web designer can be fraught with challenges. But regardless of whether you DIY it or hire someone to do it for you, getting the fundamentals right is crucial.
Below we outline three areas of a web design that if overlooked, often lead to significant mistakes.
While the web design and content is an important part of a successful website, the CMS, or content management system, used to build the website may be a bigger factor long term. Choose a CMS that is appropriate to your website by considering:
How many developers and designers are willing to work with the CMS?
Are your hosting options limited or many?
Can move it from one host or developer to another?
Is the CMS user friendly? For administrators? For developers?
How flexible is the CMS in terms of supporting many types of features and content?
What are the approximate costs of using the CMS (ask for comparisons if possible.)
How much flexibility is available in custom designing the website as well as changing the design over time.
CMS’ are not created equal. Some a better as some tasks than others? And no CMS is perfect in every way. But finding one that is best suits your situation is possible if you start asking questions.
No marketing strategy
A website is a small boat in a very large ocean, unless it has some way to advertise itself. The first step in launching a successful advertising campaign is putting together a marketing plan. A marketing plan does not need to be complicated or lengthy, but should document what marketing tools are available and how they will be used.
Top level consideration should include:
SEO - what search keywords are most relevant to your website and how will you incorporate them into your website and marketing strategy?
Social Media - which social media platforms will be most useful to your marketing efforts and how will you use them?
Paid Advertising - does paid advertising make sense? How much will it cost?
Content Marketing - can content marketing be integrated into your marketing strategy? It takes some work, but the payoff can be great.
Digital Word of Mouth - Who might be willing to talk about you positively online, either through social posts, reviews, or blogging?
Furthermore, it is important to make sure you also have the right tools available to analyze the impact of your marketing efforts. Web analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, are easy to setup and use.
Great web design is only one part of a great website. Content plays a huge factor in whether your website is a success or not. A few factors to consider include:
Does the content explain my business propositions? For example, what makes me relevant, unique and worth contacting?
Is the amount of content on my website appropriate? Is there too much or too little?
Does the quality of the content match the aesthetics of my website’s design?
Does the content work well with desktops as well as mobile devices?
Is the content interesting as well as informative?
Does the content offer my audience useful information, or is it mostly geared toward marketing?
Does the content use proper grammar, spelling, and sentence structure within your content, i.e. is it easy to read?
Generating great content is one of the biggest challenges in maintaining a successful website. Assessing what content you have available and what you need to create, using the above criteria, should help you get off to a great start and stay on track.
Author: Todd Johnson, Managing Director, Avatar New York
Avatar New York is an innovating, award-winning New York web design firm dedicated to providing clients with responsive websites that help grow brands and convert visitors to customers. With an expertise in web development, branding, cloud hosting, mobile app development, and CMS and e-commerce solutions, Avatar New York's top tier designers have the ability to create intelligent websites for any type of business.