Guide To Web Development
The days of relying solely on word of mouth or somebody stumbling across your place of business are over. Nowadays, if you do not have a website, or a “digital storefront” as we like to call it, you are behind the curve.
Not only do consumers want to see your business’ listing on directories, they also want to visit your website, which proves to them that your business is viable.
While a website can be used as a method of informing, scheduling, or facilitating purchases, the main goal of your website should be to build credibility with a user and entice them into a purchasing decision.
With web design, there are no shortcuts or one size fits all solutions. In order to be successful, you must follow industry best practices and add a creative touch personal to your business.
First and foremost, you need to secure a domain name and create a business E-Mail account. Hopefully, your domain name is still available.
Building and Hosting
With a domain name secured, you then start building your website’s structure and choose a site to host your website. Oftentimes, building softwares offer hosting as well.
Start designing your web pages with your brand in mind. Finding the right mix of
aesthetic and usability is key
Measuring and Reporting
You have your website designed. That’s great. Now, start measuring and reporting your
website’s activity so that you can optimize it.
Between updates and unforeseen issues, your website will require ongoing maintenance in order function properly
Secure a Domain Name
The first step to web design is securing a domain name. Not only should your domain name be relevant to your product offering or service, it should also be creative, unique, and relevant to your brand.
A Word On Creative Domain Names
Domain names should be creative. However, creativity can sometimes go too far. Since your potential customers will be visiting your website for information on your business, your domain name will have a part to play in how your website’s visitors view your brand.
As a result, you need to make sure that your domain name is in good taste. There are instances where creativity has gone too far. Make sure that you understand your customer base and how they will perceive your domain name.
Set Up a Business E-Mail Account
The second step is setting up a business E-Mail account. A dedicated business E-Mail account is important for three reasons. For one, you can link your website to your business E-Mail. Secondly, you can post your business E-Mail on your website so that customers can reach you if they have questions.
Lastly, having a business E-Mail account gives your business credibility.
Think of your website as your online storefront
As explained in the introduction, a website should reflect your brand. The first thing visitors will notice about your website is how it looks. As a result, you need to portray your brand through the graphics placed on your website. While the structure and user interface of your website is extremely important, design is equally important because it grasps a visitor’s attention.
Website Template Design
A website template is a pre-made structure that allows you to easily place your content in designated spaces. The benefit of a template is that they are very easy to use.
Your brand should have a logo, which displays a color palette that is used throughout all of your collateral, communications, and merchandise. Your logo presents another opportunity for you to be creative. However, do not sacrifice good taste for creativity. Once again, try to understand how your logo will be received by those who see it. Nevertheless, your logo help your existing and potential customers recognize your brand, it will also differentiate you from your competitors.
High-Quality Images for Website
Since your website is an indicator of your business’ credibility, you need to use professional photos on your pages. If you do not possess a camera capable of taking professional quality images (no…you’re phone won’t cut it), you can use a paid online service, such as Shutterstock or GettyImages, to access millions of stock photos for your business’ needs.
Your site will require ongoing maintenance as you update your site’s structure and associated copy. Accept the fact now that your site will have growing pains and things will break. As a result, be prepared for the worst.
You might think that it would be better to never update your site. However, you need to ensure that your website is on par with industry’s ever-changing design standards. After all, your site should never look out dated. On the contrary, a good website shows the visitor that you care about your business, which is evidence of the quality you value in your product and service offerings.
In addition, if you ever undergo a rebrand, you should update your website to reflect the new brand image you are attempting to emulate.
With that being said, one of the benefits of hiring a professional to develop and manage your website is that you will not have to worry about updates or fixing your site when problems arise.