It takes a lot of effort to design and develop a website that attracts visitors and turn those visitors into permanent returning customers for your business. It is both science and art, demands visualization of customer’s perspective, and expertise to convert the visualized design into noticeable creativity.
With so many competitors in the industry; promoting a website like a pro, used to make me feel under confident about my skills, when I started developing my first business website. I had my own setbacks at that time, and which was good since it gave me a chance to learn things which I was ignorant of till then.
I was given quite a few tips by many people from how to choose the best website builder to how to promote my website among the masses. I heeded to a few and learnt many other things the hard way in the process which will stay with me for life.
1. Planning is essential.
Planning is the core of any activity and if it is a business activity like developing a website – one needs to have a robust plan in place. I had my plans in place before actually getting down to the implementation part.
Having the design and the functions of the website along with the aims and objectives that I wanted to meet, had been jotted down on paper. The planning phase for me lasted for about 10 days and in those 10 days I had a very clear vision of what I wanted to achieve over the next few days and months. These days, with advent of WordPress, Joomla and some other platforms, it has become very easy to start a new business website in few minutes.
2. Mobile optimization is the need of the hour.
Majority of web users access the web via their mobiles and handheld devices. I had this enlightenment before hand and made sure that the website I am developing has to be mobile optimized.
I took extra care to have all the AMP’s in place before the website went live which allowed me greater penetration into my target customer base.
3. Safety comes first and needs to be addressed on a priority.
Getting security for the website needs to be a priority which unluckily I ignored and was attacked once. I got a cyber security professional involved, installed an antivirus on my website.
Having your database, passwords and other critical information secured needs to be there on the top of your priority list else you might learn it the hard way.
4. SSL certification and https are necessary for survival.
SSL certification was a part of my planning and I had purchased it along with the domain. SSL certification from a reputed vendor will help garner trust from the web community along with the website visitors.
In case one needs to process payments on their website, they need to have the SSL certification essentially.
5. Infinite scrolling is frustrating.
I had a lot of content on the website with a number of posts which were there on the website as soon as it got live. The result! Home page had to be scrolled infinitely to reach the end of the posts which was quite frustrating even for me.
Got the design optimized to have a limited number of posts on each page which made scrolling better.
6. Page load speed needs to be optimized on priority.
Having read quite a lot about website optimization I had the website load speed optimized before going live.
It needs a bit of time and patience and you need to keep your cool while optimizing the website and individual pages for load speed. Invest this time since its going to keep your website in good terms with the search engines and users alike.
7. Live chat option has to be there.
I love talking to my clients and the first thing that I had on my mind was a live chat option. Having a live chat option on the website lets you get first hand feedback from your clients and prospective clients.
Your clients can interact with you at any time regarding any issue about your products and services you are offering.
8. Voice search optimization – A plan for the near future.
Voice search is a reality and getting the website optimized for it makes you future ready. I had it in place to ensure that I stayed above competition.
9. I need to have a team to carry out tasks.
I will do everything myself is a big mistake. I tried doing many things by myself initially but soon I realized that this attitude of mine is not going to take me anywhere. Got a team together and things started rolling according to the plan.
10. Fixing the budget is of utmost importance.
Getting team onboard, buying domain, getting hosting, certifications, antivirus, security along with many other things requires money.
The budget needs to be set right at the planning stage, a realistic budget that will take care of all aspects while developing the website. I have been good at managing finances and was able to adhere to my budget.
11. A time frame has to be set and followed.
Time frames for all the tasks that will be carried out to complete the website need to be set right in the planning phase. Ensure to meet the deadlines as it is important to keep you and your team on track.
12. My target audience needs to be decided beforehand.
You need to have your target audience fixed before doing anything. Even the planning phase will come after you have set your target audience.
You can set your target audience based on the location where your clients live, their age, profession or even buying behavior.
13. Don’t lose passion and focus.
I was charged throughout the process since it was one dream that came true for me. Having a website to showcase my services was always my dream.
This was my motivation and kept me charged throughout. You might face hurdles, failures, challenges and problems while developing a website. The thing is to remain focused and passionate about whatever you are doing.
14. There are many people ready to help you – reach out.
Challenges and hurdles that cannot be solved by you and your team should not stop your pace. You need to get out of your comfort level and reach out to people on the web or in your local community to make things work.
There are many people who will help you out in solving your issues; you just need to extend your hand and reach out to them.