Establishing a presence on the Internet should be a priority for every business, no matter the industry. A website is more than just a way for people to find you online; it is often the most public face your company can create.
Though social media sites continue to grow in importance, the traditional website remains a crucial asset. Do you plan to overhaul an existing page, or do you need to start from scratch? Regardless of the circumstance, you’ll need to know more than the basics of building a website. You’ll also need a clear idea of your goals and how to achieve them. With that in mind, what should you know before beginning your journey onto the web?
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Use hosting that can promise consistent site uptime
Hosting is the bedrock from which any website begins. Without a reliable host, how can you serve your page up to users and those searching for you? There are many reasons to take your time when considering which web host to choose. The effects of bad hosting can range from lost revenue to a total disconnect with your visitors. If your site runs poorly or frequently goes offline, users won’t trust your site. Without visitors to your domain, what is the point of running a site at all? Look for a host that can guarantee almost year-round uptime. Other features, like backups or generous bandwidth allowances, are also important.
Develop a site that performs as well as it looks
When building your online presence, it’s important to understand how to make your website look good. A pleasing design invites users to explore it and find out more about your business. However, good looks aren’t everything on the web. Many sites look wonderful but run very poorly. This performance makes the overall experience unpleasant for everyone.
In other words, while building your site, make an effort to optimize it for performance. If using a web developer, let them know that a fast page is a priority. This communication allows them to balance visual “bells and whistles” with a nimble design. The result should be a seamless web browsing experience for any visitor.
Make your website a truly informative space
Information is the reason people visit a business website. They want to know what you do, who you are, and where you are. They may even want specific information about services or products you offer. Keep that in mind as you plan the pages for your website. Every site should organize its information in a concise, easy to read way.
Finding answers to common questions should be a simple, basic task. It should never take more than a few clicks to reach vital information from the main page. The fewer clicks it takes to navigate the site, the longer users will stay. That’s exactly what you want: eyes on your info!
Avoid unnecessary distractions and widgets
Business owners can sometimes be tempted to add unnecessary functionality to their web pages. They want users to visit them repeatedly. Thus, the assumption is that widgets, such as a weather radar, will make the site more useful. In reality, though, these features unrelated to your company are just a distraction. In fact, they can even have the opposite of the intended effect.
These widgets clutter up your page, detracting from the visual appeal. It is easy for a user to decide they’d rather look at a different site, leaving yours for another. Stay focused on your online brand messaging instead.
Keeping these four things in mind during the web development process will keep you on the right track. Remember: begin with clear goals in mind. Whether you want to generate revenue or inform clients, these goals will define the choices you make along the way. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
Running low on inspiration? Just look around the web! It shouldn’t be difficult to find many well-made small business sites. You can even draw upon major corporate sites for ideas. Though you are ultimately working to improve your business, get creative! Let your site be an ambassador of your brand’s personality.