In the 21st century there are very few businesses that cannot benefit from having a website. In fact it is fair to say these days it is practically a mandatory requirement, otherwise you risk being left behind in the business and digital world.
So if you’ve decided to take the plunge, congratulations you’re on the right track!However, there are several options to consider when deciding on the web presence for your business which this guide will take you through…
1) Domain Availability & Hosting.
Firstly, it is important to ensure that a suitable URL (or domain name) is available for your business. Generally the URL shouldn’t be too long as to cause difficulty in spelling or have any awkward double meanings and should be as memorable as possible. Finding a good domain name is very important to a business, in some cases businesses will spend a lot of money to acquire the perfect domain if it has already been taken.
It also important to find a secure and reliable host for your site who guarantee a 99% uptime, a quick recovery time if the site goes down and speedy access times when navigating to the site.
If you’re just starting a business, cost will no doubt be a major consideration. The price of a new website can vary greatly and your chief consideration is making sure you get the best possible design for the best price. The price of a new website is entirely dependant on your budget and who you trust with designing it. High end design agencies for example, could charge upwards of thirty-thousand pounds for a bespoke website. Smaller agencies will charge considerably less and you could likely get a very good design for a few thousand pounds. There are of course other alternatives which could save you money including learning to code it yourself from scratch, using a content management system or using online website design software. 3) Platform
The platform is important, there are many different ways to design and manage a website. Whether you have a bespoke website built for you costing thousands, a content management system such as WordPress or design one online yourself using website design software. Being able to use the system effectively and being able to update it as required is a major consideration, the last thing you want to be doing when you have vital information to update is to be going back to the designer.
This is possibly the second most important factor after getting the right URL, if you log onto a website and the design is not up to scratch it will severely diminish your opinion of the company. A good design will take into account several factors including the logo/branding, the quality of the photos used, the layout, colour scheme and how this represents your business. A good design is not just not what you can see, but also the behind the scene coding including the optimisation of the site for search engines, the speed at which it can be navigated and the structure of the page links.
5) Ease of Use
A good website is one which is easy to use for an internet user with any level of experience. It should be quick, accessible, non-cluttered and have a simple menu / link structure. Every effort should be made to make the browsing experience pleasurable and stress free. The attention span of the average user is not particularly high, so you only have a few seconds to reel them in.
It is important to spend time researching other websites including competitors, see what they offer and how you can produce something better for your customers. Research the ease-of-use, navigation, images and text used and branding. Compare and contrast with what you want for your new site and produce a list of things that could make your site better.Always remember that this new site is likely to be the public’s first experience of your business and it should reflect how you want them to see you.