Your company’s website is its front window and door to the world. It’s where customers and prospects learn about your company and its products and services. It’s an important channel for engaging people and building relationships with them and a vital part of your digital presence. Because so many people do their research online before communicating with a company, your website is critical to being part of the decision-making process. This makes your website an integral part of many aspects of the business from customer support to e-commerce and sales.
Align The Website With Business Objectives
The first decision you need to make in embarking on a new business website project is whether it is going to be strategic or non-strategic.
A non-strategic project is one that doesn’t have any marketing objectives associated with it. A strategic project is one that is aligned with your marketing strategy to achieve measurable results such as Organic search visibility, Conversion rates and Inbound lead generation.
The alignment of the website project with business objectives can ensure from the beginning that your website is set for success. This will also ensure everyone is aware of what success should look like through metrics.
Having a strategic website that works to support marketing and sales can position you at the helm of your industry and drive your business forward. Competitor analysis is an effective way to gain inspiration from other websites within your industry. From here, you can distinguish what you like or dislike about them to identify areas for improvement and ways you can stand out.
Web Design Vs Web Development
Web Design means the planning of how a website will look, feel and be used. This includes the aesthetic aspects such as layout, colour contrast, font choice and sizing, consistency and unity.
It also encompasses all navigational aspects and how the information will be presented to the end-user.
Web Design is one of the leading factors that can make or break your marketing campaign before people even read a single line or even take a look at any of your products.
Web Development is a code-intensive activity focused on making the design come to life. A good web developer takes the sketches made by designers and turns them into dynamic and functional websites. In short, Web designers create static pictures for layouts, buttons and sliders. Web developers make those elements work.
Why is Good Web Design Important?
A good business website creates the right impression, ensures a satisfactory customer experience, ultimately impacting your lead generation and bottom line. Good design enhances your website’s usability and creates a welcoming environment for the user. Design can also increase conversions by drawing the customers’ attention to new products, special offers, or calls-to-action. Also, most customers judge a company’s credibility by looks alone, so a professionally presented website can foster brand trust.
With the rapid increase in the use of mobile devices to surf the web, there is a growing expectation that websites should be responsive and work across devices. Responsive designs deliver a website that adapts to the device of each unique visitor, whether desktop, smartphone, or tablet. The layout changes based on the size and capabilities of the device. For example, on a smartphone, users would see content shown in a single column view; a tablet might show the same content in two columns. A website that is not optimized for mobile usage and performance stands the potential to leave an enormous amount of opportunity and business on the table.
Does Your Business Need Expert Web Designers?
The process of earning the trust of your customers starts with the impression they get when they visit your website for the first time. Majority of people tend to not trust a website with poor website design. Anything that looks outdated, too busy, or just boring, will discourage your visitors from even reading what your company has to offer. A website should be responsive, have fast load times, be completely SEO optimized and have perfectly running servers and databases. All that can only be achieved by expert website designers and developers focused on making sure your website is running smoothly 24/7. Ultimately, you need a website that works seamlessly both for your customers and for you.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
As a small business, any money you invest in your website should be spent on more technical issues and less on managing and updating existing content to stay in control of keeping information up to date and fresh.
For this reason, you must choose a content management system (CMS) that your team can use comfortably and confidently to regularly add new content such as blog posts, products, and web pages at will without depending on extensive coding knowledge.
All these additions should carry the same general design and content elements, so they retain the same brand image and search engine optimisation as the rest of your website.
We use the WordPress content management system because it is secure, stable and well tested. WordPress has evolved over the years and is becoming a robust and scalable solution that is used by some of the world’s leading brands and web developers. Because WordPress is open-source, it has a huge global following of developers who have advanced the framework to such a level that it is now the de-facto standard in web development.
Traditionally, WordPress has been a cheaper alternative to costly custom-built websites due to its ability to work with a library of pre-designed templates known as themes. Due to this perception, business owners who are looking for a fully customised solution often overlook WordPress as a suitable framework for their new website. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The design possibilities available in WordPress for their website are endless, and developers can provide a totally customised solution that is designed and developed from the ground up.
With so many ways to customize WordPress there is really no need to reinvent the wheel, and in fact, creating a website custom coded from scratch has several drawbacks: more expensive, difficult to manage, maintain or upgrade without the help of the original web developer and no support community.
WordPress is well established, and there is plenty of training and support available to help you and your staff to learn how to manage the website. In a world where technology and clients expectations are evolving at a rapid pace, your business can’t afford not to invest in a scalable framework that will allow your website to grow with your business.
Ensure You Maintain Ownership of The Website
This point is important but commonly overlooked by business owners during a web development project. You should always make sure that all elements of your website are in your name. This includes:
If your web developer handles these purchases and then bills you, ensure that the purchase is made in your name and that you are given any receipts and license agreements that accompanied the purchase. Not only will these documents allow you to prove ownership of the elements, but will let you easily upgrade or renew any items as needed in the future. While you may need to delegate management of these more technical aspects to your web developer, they should always be acting on your behalf, and you should ultimately be able to own all aspects of the website. This is not a trust issue; it’s about retaining control of your business property.
How Long Does it Take To Develop a Website?
The time it takes to develop a website depends on several factors such as the number of pages, the functionalities required, and the speed at which the content and feedback are provided. A custom-designed website about 5-10 pages would take about 4 – 16 weeks to develop. This process involves an analysis of your requirement, designing visuals, development, or the “building” of the site, adding content, revisions, testing, migration of site, and go live.
An informative and engaging website needs ongoing nurturing to keep it current. Updating your website takes time and resources, which can be significant depending on the size and complexity of your business needs. It’s important to look at your website updates as a capital investment the same as you would a new hire, building, or equipment, measuring the return on your investment in total and the time to return.
A website also has an ongoing maintenance cost to keep it running. The two main ongoing costs to keep your website live on the Internet are:
Boost Your Sales With A Business Website Today
Your website has the potential to be the heart of a powerful marketing system. If this is something you have not thought about, we’ll help you build and make your website work for you! We create minimal, clean designs with visual impact. By combining high-quality images with meaningful content, our designs will professionalise your business.
We understand the struggles of small business, and in an age of high costs and no time, we have tailored our service to work around you and your business priorities. Our easy, hassle-free, guided process will hold your hand every step of the way. We believe in making websites affordable and accessible for small business owners, without the fancy price tags. We advise all costs upfront, so there are no nasty surprises.
We have a range of web design packages that are matched to your business needs and budget. You can start off with a site that suits your current needs and then incorporate features as future needs arise. Our website designers will help you to add features and expand as your business grows. Contact us today to know more about creating a website for your business.