"Websites are not the same as they were even a few years ago. Sites need to be designed not just with today in mind, but with tomorrow in mind as well." - Jill Cowman
Websites are not the same as they were even a few years ago. Sites need to be designed not just with today in mind, but with tomorrow in mind as well.
Here are our Top Ten Tips for Developing a Great Website
10. Pick the right platform
If your developer builds your website in a tool you can’t access (or that is difficult for you to use to update your site), you’ve got problems. To be effective today, websites need to be managed and content updated regularly.
Today’s designs feature clean layouts with modern fonts and styles. Over-crowded pages scream “outdated.”
Websites need to be easy to use. Be sure to remove any barriers that stop customers from engaging (it’s about them, not you!).
You know where your site needs to be today. But what about next year? Good designs include the ability to scale up for future needs.
It’s all about the content. (But you already knew that.) Content today needs to be readable (please don’t try to write highfalutin language that confuses us—just say what you mean); it needs to be pertinent to the page (does the content match the headline?); and it needs to be SEO-friendly (keywords well placed in headlines and content). Most importantly, be sure to add a call to action! Invite your prospects to subscribe to your newsletter, fill out a contact form, or download a white paper.
5. Speed to Market
While a well-designed website can’t be created overnight (!), no longer can developers take a year or more to launch a new site or a redesign. Obviously, the complexity of the site will impact the timing, but if your designer quotes a long development time, you might want to ask some questions.>
4. Cross Compatibility
Good developers will test your site in multiple browsers (for example, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) and for compatibility with different hardware platforms (desktop, laptop, notepad, mobile). You may hear the phrase “responsive web design.” That refers to compatibility across hardware platforms.
You have a new website. Yay! But if you don’t know how it is performing, you are missing huge opportunities to optimize pages and drive more (and more qualified) leads to your site.
Be sure to scale your project to the resources you’ll need to maintain and update your site. Do you have the ability to publish a daily blog? Do you have someone assigned to update the event calendar? Nothing will diminish a prospect’s opinion of your site faster than seeing out of date postings.
1. Be Proud
The most important thing is to have a website you’re proud of. If you’re not comfortable with the direction the site is going, stop and review with your design and development team. There may be technical issues you are unaware of, but you deserve to have a site you feel great about.
Your website should be a key part of your marketing strategy. With insightful planning, strategic design, and forward-thinking programming, you can use your site to drive business growth.