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Ask Our Developer: 5 Things to Consider When Building a Website

Ahhh, building a website. For many of our clients, the thought of a complete website overhaul – or a new website from scratch – is met with a heavy sigh and procrastination. 

But eventually, every organization outgrows their website. And, really, that’s a good thing! It means your business has evolved to better meet the needs of your customer, it’s simply that your website hasn’t quite kept up. 

Before we hit publish on a website, there are a few things that should be considered to ensure that the site will hit the mark for the long term. As BottomLine’s lead web developer, here’s what I’ve come to learn is the most important set of considerations when building a site. 

 

1. Purpose

For most clients, a website is really a tool to aid in the customer journey. With this in mind, we start each project by asking a set of questions: 

  • Will this be just a plain informative site? 
  • Will it be used for conversion? 
  • Perhaps scheduling and booking? 
  • Is this a page for a single monthly event? 

Once you figure out the purpose, we then begin to zero in on the target users. This influences the design, site layout and content. We have to specifically know the purpose so that we can set goals and create a tailored client journey to achieve those goals (such as conversions). 

 

2. Deciding on the Platform

Depending on the site’s purpose, the developed website requires the use of management systems. 

Let’s take WordPress for example. You’ve all heard of WordPress, right? 

WordPress is a popular Content Management System (CMS), it allows easy adding and editing of content by users without advanced knowledge of coding. Beyond content management systems like WordPress, we also have LMS or Learning Management Systems, which is most often used for education or training purposes or for a forum-like experience.

 

3. Compatibility

It’s 2022, which means that I likely don’t have to tell you that a mobile-friendly website is not only best practice, but it’s really a necessity. Did you know that mobile accounts for about half of web traffic around the world? In fact, Statista reported that the last quarter of 2021 saw mobile devices (excluding tablets) generating 54.4% of website traffic globally. 

Long story short: A website must be accessible via mobile devices.

 

4. Expansion or Scalability

The longevity of a website also means that you have to think about the future in terms of content. In most cases, I’d recommend that you plan for scale. 

Websites can host a ton of things. Aside from the informative pages about your company, it can have blogs, written and video content, podcasts, hidden landing pages or content specifically accessible to clients via a special link (just to name a few). It’s typically my M.O. to ensure that a client’s site allows for expansion and flexibility as their needs grow and change. 

 

5. Budget

A website is an investment in your business, which also means that it will have a cost associated with it. Between scope and budget, we recommend a project outline and build it out to meet the needs of your business. 

One factor is the website hosting platform. For example, WordPress is a free platform, but there are a lot of premium plugins that would make your site awesome for users and easier for you to manage. This, of course, influences the project cost. 

On the other hand, you could also stick with free plugins, but I’d only recommend this if you truly think you can manage without the premium add-ons. There’s also web domain and web hosting to consider. 

 

 

If a website project is on your horizon, it can help to have a clear idea of what to expect. Reach out for a 1:1 with us and we’ll walk you through what it will take to create a site that is a salesperson, customer service rep and brand ambassador all at once. 

Holiday glee: Creating a lead magnet for free!

The Holiday season is almost upon us, so let BottomLine be the first to spread holiday cheer!

Here’s a gift on how to build your Lead Magnet: 100% FREE

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is any information, item or service that is given away for free in exchange for contact information (email, phone number etc). This is done strategically so that you can gather or grow your contact list, which in turn you can use to grow your customer base and seek out warm leads.

You can link lead magnets to a simple social media post, include it in your next newsletter, use it as a landing page for your ads or even drive traffic to your website. The possibilities are endless!

So, what will you need?

You’ll need the following tools:

(1) Website
Let’s use WordPress.(invest in a website with a professional domain name and reliable server, but since we were talking about 100% free – you can create a free wordpress account here.)

Why WordPress? As of writing, 35% of all the websites on the web today are created using WordPress and that translates to 455 million websites with happy users because of its flexibility, sustainability and stability.

(1) CRM tool

Let’s use Mailchimp. (create a free account here)

Why mailchimp? Its friendly user interface doesn’t shock beginners. It has a very friendly free account feature that allows you to create forms, sort email audiences, and store up to 2000 contacts.

(1) File Hosting Account

Let’s use Dropbox. (create free 2gb account here)

2GB storage eh, too small? Technically, you only should be hosting documents and infographics here – but yeah sure, for the sake of value (earn more free space here) do this when you’re done with this guide tho. 😛

Why use dropbox? User friendly interface, cross platform access (computer, web, mobile) and ease of use – no really, the only difference that you have with paid accounts is the storage size.

(1) Your File Magnet

This is totally up to you, this can be a report pdf file, infographic, a video embedded into a page. Anything really as long as it’s unique and provides value to your visitors.

If you’re curious about building lead magnets, social media tools, content marketing and more, let’s talk! At BottomLine, we’ve got the know-how to use dozens of tools to grow your client base!

Let’s start cooking!

Step 1: Create 2 pages on your website…

  1. Name your page however you like, it would be better if it’s connected to your Lead Magnet content.
  2. Name the page either Thank You/Download Page be sure to publish it under the File Magnet as the Parent Page.

Step 2: Create the form in Mailchimp

  1. You can edit which fields to show by editing in the form builder (important fields are first name and email – make them required values, other than that we can remove).
  2. Once done you can copy the code in the Embedded Forms section.

Step 3: Paste the code to the landing page

Step 4: Edit the page content of the “thank you” page.

Step 5: Updating the download link of your thank you page so that visitors can download the report.

  1. Upload your Lead Magnet file to dropbox.
  2. Copy the file sharing code, don’t forget to change the link’s last digit from 0 to 1. This allows the file to be downloaded immediately without having to visit the file page in dropbox, it will give us the appearance that everything happened within the thank you page.
  3. Update the download link of your “thank you” page with the dropbox link.

Step 6: Change the confirmation page from Mailchimp’s default page to your landing page.

  1. Copy the url of your thank you page from your site.
  2. Add it in Mailchimp’s form confirmation thank you page.

And Done! Let’s do a test run 🙂

What did we say – 100% free, right? 😀

Want to learn more about leveraging lead magnets? Drop us a line here: info@wearebottomline.com – we’re always happy to have a conversation!