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.
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.
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.
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.
Data Analyst and Digital Lead