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10 Things You Must Consider BEFORE Your Website Is Built

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What you need before you get started?



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Here’s what you need BEFORE you have a website created.

ost people understand in the modern age that a website for their business is “a-must,” however struggle with the planning and preparation when consulting with a web designer. In my years of experience, here is a list of things many people need to have thought out before consulting.

# 1 – Strategy

In order to create a successful website you will need to be able to explain what your core business is.  The more you can clarify and explain your business goals, organizational structure and logistics, the better a web designer can help implement your strategy. Let’s create an outline of what you will need in order to execute the perfect strategy.

# 2 – Knowing Your Customers

After establishing a clear vision of your business, its very important to share that vision with customers visiting your website. Studies show visitors landing on a page for a only seconds before leaving and looking elsewhere, so first impression is an important factor. Is your website eye catching and clear on what the site will offer them? In order to achieve this goal you must be clear about who your customers are. Who will most benefit from your product or service? Who is your target and what do they tell you about their buying habits? Websites should be molded towards your target audience. The customer’s age range, location and gender will play a big influence on the look and feel of the website.

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# 3 – Webpages

User friendly pages often lead to more clicks and higher conversions.  You should write out how many pages your site will need. Too many pages may confuse visitors on where to navigate and find the information they are seeking. It’s helpful to draw out a map figure out how many pages and links will be needed to create a smooth flow. If you want an ecommerce website, how easy would it be to purchase or access their shopping cart? How easy is it for visitors to contact you if they have any questions? Customer service appearing to be reliable will quickly increase confidence that your site is safe and dependable in the case of exchanges or returns of a product.

Think about top to bottom categories such as an about us, service, product, contact, privacy policy, terms and conditions and even a landing page. Do you even need pages for each category? Maybe popups that keep a visitor to a page will result in higher conversions. Mapping out a customer journey from start to finish before starting will make for smooth and organized website.

# 4 – Quality Content

Good and value packed content will not only help with interaction and branding but with better ranking on search engines like Google and other popular engines. Standing out and having different content will play a big role with SEO. Remember that it is never a great idea to copy and paste content from other sites and will only hurt your exposure on search engines.  

Content is not only written content but images and videos. Google for example will rank a YouTube video higher than written content. Social media advertisement also has shown videos to result in higher conversions than images. It is advisable to have all the above prepared and used when testing to see which result in better results during testing.


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# 5 – Mobile Responsive

The beginning of 2021 studies show that more than about 60% of users are searching on the internet through their mobile devices and averaging more than 17 minutes when searching for content and more than 6 hours a day when streaming video content such as Youtube and Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.  Understand that the look and design will look different on mobile devices due to size difference. Taking a mobile design approach first may be a good idea.  

# 6 – Design

Design is obviously important however people often can put too emphasis and more than other important areas of your site.  Studies show that it is not advised to put too many colors and add many effects to a site. The general rule to color is a 2-3 color max theme.  The design and colors should define your brand and match your logo. Logo design should look professional but have different sizes and formats for desktop, tablets and mobile.  Your site can be simple however visually appealing.

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# 7 – Customer Service

Knowing what is needed to streamline a well organized and planned out customer contact is essential. Not only will it keep customers coming back but prevent charge backs and complaints.  Depending on your business you may want to consider an automated email system to help you keep your business running smoothly. A good customer data base system will help with retargeting with upsells or just a simple reminder of your business. The more personal a customer can get with you can result in a long-term relationship. Other things you must be clear on is the price of your service or product, cancellation, returns and how secure your website is with collecting customer private information. If you plan on accepting payments online, it is crucial on having clear policy pages such as privacy policy, cancellations and returns in your terms and conditions. Credit card agencies and even Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram may verify that you have these in place before approving your website.  This is issue alone can hurt and halt your business from operating which leads the next step.

# 8 – Security Measures 

With widespread hacking of customer data, most people are afraid of becoming the next target of fraud. Government agencies from all countries across the globe have taken major steps from preventing fake products and services to be sold online. Ensuring your people that they are visiting a legit website will determine conversions. Ways of ensuring visitors that your website is safe and secure is having contact information listed and visible on your site. Proper security measures is a big and important job of your web designer. This is when customer service listed in the previous step is crucial.

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# 9 – Testing 

This stage means that your site is up and running. Your site may take time to run smoothy through trial and error. Testing all links work properly, no issues with taking credit card payments and emails are being sent out and logistics from the beginning to the end of the process tested will ensure confidence in your operations. The internet is never perfect so you must expect issues in the possible few months.  There are many online updates and change of terms and conditions with policies and rules that can affect your website from running smoothly. Google and Facebook for example are notorious for constant updates that can completely change your marketing strategy. Web server or third party software your site may use interrupted with updates may cause big problems. Your web designer using reputable servers with constant back-ups will help ease issues that arrive.

# 10 – Website Maintenance 

The job of your web designer is clear from over after a successful launch. Maintaining a properly smooth website will be essential to your success. You may have to completely reconstruct your site or create additional pages such as landing pages, change of products or services, new images or videos and any content you may need to make changes to. You should have a clear communication channel and process with your web designer in place and agreed upon before your hire.

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