Nowadays so much customer and client communication happens on your website. This makes good web development absolutely critical for your business. It is essential to make the right choice when it comes to choosing who will be developing your business website. Knowing the basics of what your web developer will be doing will make it easier for you to tell them about your wants and needs for your new website.
It is very important to find a web developer who is knowledgeable and easy to contact. Make sure they are trustworthy and want to help your business succeed online and grow.
Some web development projects can take a long time and have lots of changes along the way. This means you could be talking a lot to your website developer, so make sure they are friendly, easy to understand and working with you to achieve your website goals.
Here are five important things business owners must know about web development before starting any sort of website development project.
Your website needs to be forever growing and changing to the demands of your business, it’s not something you should ever think of as finished. The second you stop working on improving your website is when you will begin to fall behind your competitors.
The sky is the limit when it comes to your website and getting it built is just the first step. Always be thinking of new features, content and ways you can make the experience for your customers better when they visit your site.
Think about how quickly the internet changes and the ways people access it. Popular websites that were developed 10 years ago should look completely different now. We would be willing to bet that 10 years ago you would of been reading this website on your computer, now there is over a 50% chance you are looking at it on your mobile phone.
Another important part of web development is security, if you don’t keep your website updated you will run the risk of it no longer being secure from hackers.
Make sure that when you choose a web developer in Australia they are going to offer ongoing support for your website. Going with the cheapest option will end up costing you heaps more in the end.
Be sure to get a designer who loves what they do, knows all of the best practices currently available, and is able to tell you about things that are changing in the future. They need to be able to explain why a certain platform and content management system is the right choice for your website in an easy to understand way.
Something that is even more important than the technical skills of your web developer is their attitude and ability to communicate with you. You are going to be spending a lot of time speaking about your website with them so make sure you choose a web development agency that is friendly, easy to understand and proactive when it comes to making changes and updates to your website.
Finding a good team of web developers will give you a go-to option for all your future projects. It also gives you the peace of mind that your website is safe, secure and up to date. Always check that the web development team offers ongoing updates and support.
A good looking website design is only half way to the end goal. Always keep this in mind when thinking about your new website development. People often focus only on the looks of a website when looking to update their own.
While having a good looking website is important, the main goal should be to get more customers for your business.
Making your website difficult to use for the sake of looking cool will turn potential customers off if its hard for them to find what they are looking for.
3 Things that will lead to a bad user experience on your website:
User experience is the most important part of web development. If it is not clear to your visitors where they should go and what you want them to do they will leave. Always be directing them to the next step on your website.
Have a checklist of things your website needs to be able to do for your business. Show them to your web developer and explain what they are and how you want them to be achieved on your website. Work together with your website development team to refine the list and focus on the primary goal of your website.
If you are building an online store, what sort of functionality does your ecommerce website design need to have? Do you need a shipping calculator for posting products all over Australia? What about giving customers the ability to set a specific delivery time for their purchase? Maybe you need customers to be able to write a custom message on their order?
Don’t forget that when handling customers personal details and credit card information you will need a way to keep it safe and secure. A SSL security certificate will allow you to encrypt their transaction when they purchase from your website.
Always ask your web developer about these things so they can be sure to include them in your website development. If your web developer doesn’t know about the features you require for your website it could end up costing you more money later down the track.
No one knows your business better than you, always be clear about what you need with the web developer.
Web developers are experts at designing and building websites. For them to give you the best website possible you need to tell them everything you want and need on it. The more you communicate with your web developer about your business the better your new website will be.
It’s important to find a great web development team that can handle any future website updates and changes you want to make. This will keep your costs down and let you focus on improving your website rather than paying just maintain it.
Having access to your website back end will let you make simple changes without having to wait for anyone else.
Talk with your web development team about which (CMS) content management system should be used for the website. A good web developer will teach you how to use the system so you can make minor changes yourself and add content as needed.
Another important feature of your CMS is that it is regularly updated to protect your website from breaking, being hacked and keeping in line with current best practices.
A good way to tell if a website is being updated and maintained is to look at how old the content is. Nothing will put off a viewer more than seeing a “Happy New Year” banner six months into the year. If your website looks like no one is updating it people will know and look to a competitor that keeps their website fresh and up to date. If your website is not always being updated to look current you will loose customers.
Long ago adding new content to your website required knowing how to write code. Those days are long gone and now it is as easy as writing a word document. There are now content management systems which are easy to use.
Most small business websites are developed using one of the following:
Ask your web developer about which platform will be best suited to your business website. Discuss the features of each one and see what they recommend for your requirements.
WordPress has the largest market share by a wide margin. It’s so popular that over 35.6% of the websites on the internet are developed with WordPress.
There is a huge choice when it comes to well supported and maintained content management systems for your website. You have a massive amount of flexibility when it comes to how your website will look when developed. By using a CMS like WordPress you will have endless website design choices. Your web developer will be able to create a theme to give your website a unique look and feel. WordPress also has an almost endless library of plugins that can be installed to add new functions on your website.
With such a huge library of features ready to go it would be crazy to try coding your own website.
Consider the following issues with getting a custom built CMS developed for your business website:
By going with a content management system like WordPress you are joining a community of millions. WordPress has been downloaded over 35.6 million times. It is currently used by 62.4% of all websites built with a CMS and out of the entire Internet, 35.6% of them are WordPress websites.
Some of the most visited websites in the world are built on WordPress, this includes:
With such a huge existing community and large team of expert developers that can help if any issues pop up you know you can rest easy using WordPress.
Having the ability to update and change as your business grows is a huge benefit to developing your website with the WordPress CMS.
Last but not least, make sure you have access to all the accounts associated with your website. During the initial stages of the web development project speak with your developer about having a log in for all the parts of your website.
This is important because if for some reason you loose contact with your web developer you will be able to recover the website and keep it running.
The key areas you should have access to include:
If you get your web developer to buy any of these things for you, make sure you have a way to access them. They should be able to provide you with a login for each.
A common problem that we run into with business owners who have existing websites is that their web developer has disappeared and they can no longer access any part of the website. This is a huge issue and sometimes is only solved by starting from scratch and creating a brand new website. Always be mindful of this and make sure to have all these details noted down somewhere. The last thing you want to be dealing with is not being able to access your website and no way to contact the developer who has all of the login details.
By knowing these five key things about web development you are now equiped to ask the right questions to your developer and start your new business website.