Any business worth anything has a website these days, and a small business can use a website for anything from sharing information to operating an online storefront. But for the less technologically literate, the process of completing a web development project and building a website can look daunting, with a wide array of options. And if you are a digital agency looking to build websites for other business, you have to consider how to do the best job for them.
Making the website is a process, with workers cooperating every step of the way to create a product which will benefit the small business. Here are some of the most important steps and features which can make all the difference.
- Too little is better than too much
Before making a website, many businesses will hold a brainstorming session where they debate what features the website should have. While this may seem like a good idea, what happens all too often is that a dozen people suggest a dozen features, and a manager decides to have the website with all of those features because hey, what is the harm?
There is plenty of harm. A website with too much information will intimidate viewers. It will be slower to load, and CEOWORLD points out that even a few seconds’ delay can drive a substantial percentage of users away. Your website will be unfocused. By trying to be everything to everyone, you end up only annoying everyone.
As a business leader, you should be used to saying no, even to ideas which may seem reasonable. Plan a website which only has the essential features to begin with. What those are can vary from business to business, but your primary goal should be for new viewers to quickly understand what your business is about. You can always add new features later once the website is complete.
- Create a Flow Chart
When designing a website, everyone should have different responsibilities. Someone needs to design the homepage. Someone else needs to determine what Content Management System (CMS) to use such as WordPress. Someone else needs to determine how domain ownership will be purchased, and so on.
The key is that you should establish a process which makes clear who carries what assignment. Design a flow chart which shows what needs to be accomplished first for others to do their jobs and serves as an overall guide for the project. Even if you are the only one designing the website, I would suggest building a flow chart anyways. It will help you visualize what needs to get done compared to storing everything in your head.
- Communication is Key
Building a website, even for a simple Botox company, is a complicated and ongoing process which means that everyone must know how far others have progressed. Building a flow chart at the start can help, but communication ensures that there are no breakdowns during the web development process.
However, this does not mean holding several meetings that no one wants to participate in. Technology such as Slack or even Discord can keep people connected even if they are not in the same office. A regular check-in, even over the Internet, can help ensure that there are no misunderstandings and everyone knows their exact role.
- Do not forget maintenance
A company is never finished with a website. Websites must be constantly maintained, updated with the latest software, and filled with new content to attract views and stay at the top of search engine rankings. Your website is a customer’s first glance at your business, and a sloppy website with broken links and pictures portrays a sloppy business.
The rise of mobile browsing is a major example why it is important to constantly update your website. Mobile internet use surpassed desktop for the first time in November 2016 according to TechCrunch, and the numbers have continued to favor mobile ever since. Yet far too many websites are designed for desktops rather than mobile devices and lose mobile viewer interest. SEO is another example of technology marching on, as tricks which may have worked a few years ago are less applicable as Google updates its algorithms. The above steps – designing, planning, communicating, and maintenance – are admittedly only a portion of what is needed to complete a web development project. But these are the most important steps which will make the distinction between a great website which gets leads and viewers and a mediocre site. After it is all finished, take a step back and evaluate what worked and what did not. If you ever need to do another project again, you will be ready.