The whole world is online. Why let your business stay back? Take your business to the next level by developing a fantastic website. It will give more visibility to your business. When you have a website, you get more customers and more profit.
But, website development is an overwhelming task. Several things will vie for your attention. If you don't take care, chances are that your website won't do a good job.
Here's a list of things that you will have to consider:
DOMAIN NAME SUGGESTION AND REGISTRATION
What's in a name? Well, everything! Your will need to decide a domain name for the website.
A domain name is used to identify and locate IP addresses. All the devices on the internet have an exclusive identifying number called the IP address. When you want to visit a website, you will have to type the unique IP address in the address bar. Remembering different addresses for different websites is a daunting job. And so, we have domain names which can be used instead of IP addresses.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) administers the international Domain Name Server (DNS) database. It does the work of ensuring that all registered names are unique. So your domain name must be unique. It is an expansion of your business personality and should reveal your business instantly.
Your domain name should be easy to recall and remember. You can have a phrase as your domain name e.g. Howstuffworks.com but you should avoid hyphens and extra words because the user may get confused or forget them. It is better to have an easy spelling.
When you decide on the domain name, you should check whether it is available or not. There are several sites which will help you ensure that your domain name is exclusive. You can visit whois.net or checkdomain.com to verify the exclusivity of your domain name.
After you decide on the domain name, you will have to register it. After registration, your domain name is secured for the contract period. You will have to renew it after the period gets over.
Mc Donald's Golden Arches, Nike's Swoosh BMW's roundel... are all famous logos. They have created a distinct place in our minds. All these companies have worked hard in designing their logos because it is the most noticeable part of the brand identity.
Logo designing is one of the most important marketing decisions because your logo defines your mission. It should be unique and memorable for your customers.
Designing a logo needs a creative bent of mind. So if you have creative designers who can develop a logo, you can do that in-house, otherwise there are several website development companies who will design a logo for you. They will follow your requirement and provide you with options to choose from.
Truly elegant design incorporates top-notch functionality into a simple, uncluttered form.
This explains how your website should be- simple, effective and consistent with your business goals.
When you are undertaking the task of designing your website, keep in mind that it shouldn't look like an artist's color palette. Stick to two or at the most three colors and choose those colors which bring out your business's personality.
You will also have to take care of the layout and template design. It should be uniform for the entire website.
Your home page is the most important page of your website. You will have to design it in such a way that your customers understand what it wants to convey. Your home page should consist of almost all the details of your business, without impeding the beauty of your website.
Every page will have a new requirement. Your product page will have a separate design than other pages. But the basic template and colors should invariably remain the same.
So even though, each page may demand a specific design, try and maintain uniformity.
Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, its decoration. - Jeffrey Zeldman
Your design may be exquisite. But if the content doesn't convince your users, then all your efforts go in vain. So when you're developing content for your website, give the relevant information in simple and lucid language.
You will need to put up content on your website as well as write articles and blogs. The latter will provide information and help you in search engine optimization. In both the scenarios, it is important that you post relevant and true information. False promises won't last long.
It is necessary that you organize your information in proper order. The lesser paragraphs you use, the better it is. Think of interesting ways in which you can write the information.
The authenticity of your website is very important. If you don't provide original information, it will have a negative impact on your readers. If your website is fresh and innovative, it will help you a lot.
PROPER NAVIGATION STRUCTURE
Creative Good Inc. recently published a review of 10 leading Web shopping sites. In the study, 39 percent of test shoppers failed in their buying attempts because sites were too difficult to navigate.
This shows that you may lose your customers if you failed in having a proper navigation structure. What does good navigation mean? It means allowing your users to navigate through the entire website in as less time as possible.
Once a visitor gets to your web site, you have to make sure they get what they want. If your website gives them what they want and that too easily, they will come back.
The very first thing that you need to have is a constant navigation menu (which means same style and position) on every page. It will help your users to move from one page to another with ease.
You can also have multiple-tiered navigation which will organize your website effectively and will provide easy access to your users. Along with, the top navigation bar you can also have vertical navigation which runs down the left side of your website. This will make your visitors' work easier.
The home page is the most important page of your website; still you cannot link every page to it. Site maps will be of use here. It will help users to have a structured navigation across your website.
It is essential that you have a sound navigation because the search engine robots will come to your site with the help of external and internal links. And if any page is unapproachable then, the search engine won't be able to access it.
When you are dealing with the navigation structure, remember that simplicity is the way of doing things.
TESTING AND IMPROVEMENTS
The test is to recognize the mistake, admit it and correct it. - Dale C Turner
When your website is complete, you will need to test it. There are several aspects of checking your website.
>> When your website is ready, you will have to test whether all the web pages are linked correctly or not. You will have to validate the Navigation structure. Also, don't forget to ensure that the site map has proper links for the all web pages.
>> You will have to verify that the forms used in your website are getting correct data from the user.
>> At this time, you also have to do HTML/CSS validation. So if there is any syntax error, it can be rectified immediately.
>> You will also have to check your content for any spelling and grammatical errors. Also check the font sizes and style and ensure that your information is readable. Check whether the images are placed at proper locations and in appropriate sizes.
Browser compatibility is extremely important. Different browsers have different features and settings and so each browser may show your website differently. So it is essential that you check the compatibility of your site.
Also, users make use of different operating systems. So it is essential that you check your website and its web applications in reference to different operating systems like Windows, UNIX, MAC, etc.
With the advancement of technology, several users will log in to your website with their cell-phones. So ensure that your website looks fine when operated with the help of smart phones.
Also test your website for web- load. It means to check whether the website can sustain when too many users are requesting the same page.
When your website has passed these acid tests, it is time to ensure its safety.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) provide security over the internet. If you have used SSL, then each of the web pages must display https://yourwebsite.com. With https://yourwebsite.com, you can assure users of a secured network.
You undergo the entire web development process in order to increase your business. You can do that only when your website is visible in the search engine ranking. For that, you will have to promote your website.
You can promote your website by many ways like Banner Advertisements, Search Engine Optimization or by PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising etc.
Keep in mind that your website will be ranked top only when you complete the entire development process. So, make sure that you have done your job with due diligence.
Phew!! It's too much work, isn't it?
Developing a website is extremely complicated and time consuming. But there are several offshore web development companies who will create a spectacular website for you in no time. You just have to provide them with your requirements and they will do a fantastic job for you.
So, why not give out your work to someone who knows how to do it effectively. This will ensure that you have ample time to take care of the strategic aspects of the business.
So, hire dedicated web developers and get your website going.
All the best!!!