Thinking about designing a new website for your business? There are many different factors that you need to take into account when it comes to putting together your own site. But, before you get started, here are our five essential things to consider before designing a brand-new website.
1. Designing A New Website: Choosing a Domain and Host
When it comes to starting your new website, choosing a domain and a hosting package should be the very first item on your to-do list.
A domain name has a lot to say in a short space. Ideally, it needs to be something memorable that your customers can quickly and easily recall when they’re online. And, when it comes to the spelling of your domain name, you should make sure that it doesn’t require any detailed explanation, i.e., “Is that Jennifer with one f or two?”.
When it comes to selecting your hosting package, you should keep in mind your overall business objectives. For example, if your site is going to host a large number of photos, videos, and media files, you’ll need a significant amount of storage space. For a smaller website that might only be 5-10 pages of content, you’ll only need a small amount of storage.
Another consideration is how many visitors you expect to come to your website monthly. If you only expect between a few hundred and a few thousand you’ll more than likely be fine with an out-of-the-box hosting solution, but if you’re looking at 10,000+ visitors a month you should consider a specialist hosting package that provides on-call technical support.
2. Designing A New Website: Your CMS (AKA Your Content Management System)
If you want your customers to have a great front end experience, that is both functional and beautiful, you’re going to need a CMS that supports that. Depending on what you want your website to be able to do, and your level of coding experience, you’re going to have to consider different kinds of content management systems.
For example, if you are going to use your website as primarily an online store where you sell your goods directly to customers, you’ll need a service that can help deliver a better online shopping experience. Something that can track inventory and keep updates on traffic stats for certain products and services. One of the best services for something like this is Shopify.
Alternatively, if you’re planning on using your website as a place to showcase your work or share information about your services, you might consider using something like WordPress where you can easily customize how the information is presented to them.
3. Designing A New Website: Usability
You can have every amazing feature under the sun available on your website, but if it is hard for your visitors to find what they are looking for or navigate through your site with ease, you may notice that you have fewer purchases and leads than you were expecting. Making sure your website doesn’t require a 20-minute hunt around for information, or becomes a maze when it’s time to checkout, is of utmost importance.
After all, you’ve done all the hard work getting them to visit your site, the last thing you want is for them to get lost or frustrated by poor usability! One great way to test a website’s usability is to ask an older relative to navigate it. Watch over their shoulder as they go through your pages, and really take notice of the areas where they get stuck or are unsure how to take action.
4. Designing A New Website: Tracking
Using analytics is going to be an essential part of setting up your new website. Analytics will help tell you why people come to, stay on, or leave your site. It also tells you what parts of your website are getting the most traffic, how people are getting there, and how much time they’re spending engaging with your content. This will be an essential tool when it comes to putting together any marketing strategies you may have. Tracking services like Google Analytics or even bing Webmaster tools help to give you a goldmine of data concerning visitors to your site. For a brief guide on how to set up Google Analytics for your website, take a look here.
5. Designing A New Website: Original Content
The final crucial thing to consider before embarking on your new website design is making sure that you have plenty of original content. People are coming to you because you offer something different than your competitors. Your content needs to be unique and relevant to your website and the mission that you are trying to accomplish.
In addition to this, having original content can significantly affect how you are discovered and displayed on major search engines. If you copy content from other websites and use it on your own, you could face penalties from search engines like Google, who could very well remove your site from their search results.
When you finally sit down to put your website together, try to look at your brand and your mission through the scope of these five factors. Try and come up with a few goals as they pertain to each of these things, and you’ll soon see the vision for your website coming to life.
However, if you decide the overwhelm is just too much, we’re here to help! Tech Creative Co. specializes in making functional, yet beautiful, websites for our clients – take a look at some of our previous web design projects here.