Our first piece of advice is simple: Unless it’s a hobby site, get your website professionally designed and coded. We won’t dwell on hobby sites, because there are many simple and attractive templates and Wysiwyg programs to help create this kind of site.
Business sites, however, carry the full force of your reputation and image, and should never be delegated to less than professional care and feeding – even small sites.
Content Management Systems
If it’s a small site, likely your design and development team may suggest an equally simple template design with core pages and navigation. A more complex site might be well served with a customised Content Management System. These CMS systems deliver a positive visual continuity within the site, while allowing personnel to contribute to site content at varying permission levels. We emphasize visual continuity, because older sites, over time, often become a jumble of disparate type, images and navigation that deliver a disorganized and inept message. Almost any option can include a secure back-end area for internal and customer communications as well as other legacy matters that need be incorporated into the update site.
The Must Do Basics!
In a nutshell, though, follow these basic rules, and you’ll be well on your way to an attractive, professional web presence.
- Treat your website as an integral part of your business plan.
- Develop an outline and at least rough content for what you feel should appear on the site.
- Have a collaborative meeting with your chosen development/design team. (How could we not put a shout-out here to SiteVision?) to let them help with input about such important areas as legacy requirements, shopping carts, if required, site forms, security requirements, as well as overall design and tone of the site.
- Include Analytics – that secure area of your website that analyses such things as visitors, traffic counts, and movement within the site, origin of visitors, and much more. More than a simple traffic count, this area should optimally be used as a marketing research tool.
- Include SEO – Search Engine Optimization. The Web is a big, black hole, and your visibility in that universe depends on how well the search engines can index your site and its content, and how well the ensuing ranking stacks up against your competitors or like offerings.
- If your site will include a public front end, and a private back end for internal communications, make sure this consideration is an integral part of the development process.
- Work with your development team to ensure your site can be enhanced, upgraded and expanded as time passes without a total redeployment, or make sure you understand the limitations budget considerations might dictate.
As we mention prominently on the site, you can contact us anytime for a free consult to discuss your requirements and special needs. It’s a great starting point!