Many businesses fail to estimate the true worth of their websites, as the pages creating your brand’s online presence are vital for your business. Forrester Research reports that $1.1 trillion of all retail sales were influenced by the web. eMarketer also revealed that 86.6% of U.S. SMBs believe websites to be their most important digital marketing tactic. In the infographic titled ‘Why Good Website Design is So Important: The Stats and Figures to Prove’, InstantShift pointed out that 94% of people said that they trust a business based on its web design. With so much relying on your website, the last thing you need is a mediocre online placeholder.
What you need is a new web site.
As this is a considerable investment that demands your time and money, you may want to analyze your site first and determine whether or not it’s displaying signs of aging . Once you’re certain that your current web presence isn’t able to achieve your brand’s goals, it’s time for you to get a new site. The following five steps will give you an idea of what you’re up against.
Knowing that you need a new site is the easy part. You’ll need to take into consideration the following factors before delving into the never-ending whirlwind that is web development.
If this is your first time creating a site altogether, you can skip this step. On the other hand, if you have a site already, you can check it to see if you can salvage a few things. First off, assess the current design:
The best designs are visually engaging, easy to navigate, and capable of ensuring better conversions and ROI. On the other hand, dated sites can easily make your clients believe that you’re behind the times, driving them and your site’s visitors to your competitors’ more modern website.
After the design, delve deeper into the technologies used to develop your site. Ask:
Today’s websites are responsive since most Internet users change devices while researching online. And in case you’re wondering, flash is an outdated web technology that is far from mobile friendly. This means it can chase away your clients rather than keep them on your site. Similarly, slow loading websites are bound to make visitors bounce off your site and onto your competitors’. Finally, having a CMS allows you keep your content up to date while installing the latest version protects you from hackers trying to exploit gaps in your software’s security.
With this information in hand, you’ll be able to decide how you want to proceed. For instance, if your site is responsive but taking too much time to load, you can ask the developer to optimize your site further to improve its load time. As you discuss what your site lacks, the developer and designer will jot down what’s missing and create a prototype accordingly.
Your site’s content is as important as designing and building it. Therefore, spend some time on creating informative and engaging text. Chances are that you haven’t touched the content since creating your site several years ago. Now’s the time for a change, one that would actually wow your clients and keep visitors flowing through your doors. A copywriter can help you make your content less passive and more directed towards your visitors. He or she can also create proactive content that includes calls-to-action, which your visitors are more likely to heed.
Since you’re already working on your site, why not give it a much-needed SEO boost? By tweaking your site according to the latest SEO rules and in anticipation for upcoming trends, you can easily maximize your business’ visibility and get search engines to direct traffic your way. However, SEO goes beyond a few keywords and key terms. A lot of practices are related to web development and design, maximizing the benefits of all three practices. Just remember to include Google Analytics to monitor the performance of your site and how much ROI you’re reaping from the new changes.
Alpha tests are conducted by the development team to ensure that everything is working as planned. However, it’s your responsibility to beta test the website, i.e. determine if the look, feel, and function are what you were expecting. With the developers, you’ll be entrusted with running a small-scale test of both the content and functionality of the site. The test can also include stakeholders within your organization or even a sampling of customers, all of which will check the site’s user experience.
Once you approve everything, you’ll have a brand new, modern, and highly effective website that you’ll love having your brand associated with. So direct your browser to your site right away and see if it’s time to get a new one started.
Think of a web designer and you instantly picture someone creative and spontaneous. Well web designers and developers are certainly creative, but they need not necessarily be spontaneous. Most web designers are disciplined in their approach whether it is in terms of creating a design and developing it into a fully functional site. That is a good quality, but being fixed in the approach is not entirely acceptable, for that inflexibility can rub off on the site you develop. Flexibility here means adaptability, but it does not mean going into the field without a plan. Successful web developers are meticulous and also flexible, which also reflects in the work they do.
ExpressionEngine (EE) is one of the preferred content management systems (CMS) today for two reasons -- it is powerful and it is flexible. The CMS can be used to design and develop informative and interactive websites, or it can also be used to design impressive ecommerce sites. EE enables designers to include a number of features on the website, which makes it a great platform for building full-featured ecommerce sites that can make an impact on the retail company's bottom lines. In this article, we shall discuss in more detail what makes ExpressionEngine a great platform for building ecommerce sites.