If you’re looking to create a new business website, whether you want to try to do it yourself or engage a website designer, there are quite a few things that you need to consider. Below’s a list of the main 10 items. There’s a lot more to it than this quick checklist, and any web development professional will advise you through every step of the way.
1. Domain name
Every website needs a domain name to be online. This is your unique website address / URL. For example, www.coastcreative.com.au
2. Website hosting account
Once you have a domain name, you will also need a website hosting account. This stores your website files and publishes it so your website can be accessed 24/7. Website hosting plans also include email accounts.
3. SSL Certificate
Your website will need to be made secure. Not having a secure website will negatively affect your website ranking on search engines like Google. Not only that, web browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla, Safari and Internet Explore/ Microsoft Edge) will show errors saying the website is not secure – not very appealing for your audience, especially if you are selling goods or services online. You will likely lose customers if your website is not secure.
4. Logo and branding
Before you start working on the overall design and look of your website, you really need your business branding in place. Your branding is not only your logo and ‘colours’ but it represents the personality of your business. Without this, the website design will take a lot longer.
5. What do you want your website to achieve
You need to know the purpose of your website. What do you want it to achieve for your business? If it’s just to show you have an online presence and your contact details, that’s fine but you also need to consider your competition and where you rank on a website search. Most business websites obviously want the end result to be more customers. It’s the same for your competition. You need a multi-faceted approach to your website to stay ahead of your competition. This includes research, planning, custom digital strategies and marketing plans.
6. Choose the best platform for your needs
– eCommerce, blogs, portfolios. There are many choices and an experienced website professional should be able to guide you through all the options that are best for your needs. Getting the right website platform to start with is very important and will likely result in the success or failure of your website.
7. Create engaging content
Content really does matter. Your audience needs to be engaged in your content in order to take the next step – whether that’s look at your products and make a purchase or simply contact you for more information, it’s the lifeblood of your website. It’s important that your content is considered for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) but it’s vitaly important that it engages your audience. This also includes User Experience Design.
8. Optimise all content
Your website content must be optimised. What’s optimisation? – well basically, making your website perform as best as possible for search engine ranking, your customers experience and therefore your business results (sales, traffic, likes etc).
9. Website launch – let the world know your online
So your website’s online, that’s great! Now I just wait for the customers and enquiries to come in right? .. WRONG! Now the real work begins. You need to use a range of marketing tools and techniques so that the world knows that you’re online. Not engaging in digital marketing for your business website is like having new brochures printed but then just leaving them on your desk and wondering why no one’s responded to them.
10. Regular maintenance and marketing plan
All websites will need regular maintence. This includes software updates to help prevent bugs and potential security issues but also new content. Search engines like Google like a website that is ‘active’, they take note when new content is added and this in turn will help your website ranking. As well as regular web maintenance, your business needs to engage in ongoing SEO and marketing. Without this, your website and business will become stale on the digital platform and you will loose ranking, customer engagement and business.
Coast Creative can advise on all aspects for creating a professional business website that works for you. Contact us for more details.