I’ve created several websites for myself and others and I have seen some common misconceptions or mistakes around how to approach things, and I want to share some thoughts on this.
When creating a website for a business there are some things to bear in mind so that you can properly plan and get a good outcome.
You can play the audio or video below, or carry on reading.
1 – Treat the website as a tool and not as the business itself
What this means is that you should not try to work out your business process while building the website. This should already be worked out beforehand and then you can implement the right things into your website to fulfil the business needs.
If you try to build a website and work things out as you go, this just sets you up for problems that may cause you to undo a lot of what you put in place in order to go back and correct things that you may have missed or thought about.
2 – Set clear goals
Oftentimes I come across people who just say they want a website but when I ask them why they cannot give me a clear answer around what they expect from it.
Sure, I agree that pretty much all businesses need to have a website at least for their online presence. But beyond that, there needs to be a clear objective that you’d like to accomplish that will be the primary focus.
On the flip side, there are people who have too many things they want to focus on at the same time, and as a result, it becomes a nightmare to get this right — if everything is a priority, nothing is!
Ideally, you want to pick one or two main objectives, get that right and then get the others done later.
3 – Shiny objects syndrome
We all get distracted by shiny objects. One minute we are working on something and the next we see something else that is bigger and “better”, and we now want to give that our attention. This is what shiny object syndrome refers to.
To avoid this, ensure that you do proper research around things and make a confident decision. This will help you stay focused and make better progress faster.
4 – Know your users
It is super important to know and understand the type of users your website will have as this will help you provide a better user experience for them.
Your website of course may be accessible to anyone, but your core users are the ones that you need to take into account when coming up with everything from designs to features to content (text, images etc).
5 – Branding
It is very easy to get carried away with the look and feel and overly focus on a logo, fonts and colours. However, this is not the most important thing. It is far more important to provide an amazing user experience (see the last point) by making sure that that website is easy to use and effective.
If you have your brand already figured out, you should extend that to your website so that you have cohesiveness. If you don’t yet have any visual branding, you don’t have to launch a website with a logo. There are plenty of websites that are doing well without a logo or any emphasis placed on visual branding because the content and experience are what matter.
6 – Marketing
This is a crucial aspect when it comes to the success of a website. A lot of people think that building and launching their website is the end of the story, but in fact, it is the beginning of a journey.
Websites are going to magically attract people if you don’t have a system in place to drive visitor traffic to them.
There are lots of ways to generate traffic to your website, including low cost or paid options. Consistent online activity around content publishing and promotions is required, otherwise, your website will just sit there.
A good marketing strategy should be part of your plan in order to get your website to deliver a good return on your investment.