Far too often, we meet companies who have outgrown their websites and, rather than being able to expand and develop them, they’ve had to scrap them and start again. That’s an expensive problem but it’s one that can be avoided with effective website planning.
These are just some of the practical concerns to bear in mind when planning a website.
1. What kind of web platform do you really need?
There are many options but which of them you need will depend entirely on you – on your markets, your customers, your products and your strategy. Don’t assume that if you’ve got grand ambitions then you’ll always need to make a big initial investment; starting off with a small but extendable platform can often give you greater flexibility, better cashflow and a chance to develop your presence in a way that takes account of customer feedback. What matters is that the solution meets your needs and that it won’t limit you when your business needs to grow.
2. How will you use your website?
Keeping your site up to date is vital, so how will you do that? We’ll make sure that your website has a content management system that is secure and easy to use, and that it gives you all the control you need. You’ll be able to update news, product details, prices, photos and any other content without having to pay someone else to change your content for you.
3. How will your customers use your website?
This is a crucial question when it comes to website design. Your site should be engineered to take visitors quickly to wherever they want to go, and it should present them with a clear and easy way of taking the next step – whether that’s to make a purchase or to contact you with an enquiry. The design should be attractively laid out and the navigation system should be simple and logical. Ask yourself whether customers are most likely to be led by reading facts and figures or by viewing images; many people instinctively give priority to visual cues when browsing a site, so make sure your site looks clean and welcoming, and that you make intelligent use of colours and graphics to draw attention to your key calls to action.
4. What suppliers will you choose?
When it comes to domain names, email hosting, web hosting and the rest, there’s certainly no shortage of suppliers. Normally, we recommend working with just one internet service provider so that if anything should go wrong, you only have one company to call. (In other words, you won’t run the risk of getting passed back and forth between agencies while each blames the other for the problem.) We offer our own hosting packages, which simplifies things even further, and by selecting what we regard as the very best deals on the market, we can help you make big savings. However, the most important thing is that you get the hosting you need so, in all cases, we’ll be happy to advise you about choosing the package that’s most appropriate for you – both now and in the years ahead.
5. Key phrase analysis
Search engine optimisation is a competitive business so bear it in mind from the outset. We’ll help you identify the phrases that will deliver tangible sales and we’ll show you how, for maximum impact, those phrases can be incorporated into the website’s very structure.