Are you considering a new website build but are not sure where to start? Perhaps you have been through this whole process before but would like to refresh your memory. There is a good bit to consider and bring together in order to successfully launch a new website. Here are our top 10 considerations.
10. Decide on goals for your new website
Decide on what you want to achieve with your new website. Ask yourself “what do I need a new website for?”. This might seem like a weird question but can help a lot in discovering the purpose and value of your website. Your website goals might be to make more sales, to increase your visibility or to point potential clients to an impressive portfolio. Success of a website cannot be measured without firstly setting the goal.
9. Assess your target market
One of the most common mistakes business owners can make is to design something that they like themselves. We always encourage our clients to put themselves in their potential customer’s shoes. Find out who you are hoping to attract to your website and why? Again try asking yourself questions like “who are my audience?” and “what are they expecting to see on my website?”. These probing questions can lead to a much more focused website build.
8. Buy a domain name
If you have not already got a website a domain name will need to be purchased which will be unique to your business. An important note to remember here is try to purchase a name that will be simple to pronounce and spell. This will be used for potential visitors so it needs to make sense. If your market is mainly in Ireland then it is worth it to purchase a .ie address as this can only be purchased by a valid Irish business/organisation so will carry a sense of security. There are many companies to purchase a domain name from. A list of accredited registrars can be viewed through the IEDR website.
7. Sort out some hosting
Many of our clients get confused at this point as they might already have a domain name bought from a hosting company. Hosting is separate to your domain name but both can be purchased together. They will be billed separately however and both need to be considered a separate entity. The hosting is like a parking space for your domain to sit at. Without a hosting package you will have no website.
6. Consider the website security
Depending on the nature of your website security can be extremely important. If you are selling online or requesting sensitive personal information from clients, then the security of your site will need to be accounted for. An SSL certificate ensures that all data received through the site is encrypted. The SSL cert will allow you to display a padlock symbol on the top of the browser panel beside your website address. Without a padlock it is strongly advised to avoid making a payment or inputting any sensitive info on a website.
5. Investigate payment gateways
There are various methods to take payments online so finding out which payment gateway is for you is important. With PayPal, Stripe, Realex and others it is easy to get confused. Each website is different so your choice of gateway depends on your goals, traffic and number of sales.
4. Begin thinking about website content
Very often the success of a website hinges on the content and quality of information available. Quantity is not always the most important factor when it comes to content but quality and relevance to your target market is the key. Understanding the expectations of your target market should drive you in creating your content.
3. Decide on your source of imagery
They say a picture paints a thousand words. What these pictures say about your business or organisation really depends on the images you choose. Images are a very important element to consider when designing a new site. We have seen many basic websites looking amazing because of high quality images. Sadly the same works in the other direction – complex and impressive websites from a structural and technology point of view are destroyed by poor images. Website photography needs to compliment the site. If your website is very image driven it might be worth hiring a professional photographer with the right equipment to take your pictures.
2. Prepare to give it time and effort
Building a quality new website requires time and input. This is not a job that can be handed over to a website company who comes back to you in a few weeks with your website. You would not expect a fancy kitchen to be fitted into your house without your consultation and input with a skilled construction company. Similarly building a new website will require your attention and input. If the website is genuinely going to represent you and your business then your input is vital in the building and ongoing maintenance of the website.
1. Find a trusted website company
The web industry has had its share of cowboys and disappointments. We are determined to ensure we do not fall into that category having seen the effects it has on morale and businesses. Finding a company you can trust is an important step to an enjoyable website build experience so whoever you do choose it is important to ensure that you understand what they are saying. Check out previous work they have completed and ask for references from well known clients they have worked with.
Finally we weren’t going to write an article about what you need to build a website without a shameless plug for you to contact us. We pride ourselves in providing a high level of service and a low level of stress and hassle for our clients so if you are starting your journey to building a new website why not give us a shout.