Building a successful website doesn't just depend on the content, there is more to it than that.
Building a successful website doesn’t just depend on the content, there is more to it than that.
Let’s take building a house as an example. When building a house you would work through the following:
- Design/Blue prints
A well planned property will iron out any kinks and ensure that during the build stage, you won’t encounter any issues. Perhaps consider future developments too, what if you wish to expand? You won’t want to demolish half your property in order to add one extra room, this would be costly.
Selecting which materials can create different objectives.You may wish to build an eco-house or a state-of-the-art technological empire. Whichever you pick will have an impact not only on costs but perhaps the future and longevity of the property, not to mention any restrictions it may incur.
Deciding who you wish to build your house can also be a large decision. Although it can be tempting to go for the cheaper option, you may find the workmanship is not adequate at later stages of the build process. You may then face the decision to change contractors, who will inevitably have to redo some of the previous work in order to ensure it’s a stable build. Unfortunately, this will increase costs and your original budget will soon be gone.
Ensuring a stable foundation before you build is essential. Building a framework on anything unstable is a recipe for disaster. In September 2012, flats in Newcastle were left unstable due to foundation issues, the flats will now need to be demolished for safety reasons.
- The Build
To build a strong house that people will admire and want to visit, you need the right building materials and tools and a skilled team to support you.
- Fixtures and Fittings
Adding the luxury trimmings to your build is the last part and will depend on your budget. You wouldn’t wish to build a luxury mansion but be unable to furnish or finish the interior to a low spec. Keeping a separate budget is a great way to get around this.
Once the property is complete, you may need a small snagging list to finish, finalise and sign off the development of your new humble abode.
Although the above is a very simplified check list, many of the criteria are similar to those you need to consider when building a website:
- Design/Blue prints
A well thought out website design will prevent issues with navigation, content, expansion and how the website should flow. A user should not be made to think about where to go for information but be led around in a logical manner. Equally, should you wish to expand the site in the future, you wouldn’t wish to rebuild half the site and nor should you expect to.
With a website you have a few options. You may wish to have a static brochure-ware type site, or a content managed solution (CMS) or perhaps you’re selling online and therefore need an e-commerce shop. When you spec your site, it’s worth weighing up the options and also thinking about what you need. If you’re updating the site regularly, perhaps pay slightly more for a CMS as this will allow you to update the site yourself without additional costs. Again, although the initial outlay may be higher, it could be more cost effective in the long term.
When obtaining quotes for your website build, it may be tempting to go with the cheapest, but it’s worth seeing what is and isn’t included in the price. Check the workmanship and quality of other projects, don’t be afraid to ask for references either. Most builders obtain work through word of mouth, web development is similar. Purchasing from a reputable company will give peace of mind and put you at ease throughout the whole process.
Like a house requires a solid foundation, so does a website. Your website should both cross platform (PC, MAC, Tablet) and cross browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari etc). By having a website that only displays correctly in a single browser or version of a browser, you may be losing valuable visitors and enquiries. It’s worth testing your site to ensure it’s as compatible as it can be. With more and more technologies available, is your website working for you?
- The Build
It’s important that your website is built using the right tools for the job. For example, trying to get an e-commerce solution to work as a content management system may not be the best solution. Initially it may work and serve its purpose, however, when you come to expand the site or add other functionality, it may come crashing down. The wrong product may also have other impacts, incorrect URLs could be created or URLs that aren’t search engine friendly. Not to mention the usability from the administration point of view.
- Fixtures and Fittings
You’ve built an amazing looking site but your budget has run dry. Adding the bells and whistles can make a huge difference, not only in terms of appearance but also functionality. Perhaps a phased approach could help to keep the budget in check but also allow for continual development. After all, a site with regular updates is favoured by the likes of Google.
Once the site has been built, you may have a few minor tweaks, a simple list and these can be addressed.
If you would like to discuss your website design and build requirements to ensure you have the right tools for the job, please contact us on 01323 411044 or email us at email@example.com.