Redesigning and building a new web site for your business can often be challenging, especially when it comes to the process and what questions to ask your web site developer. Here are five factors you should consider when designing a new web site:
Content Management Systems (CMS)
Just like a computer is built on a motherboard, a web site is built on a platform. The entire web site itself is controlled by the platform, as the platform is used to make changes on web sites. Therefore, before you even begin to consider what is going to be on your new web site, understanding what comprises your web site is just as important for the following reasons:
- Modern platform and system: A new, modern platform enables you to unlock its potential with SEO, upgrades, and usability. A proprietary, non-universal system locks you in with one web developer for the length of your web site’s life. If you are unhappy with your current web site developer, or want to have someone else assist with your web site (such as SEO), this becomes increasingly difficult since the existing developer owns the entire system and often will not grant access to outside sources.
- Speed, security, and reliability: Much like if you put an old motherboard in a new computer, your web site is going to be slow if you use an older platform, regardless of what you have on your web site. An older platform also limits your ability to add to and improve your web site over time. With a modern CMS, your web site unlocks its potential of being fast, responsive, reliable, and secure. WordPress is the number one CMS system in the world, with over 70 million web sites utilizing it. Why is this? Because WordPress has some of the most advanced built-in security features and is completely upgradeable in numerous facets.
- Content management: One of the most undervalued yet most important abilities of WordPress is its content management capabilities. WordPress enables you as a user to make content changes to your web site yourself – without having to know or worry about complex coding!
Keywords and Content
It is important to consider the keywords and content on your web site. Every web site developer is different and therefore has differing views on content. Generally, the actual web site content is the client’s responsibility to provide. However, it’s important to find out if keyword research will be done or provided. Why is this important? Because keywords are the backbone of the content on your web site. These specific keywords, which should be targeted specifically for unique search terms for your industry, are one of the most key components in helping search engines find your web site. Keywords are what search engines locate when consumers search for keywords online.
In short, search engine optimization is the process of making your web site more visible in search engines, such as Google, thus making your web site easier to find. Having a trusted team of professionals that know how to optimize your web site cannot be understated. This is because even the most beautiful of web sites can go unseen without good SEO. While there are a massive number of factors that go into SEO, we’ll focus solely on the base layer of an effective web site:
- Keywords (see above)
- Tagging – Filling the “back end” of your web site with targeted keywords, and tagging images and videos to make them searchable
- Site map – Generating a “map” of your web site that helps search engines navigate through it
- Minifying – Removing excess and unnecessary code to improve speed and load times
- Mobile responsive – Your web site is formatted for mobile devices and screen sizes
- Indexing – Submitting your web site to search engines that enable them to properly find and list your web site when keywords are searched
It’s vital that you understand how your web site is being hosted. By today’s standards, the most efficient form of hosting is cloud-based. The “cloud” is an invisible storage space where your information is stored. Hosting your web site in a cloud-based format provides numerous benefits that include:
- Speed – Since your web site is not being hosted on a physical server that holds thousands of other web sites, you don’t have to worry about slowing down due to heavy use.
- Security – Cloud-based hosting is actually more secure than physical storage and reduces the risk of hardware failure.
- Reliability –Since your web site is not hosted in one specific location, you can be sure that you will never lose your web site. And in the event of an emergency? No problem. Since your web site is backed up daily, it is recoverable in seconds.
Analytics are the various analysis of data related to visitors to your web site. This includes how many individuals visited your web site, where the visitors came from (e.g. social media, another web site), the amount of time visitors spent on your web site, what web pages were viewed, and more. By reviewing your web site’s analytics regularly, you can refine your web site content to maximize your opportunities. By determining where most of the visitors to your web site are coming, you can focus your efforts where they will be best spent.
By considering these factors when redesigning and building your next web site, you will set yourself up on solid ground to have a powerful marketing tool for your business.