Think about it, if you have or had a shop front, would the display stay the same? Would your processes stay the same?
If so, you may end up using old cash registers and have a shop front looking like it’s from 1985.
Updating your website (whether it’s the design, navigation or content management system) is no different.
However, before you commit to building a new website, make sure you consider the below 7 tips:
1. The Website Domain
If you already have an existing domain, should you launch the new website on a new domain that includes keywords, is simpler or is clear of legacy backlinks?
If you’re building for the first time, what is going to be a domain that will give you longevity?
Always, always ensure that you register the domain and it’s in your name, and not the web developer’s. Make sure you have the account logins!
2. The Website Hosting
Always ensure you have clarity on where the website is going to be hosted before signing on the dotted line. Some web developers will force you to host on their server, which can limit the control that you have over it and stop you from being able to move it elsewhere. Like with the domain, ensure that the hosting account is setup in your name and that you have FTP and Cpanel Logins.
Some other things to consider when deciding on hosting are:
- The amount of space and bandwidth on the plan
- The reliability of the provider (you don’t want your website going down frequently)
- The website loading speed
- The quality of technical support
3. The Content Management System (CMS)
This point is a very important one. The CMS or e-commerce platform can have a large impact on SEO and also your ability to make changes.
Web designers and developers aren’t SEO experts (and we can’t expect them to be – find out why). Sometimes they build websites that look pretty to a user but not to search engines.
If you have a new website built that looks great but no one can find it, what’s the point? It’s like having a fantastic looking shop down a dark alley that has no foot traffic.
4. Responsive Design
We all understand the importance of making sure your website looks good no matter which device it’s being viewed on, but if this isn’t discussed and stipulated in the scope for your new website it might not happen!
5. Calls to Action
You would be surprised how many websites we see every day that are lacking even the most basic information, such as the phone number! Ensuring your website has clear calls to action is so important for when it comes to converting your traffic into leads, enquiries, phone calls or sales. Think about what the desired outcome is, then make it as easy and obvious as possible for someone visiting the site to complete that desired action.
6. Navigation and Usability
The ease of a user being able to navigate the site and find what they need in as little clicks as possible is ideal. This is an important aspect of any new website that should be discussed and taken into consideration when designing the structure of a site.
When the website is live, you need to be able to track everything. If you already have a website with Google Analytics installed, make sure the code is moved across prior to it going live (don’t forget to check the goal/e-commerce tracking on the new site, too). If the website is new, make sure that Analytics is installed from day one and that goal tracking is setup.
Launching a new website or site upgrade is a daunting, but sometimes necessary, task. Some webmasters learn the above tips the hard way. If you’re looking to start exploring a design refresh, new platform or restructure, get in touch for more advice from the experts.