Here at Sumfactors we pride ourselves in the sites we make for our clients. We don’t want to call ourselves experts but our results speak for themselves. That’s not to say that developing a website can be a daunting task, it is especially when you’re not that experienced with how to do it.
Whether you’re creating a website for your business or personal use, there are several important things you need to consider before getting started. Here are a few things we’ve come across that we know will help you when you take on this task yourself.
Tip #1: Determine Your Website’s Purpose and Goals
Web design and development isn’t just about how the site looks and feels. The first step in developing a website is to define its purpose. What do you want the website to achieve? Do you want to sell products or services, or do you want to create an online presence for your business? Once you have a clear idea of what you want your website to do, you can begin to plan its design and content.
By understanding the purpose and goals of your website, you can develop a website that meets the needs of your target audience. Ask yourself “Who is this website for and what do they want from it?”. Understanding your target audience will help you tailor your website’s content and design to meet their needs and interests.
One useful tool for defining your website’s purpose and target audience is creating a user persona. A user persona is a fictional representation of your ideal website visitor. It includes information such as their age, gender, interests, and goals. By creating a user persona, you can better understand your target audience and create a website that speaks directly to their needs and interests.
Tip #2: Choose the Right Platform and Hosting Service
Choosing the right platform and hosting service is crucial when developing a website. The platform you choose will determine its functionality and features while the hosting service will affect the speed and reliability of your website.
There are several popular platforms to choose from, including WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace. WordPress is a popular platform because it’s flexible, easy to use, and has a large community of developers who create plugins and themes to enhance its functionality. Wix and Squarespace are also popular platforms because they offer easy drag-and-drop interfaces and pre-designed templates, making it easy for beginners to create a website. Make sure to choose which platform suits your needs and background.
When choosing a hosting service, it’s important to consider the speed and reliability of the service. A slow or unreliable hosting service can negatively impact your website’s performance and user experience. Some popular hosting services include Bluehost, HostGator, and SiteGround.
Tip #3: Consider User-Friendly Navigation for Your Web Design
UX (or user experience) and web design come hand-in-hand when developing a website. A user-friendly navigation structure is crucial to the success of any website. It helps visitors find the information they need quickly and easily.
Your website’s navigation should be simple and intuitive, with clear labels and a logical hierarchy.It won’t help your brand when navigating your website can be aggravating to the user more than it is helpful.
One common navigation structure is the top-level navigation bar, which includes links to the most important pages on your website. You can also include a sidebar or footer menu for secondary pages or categories. Additionally, you should use breadcrumbs to show visitors where they are on your website and how to get back to the previous page.
It’s also essential to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. With more and more people accessing the internet on their smartphones, a mobile-friendly website is crucial to providing a positive user experience. Make sure your website’s navigation structure is easy to use on a mobile device, with large, easy-to-click buttons and a responsive design.
Tip #4: Optimise Your Website for Search Engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential when developing a website. SEO involves optimising your website’s content and structure to improve its visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).When someone searches for a particular keyword related to your website, you want your website to appear at the top of the search results.
To optimise your website for search engines, you should start by conducting keyword research to identify the keywords and phrases your target audience is searching for. You can then incorporate these keywords into your website’s content and structure, including your page titles, headings, and meta descriptions.
It’s also important to ensure your website is mobile-friendly. We mentioned this earlier in Tip #3. Google now uses mobile-first indexing to rank websites in search results. This means that websites that are optimised for mobile devices will have a better chance of ranking higher in search results.
Tip #5: Create Engaging and Relevant Content
Web design isn’t everything. Creating engaging and relevant content is crucial when developing a website. Your content should be informative, useful, and relevant to your target audience. It should also be easy to read and visually appealing, with the use of images, videos, and other multimedia elements.
When creating content for your website, it’s important to consider the needs and interests of your target audience. If you were able to identify your user persona in Tip #1, this should not be hard at all. You should know what topics they are interested in and what questions they might have. By understanding the needs of your target audience, you can create content that is relevant and engaging.
In addition to creating engaging content, it’s also important to update your website’s content regularly. This will not only keep your website fresh and relevant, but it will also signal to search engines that your website is active and up-to-date, which can improve your website’s visibility in search results.
Once your website is live, it’s essential to test and analyse its performance regularly. This will help you identify any issues and make necessary improvements to your website.
One way to test your website’s performance is to use Google Analytics. Google Analytics provides detailed information about your website’s traffic, including how many people are visiting your website, where they’re coming from, and what pages they’re visiting. You can also use Google Analytics to track your website’s conversion rate, which is the percentage of visitors who take a desired action on your website, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form.
And there you have it: our team’s top tips in web design and development. Make sure to check all of these off to ensure that your site is well made or if you want help, just let us know and we’ll be happy to help you with your site.