When an individual user, startup or established company first considers building their own website, it may seem a daunting task that leaves administrators wondering where to begin. So many elements must be factored into the creation of a prosperous online platform; decision-makers may not know where to place their focus first. However, by pinpointing a few critical factors, potential website creators can be sure that they are positioning themselves and their brand for success.
Experts recommend keeping these considerations in mind when building a website:
Start at the beginning: Platform foundation
My Social Game Plan noted that one of the first things to decide is the platform on which the website will be built, including the component suite and programming language. Though many developers leverage HTML and PHP coding with CSS programming, templates and platforms have emerged to make the process much easier.
Now, providers offer step-by-step website-building solutions that can take the guesswork out of platform creation. These systems include a range of powerful tools for companies in nearly every industry, as well as specialized capabilities for e-commerce organizations. Using this type of solution can streamline the website creation process and ensure that all critical elements are addressed.
Top priority pages
It's essential to keep in mind the specific pages that will be accessible to website visitors. Texelate contributor William Reynolds noted that users have been conditioned to keep an eye out for essential pages that quickly help them find what they are looking for. These include the home page, About Us, Services, Contact Information and others that assist in the navigation of the platform. Decision-makers should be sure that their website includes these priority pages, as well as a search bar, so that users can efficiently locate the product, information or details they sought when they first clicked the website link.
"After all, these pages answer the basic questions we all have: 'What do you do? What's your mission, vision and history? What products or services do you provide, in a nutshell? How can we contact you?'" Reynolds wrote. "Don't get too clever about where you place this information on your site, because the average visitor only has a few seconds' worth of patience to tax before he moves on to his next potential provider."
Users' limited patience
Reynolds brings up an important point that is echoed by My Social Game Plan: The typical user won't spend hours, or even minutes, going through your website to find what they need. Chances are good that if visitors have to scramble to pinpoint specific details, they will simply give up on your platform and opt for one of your competitors. This point should be kept in mind throughout the website design process, as putting oneself in the place of the average user can help streamline the creation process and ensure a beneficial experience for website visitors. For example, website creators should avoid putting too much content or too many bells and whistles on a single page, as it can distract users from finding the information they seek.
"The design must immediately grab the visitor's attention and convey that you have the solution to their needs," My Social Game Plan noted. "Grabbing the attention of your visitor comes down to the details: headings, subheadings, color, a good balance of static information and interactive multimedia, and so on."
Comparison to competitors
The bottom line with website design is often to provide a resource that will offer solutions to clients and keep them coming back. In these regards, decision-makers should take a look at what their competitors are doing with their websites and use this information to their company's advantage.
"This is very often missed and shouldn't be, as it gives great insight into how your competitors interact with their customers," Web Analytics World contributor Chris Elvery wrote.
If a competing organization has a feature on its website that clients utilize more than others or seem to particularly like, company administrators can consider adding something similar to their website.
Leverage a trusted provider
One of the best ways to build your own website is to do so with the tools and assistance of a trusted web solution and hosting provider like Hostway. Hostway not only provides all the capabilities any company needs when building their website, but also offers hosting service to ensure the platform is always on and always available.