Whether you run a restaurant, a radio podcast, or a retail outlet, in the digital age, it’s crucial that you have a functional website, which facilitates business growth and integrates seamlessly with internal software. Getting there is easier said than done, but here are some handy tips to put you on the right track when designing a website specific to your business.
As your business grows, so will its name – that’s why securing and maintaining an appropriate website address is so crucial. Ideally, you want a ‘top-level domain’ (TLD) website suffix and an address that matches your company in title. Not only will this help clients and users to find and access your site, but it will also help your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. You can then use your new domain in combination with keywords to promote your website, boost your ranking on Google, and increase brand visibility.
Be sure, as you build your business IP, to avoid any overly esoteric words, keep it short and refrain from using any unnecessary numbers. Sometimes, when founding a company, it can be tempting to opt for a more ‘edgy’ creative approach, experimenting with symbols or unorthodox spelling – this may be an advantage in some ways, but when it comes to web design, it’s often a hindrance. Always consider the convenience of clients or users before locking in any of these decisions.
If you’re expecting your business to grow, then you’ll need your website to be adaptable. Picking a flexible content management system (CMS) will allow you to build new content, update descriptions, pages and alter plugins so that the website evolves seamlessly alongside your company. If you want high extensibility, you can’t go wrong with WordPress or Drupal – both offer a vast number of design and functionality options built by developers to aid in business. The downside is that a customized WordPress site can be complicated to edit and alter without help from your developers.
If you want ease-of-use, simple interfaces, and a small learning curve, you could instead opt-in for one of the drag-and-drop site builders (such as Wix or Squarespace). These template-based providers are useful for small businesses due to their ease of use, and they offer adequate customizability so that you can continue to edit and adjust as the company grows. The downside is they’re subscription-based, limited in creative personalization and there is less transparency in regards to code and HTML. It’s rare that a major company would use one of these services, especially when they have an in-house dev team, so consider your long-term business trajectory before marrying yourself to one.
To ensure your work processes continue smoothly, it’s vital that your website cooperates with day-to-day software. For example, you may need to be able to track any site traffic, new leads, or subscribers via your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program. Additionally, you want your website to operate conducive to your broader business objectives – this could mean a specially designed UI that increases conversions, or an engaging homepage that encourages lead generation.
To build this sort of integration (and remain compliant with GDPR rules), it’s often necessary to enlist the help of experienced developers who can protect your data and build airtight, legal web functionality. The right developer will represent good ROI, as they can effectively interlink the site with accounting software, merchandising systems, networks, cloud storage, and, of course, CRMs – saving the business time, improving outreach, and keeping operations centralized.
Before hiring a developer, it’s crucial that you’ve read at least 10 positive and reliable testimonials or case studies that attest to their ability, professionalism, and expertise. The process of hiring a developer (and paying for their ongoing maintenance) is often amongst the leading costs for a small business and so you need to make sure you’re investing intelligently.
In the digital age, designing a website can prove pivotal to your business’s long-term prospects. The tone you set now may shape processes for years to come, so be sure to understand your own wider objectives and get your site off on the right foot.