So, you’ve realized that having an up-to-date website is very important for your business, both for increasing value and revenue? Or you are starting a new venture, organization or blog and are in the market for “your spot on the internet”?
Having a website with good UI and UX is crucial, but finding and hiring a web developer who can make your website both look good and perform well is easy. There are a number of things to consider before hiring one and spending a significant amount of money:
1. Your website is a marketing tool
It’s the era of information, people are going online to find anything and everything. That means that you need to have a plan before getting your website made.
You should ask yourself several questions:
How will you attract visitors?
When you attract them, do you want them to call you, inform them about you, purchase your products, or maybe something else?
Your website needs to have clear goals that need to be prioritized in order to be for it to be successful.
2. Defining who the typical visitor of your website is
Having a clear picture of the typical visitor of your website helps immensely. Knowing whether you want to attract new people, keep the current customers or visitors, what their age and gender are, location or nationality helps to define the strategy and target audience for your website.
So it’s important to know well enough who will be visiting your site in order for your content to be presented accordingly.
3. Developing a value proposition
This is the part where neither the developer nor the designer can help you. It revolves around answering a question of “What makes you better than your competitors” in one sentence.
Conveying the reason why should people do business with you is a value proposition that must be clearly presented on your website.
A visitor of your website is one click away from leaving your website and visiting your competitor’s if your value proposition is not expressed clearly, quickly, and to the point.
4. Determining your customers’ needs
Having a clear idea of why would people visit your website will go a long way toward creating a successful online presence.
Meeting their needs is the obvious and clear answer to that question and building a website should be structured around that – what people need or want to buy, read or hear.
An excellent example would be an electrician who says on his company’s homepage “My father and I started this company in 1970 and have been doing this ever since… ” and so on and so forth.
The truth is: Not many people want to hear who and when started the company, they are there because they have a need.
Some of them may be interested to hear more about that company, sure, but it shouldn’t be the first thing your potential customer should read about your business. A much more effective way would be asking “Do you have an electrical emergency”?
5. Website conversion
Website conversion is the most important statistic and the ultimate goal of any website. What is a conversion? Conversion is a step in which you turn a visitor, who is a potential customer into an actual customer.
For example, if you have an e-shop, the conversion is the percentage of your total visitors that bought the items you were selling.
If you are providing a service, for example – you have a phone repair business, the conversion is the percentage of people who visited your website and later came to your shop to have their phone repaired.
Website conversion is flat-out the most important measure of the success of your website and digital presence in general.
6. Main conversion elements and their presentation
In order to have a good conversion, you have to keep in mind the presence, number, and position of conversion elements. Those are usually “call to action” buttons and offers.
Those buttons and offers may have a text that says “Call us today” or “Limited offer” or “Visit our nearest location” or “Browse our specials”. Having a clear idea about how you will present these elements can mean a great deal in implementing a successful business model.
7. Developing your content
Website content is very important. Usually, people are tasking developers to write content for them, for which they charge a fee.
But the important thing to keep in mind is that the content of your website is the presentation of your business so you should be involved from day one of its creation.
That doesn’t mean you should do all the writing yourself, there are many specialists who can do that for you, instead, it means that you should be involved in the process itself because no one can relay the message your company wants to relay better than yourself.
One of the major mistakes that you could do is using plagiarized content on your website. Such content is very bad for search (you really WANT for search engines to find you if you want to be successful), as well as subject to copyright infringement.
These are some of the reasons why everyone in the IT industry agrees with the saying: Content is king.
8. Gathering images
Even though images are a part of the website content, in this case, we will talk about them separately, for a number of reasons. Many people don’t want to bother with finding appropriate images themselves, so they ask the developer to do it.
Same as with the rest of the content, it’s best if you are directly involved in content creation, and in the case of the images, the best practice is if you find and purchase stock photography yourself.
Copyright infringement is both a rather common and costly problem for a small business and, to be honest, can be easily avoided by buying appropriate stock photography instead of just finding pictures online.
The best option is employing a professional photographer to create the content specifically for the task at hand, which is, understandably, very costly.
Yet, the short time spending can easily be shadowed by long-time gain, because having quality photography content on your website can mean all the difference in the world.
9. Advantages of having SEO (Search engine optimization)
SEO is very important in this day and age. The abbreviation represents search engine optimization, which is basically a number of actions an SEO professional takes in order to position your website better on Google (which is a dominant search engine).
The difference between being placed at the top of the search and at the bottom is immense. 75% of all traffic for a certain keyword happens on the first page of Google and the first result of the search receives 33% of all traffic volume.
That means that money invested in SEO is money well spent in most cases. It’s also worth noting that, even though there are some immediate effects of SEO, it usually takes a bit of time for your website to start positioning itself better in search engines.
10. Understanding CMS (content management system)
There are many open-source CMSs, with WordPress being the most dominant and important one. The advantages of having a CMS on your website are numerous.
With a CMS, you can make changes to your website without needing the developers, as well as CMS usually lowering both the cost of developing your website and overall price, in some cases – significantly.
With the exception of some websites that DO require very specific custom solutions, CMS can be a way to go for most of the websites and fulfills most of the customers’ needs.
11. Don’t use cheap monthly subscription website services
Even though these solutions initially make sense, especially in the financial aspect, there are many disadvantages to these solutions which vastly overshadow the advantage of not having to initially invest a more substantial sum of money.
For one, when all of the expenses for such services are added up together, they are not that cheaper than the custom solutions developed by professionals.
Also, they are rather inflexible in terms of design, not allowing for any additions or modifications outside the existing toolset, making most of the websites made by such services look similar and in some cases, almost identical.
One of the major downsides is that when you stop paying a subscription, you basically lose the whole site. Also, and this is purely psychological – with these services you are running a chance that your company will look cheap and in some cases unprofessional.
The same may go for you if you are a small business owner.
To be completely transparent, there ARE some cases where using these services can be recommended, but these instances are rather rare. In this day and age, everyone should have a modern and up-to-date website, because if you do not, you’ll gradually lose pace with your competition.
Upwork is the largest freelancer marketplace in the world. Here you will find a range of top freelancers and agencies, including web developers.
It is easy to use: first, you post a job, or what you’re working on, then Upwork analyzes it and creates a list of the freelancers and developers most fitting for that job. You can search their site and find people for hire, as well. Their profiles will have their portfolios, skill lists, and payment information.
13. The best work comes from a planning stage
The least talked about and maybe the most important thing on the list. If you do the planning right, the development process will run smoothly, on schedule, and without spending additional resources.
Good planning means better execution, fewer hiccups in the development process, and, honestly, no headaches. It will pay many folds to spend a part of the initial project on doing precisely that.
In closing, it’s worth noting that developing a new website or redoing an existing one is a serious investment, but one that will certainly pay off if done correctly, especially if you are a business owner.
We hope that this guide will make you a better, “knowledgeable buyer”, so you could get the best results. If you are interested in how to hire a web developer guide, you can check it out on our website.