As a business owner whenever you choose to invest in something, be that staff, equipment or marketing you want to ensure that it delivers the best possible results.
Your website is no different, choosing to invest in having a website made or upgraded can be expensive, which is why it is important that everything goes to plan.
every1 explains how you make sure your website meets your business needs.
What sort of website?
The first step to take sounds overly simple, but it is crucial. You need to ensure you get the right sort of website, built in the right format and suitable to your business needs. Otherwise you run the risk of wasting time and money on something that isn’t fit for purpose.
For example, if your business sells a product you need to decide how your website interacts with this. Is your website transactional, allowing customers to pay for goods and services? Or is it more of a brochure site, offering a portfolio, advice and contact information?
Knowing what your site will predominantly be for and its intended use can help to steer the development process, avoiding unnecessary additions to the site and avoiding additional design and development costs.
The right features
Knowing the sort of site you want is the first step on understanding what your website should include. Working with an agency or web designer will help you to further identify the features which need to be included in the build.
This could include a number of different features, such as:
- A blog
- Secure transactions and shopping basket
- Live chat functionality
Implementing various functions to a site often involves additional time for design, development, testing and deployment. You need to understand what you need your site to do in order to ensure it delivers on its potential.
The right management
The last main consideration is how the website is managed. That’s to say, who oversees making changes and additions to the site.
Does your web agency do this as part of an ongoing SEO retainer? Optimising your site further over time to maximise its effectiveness?
Do you receive training to manage the site yourself? This might be more of a consideration if your website has a lot of products or a shifting product base. However, you might need technical support should a major change be necessary.
You might consider working in tandem with an agency, you making any day to day additions to a site, while larger technical and SEO driven changes are made by them.
Ensuring you understand the purpose of your website and what features it needs to include are important in making sure it meets the needs of your business. Beyond that the relationship between client and developer in terms of the management of your site is critical. Websites need to be maintained, added to and optimised to improve areas of weakness. Understanding where the responsibility for this lies helps you to be more reactive to issues – knowing where to turn and what to do should a problem arise.