Website Design – 10 things to keep in mind before you build a website
If you have decided that you need a website and is in plans or process of creating one, there are a few important things that must be kept in mind to avoid building a bad or a low-quality website. More than often you are going to hire a web designer to build. Or otherwise, you might use a website-builder tool available in the market to build it yourself. Either way, the following ten points will serve you as a guideline in the entire process.
A standard website has three ‘MUST HAVE’ things in place.
- The first is domain name which would be www.YourWebsiteName.com.
- The second is hosting which is the space you are going to rent out (a few GBs of space) from a server company to park your website.
- Finally, the actual website itself which involves the design and content.
In addition to this, there could be a few additions if you choose to have them.
- Emails – which is your emails from your website domain name.
- SSL Certificate – This is a certificate that tells the internet world that your website is safe and secure. This might appear as an https:// mark instead of an http:// mark. Or with a lock symbol on the browser or other visible labels depending on the quality of your certificate.
Now that you know the basic website structure let’s get into the points to note:
Know what you want or at least why you want a website
The first thing is to know what kind of a website. Often, this is hard because there are several options. But if you have a clear idea, well! Go with it. Now if you don’t have a clear idea, at least know why you need a website. What is the purpose?
Is it to get more customers? Is it to upload company profile and portfolio? Is it just for brand identity?
The clearer you are, the less chance of messing it up. So, the first thing is to answer these two questions in total clarity.
Why do you need a website – purpose? How will your website serve the purpose?
Domain – Keep your domain name simple with simple spelling
These days there is a trend to have a fancy name with custom spelling. Don’t do it. It might be fancy and trendy and everything, but your customer does not know that. They might not be able to pronounce that word as you do. Spell that word as you do.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the trend is a short-term thing. It fades away in a few months or years. But you are here to stay. Which means your name must be more than a trend!
Keep it simple and short.
.ae or .in or any other local extensions
A local extension (For Eg: .ae) means pushing your authority in that region. This also means that you are telling google that my business is more of a UAE business. This is a problem when you are trying to expand your business to different countries.
Having .ae does not give any benefit for your website within the UAE in competition with a .com website. But .com domain is preferred over a .ae domain in a different country by google.
There are several providers for .com domain registration. But .ae or.co.uk or any other localized extensions are normally run by selected parties. These selected parties might not always have the latest updates and tools. Also, many of these providers restrict the transfer of your domain to another registrar.
So, choose a .ae domain only if it is unavoidable. Else simply go for a .com domain.
Optimize for SEO
New customers find you by searching on google. So, Google must know about your website’s existence. The process of informing Google about your website and what services /products you provide so google can show you to customers searching for is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is done by following Google’s guidelines on how to structure your website. Filling in required codes and informing Google that you have done it. Ensure that your web developer follows these guidelines such as having a correct Title, correct H1, correct Meta properties and Correct alt tags for images.
Optimize your website for search engines.
Have a clean Navigation
The first page a user comes to on your website is the Homepage. And homepage is a premium real-estate space where you can only show a limited content. You have more content to show to your users. How do you show them?
You create pages and put your content in these pages. But how does a user know you have more than one pages That’s through navigation. The top menu bar and bottom menu bar are very important and need to be very organized in a way that it makes sense to customers.
This is something most of the times overlooked by designers and website owners.
When a user visits your website, you need to make sure that he is on a smooth journey guided by you. So,similarly organize this navigation and links. If your navigation and links are not strategically placed, then you might lose the user’s interest halfway through.
Ensure the navigation is clean and takes the user on a guided journey.
Have Call to Action
You have a website; you get people to visit your website. Then what? How do you convert your website visitor to a lead or a prospective client?
This is done by getting the visitor to your website to make an action. Make a call, fill a form, drop a message or something where the visitor interacts with your business and you convert them.
How to get a visitor to make this action? By asking them to. Place buttons asking at strategic places on the website, so visitors don’t have to search for it or they don’t miss it while scrolling through your website.
Have a call to action buttons.
Your website content must be of good quality. No spelling mistakes, no grammatical errors and written in a plain but interesting way. If you are not a good writer, hire one. It’s worth it. Having poor quality content will disappoint your visitors and they will leave your website. When a few people leave your website immediately after coming in, Google takes note of this and decides that your content is poor quality. Google will drop your ranks and push you to second or more inside pages. This will directly affect your business.
Your images, video and other website resources also of good quality. If you don’t have good quality images, you can buy from stock photo websites. But again, people can recognize stock photos, hence, use them wisely and do not overuse them.
Ensure your content is of good quality.
Computers are not a day to day devices anymore. They have become an office/work device. And mobiles have taken its spot. This means that most of the visitors who are visiting your website will ideally visit from a website. So your website must be built with a mobile-first approach.
Everyone offers mobile responsive websites, but most of them build it for computers, evaluates in computers and just makes sure that it looks decent on mobiles. This is not the way forward.
Your new website has to be built with mobile in mind, get the visitor journey correct in the mobile device and then expand it to a computer.
Have a mobile-first approach.
Data is above gold and oil – so collect it
The whole idea of having a website is to attract visitors. These visitors are your potential customers. They will visit once and go. How will you find them again? How will you convert them into your customer? This is done by collecting data.
So, you must collect every information possibly available about them. From the moment they visit your website you track them. Where did they come from? Which page did they visit? What device are them on? And so on. There are fully free tools like Google Analytics, Search Console and Facebook Analytics that help us collect this information.
So, ensure that your web designer/developer to connect your website with these tools so you can collect the data.
Connect Google Analytics, Search Console and Facebook Analytics to your website.
Your website is a property. Like every property, it requires ownership. In the website world ownership is username and password. So ensure that you have all the credentials required for your website.
Domain, Hosting, Emails, Security, Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel and so on. Each of these comes with username and password. Ask for the same and store it carefully. Ask your developer, what is the email for communication for all of these and ensure that you have put your an email in your control as the point of contact.
Many of these website components come with an expiry date. Ask for these expiry dates and ensure that you have marked your calendar so you are aware of its renewal dates.
Have the website controls with you in the form of username and passwords.
I have seen people making websites for the first time ending up with a mediocre product having spent a hefty amount. This is because you are not aware of the website grounds. This post is a high-level list of points to be taken care of. Now that you know what are the points that you need to be careful about, get on with building your website.
With over 4 years of experience, Lucid Polygon is one of the best website designers in the UAE. We can build an amazing website for you. Click here to get in touch with us.