How wonderful is the fact that just about anyone today can start an online business! All you need is a great idea and a web presence. Before you begin to tackle this presence alone, it is important to remember that your site is how people will view your company, thus your initial reputation. It is a good idea to seek out the professionals when building your website.
When you decide to do this, remember to scope out all your options. Not all web developers are the same, nor are web development deals. There are specific items you must demand of your web developer, and this article will let you in on that little secret.
1. Content management
To have a website that is both user friendly to the client and the owner is essential. Don’t feel as if you have to pay exorbitant amounts to make this come true. Don’t overspend on a luxury content management system when something like WordPress or Drupal will do the job just fine.
2. User-friendly interface
Don’t crowd your site with unnecessary bells and whistles. Remember that the ultimate goal is a quality user experience gained via simple navigation, uncluttered design, and quick load time.
3. Simple, effective styling
Keep the consumer focused by streamlining your site. More is not necessarily better. If the visitor is too distracted, the product will cease being the focus.
People work best when given deadlines that allow for focused attention on the product. Ensure that all members of your web design team keep their attention on the end product while streamlining the process. Deadlines and deliverables will help your website design meet expectations in the end.
5. Mobile compatibility
Almost half of all mobile users own a smart phone. If your website is not compatible across various mobile devices, you’re losing out on near half of your market potential. Ensure your website looks good on the iPhone, iPad, Android phones, etc.
6. Time tables
Ask that your web developers provide a timetable with deadlines for each step of website development. This will keep them on track and maintain accountability when tasks take long than expected (see #4).
7. Examples for clarification
Web developers may be unaware of potential misunderstandings due to communication using design and internet terminology. When discussing potential features or design elements, ask to see an example on a live page. This will clarify both the conversation as well as elucidate how the feature will benefit your business.
8. Keep your eye on the goal
Keep in mind the purpose of your website. Pretty aesthetics are important, but most importantly, your web development team should be able to tell you how a lead can be captured, what happens to the lead, and how sales are ultimately made.
9. Seriously social
How will your website utilize the necessity of social media? From the simple task of adding a Facebook Like Box to the page to integrating a gamefication platform, you need to make sure your site stays up to date with the latest social media plugins.
10. Quality updates
Your site should be structured in such a way that updates and changes can occur in small bits, without interrupting site productivity. Open the conversation to the use of open sourced methods.
11. Your ownership rights
As owner of your website, pay close attention to legal aspects involved in the development. Specify that any logos and creative designs are made yours completely with no stipulations. Doing this in the initial agreement will save legal battles over who owns what in the long run.
12. Control panel responsibilities
Is it your responsibility to find a hot and register the domain? Be sure you maintain primary administrator status over your control panel. With this power, you can remove a user should relationships sour. If you are not the one registering a domain, be sure the person responsible does so under your name and contact information.
13. Get Ready for the Next Developer!
As is true in the field of media, developers will change at some point. Insist on your web developers maintaining a clean and annotated back-end system. This way, a new staff can pick up and build upon their work.