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    Website Basics

    Date: Sep 23, 2023
    Author: Paul Wolke
    Filed under: Design

    As a small business that builds and maintains websites for other small business, I often hear clients express the same sentiments:

    • We have a website, but it does nothing for us.
    • We started a website but we’re just too busy to keep up with it.
    • We need a website but we don’t know where to start

    Your website should do more than just take up space on the internet. It should work for you in a positive way, so it’s important to approach this topic with as much reverence you do with any other part of your business. How to do that comes with a ubiquitous answer - it depends. There are lots of things to consider. Let’s talk about some of them and consider the investments you need to make in your digital presence.

    Who Will Your Website Serve?

    Visitors to your website are different than those that visit your store or hire your service. What needs are you trying to solve with your website?

    • General information
    • Lead generation
    • E-Commerce

    These are just a few to consider. Your website is similar to a blank canvas. If you can dream up a scenario, chances are a website can do it. Your limiting factors will be planning, resources, and budget.

    Branding Follow Through

    It’s more than just a logo that you grab off of Google (Let’s not go into all there is about that). Your branding is your the cornerstone of your business. It communicates who you are quickly with the your logo, colors, typography, tone of voice, etc. Your website should be a seamless extension of your branding. Visitors need to quickly and unmistakably know it’s you.

    A Word on Design

    A design phase should be included in your new website or redesign project. Vet through design options before any code is written. This will save time and money working through visual comps before entering a more costly phase of development.

    SEO and Accessibility

    The way your website is technically constructed will play a big part in how it’s searched and presented to visitors of all abilities. Aside from being a good internet citizen, Google (and and other search overlords) will reward you with naturally higher ranking in search results.

    Performance and Security

    Everyone loves a speedy website, but not all of them are. Some feel slow or are prone to errors. The benefits of a static website will lead to better visitor retention and less bounce (people leaving your website).

    Content Content Content

    No one knows your business better than you. A website (with a blog) give you limitless publishing potential to get your words to the masses. Quality content helps attract and keep visitors coming to your website. Put that content to work for you by regularly adding new information to your website.

    Build Responsively

    Visitors come to your site on all kinds of devices. From large desktop screens to smart phones of varying sizes. Building a site that will responsively adapt to a screen will keep your development costs down and provide a consistent experience to your visitors.