Are you developing new website for your company or updating an old one? If the company already has a website, why should you change something that is already working? There are multiple reasons to update or create a completely new website. A simple reason is that the site is just looking old. For example, this is what Facebook used to look like in 2004:
It is actually really similar to what Rostek website still looked like yesterday (November 2016), more than ten years later. Therefore, we updated our site and there are some struggles on the way. When you are faced with the same challenge as me to update your site to the 21st century, expect to see at least some of these challenges:
1. What needs to be included on the site?
Creating a content to your website can be as difficult as writing a new book. Writer’s block can easily hit when writing even the shortest pieces of text. Copying text or ideas straight from your competitors sounds very easy in the beginning. However, you will never stand out from the crowd by copying others. It might sound like a cliché, but sleeping on it will work! Looking at the text next morning you will be able to write it easily.
“That is a company secret” is something you might come across often when writing about your company. How much details can you write about your products to the site? Who wants read lines after lines about details of your product? Maybe just your competitors? However, you need to clearly state why your company is better than competitors. Is your product cheaper, more efficient, or do you offer better service than others? Show this through your site and support it by facts.
Photos! Have you ever seen a site without a photo? Visually appealing sites will generate much more traffic than dreary sites. There are numerous of free photos available in the internet to use, however what do you do with all the smiling stock photos? The photos you have on your site also need content. They need to speak with the text you write and the image you want to give about your company.
2. Who will do the actual work?
Should I hire someone to do all the work for me? Making your own website can be easy or really difficult, it depends on how difficult you make it for yourself. If you don’t have any experience in coding and if HTML, CSS and Java sound like Gibberish to you, you don’t want to start completely from scratch. For people with limited experience there are different tools to make your site easier. For example, HubSpot offers you a possibility to code the site on your own, use free templates or to buy some cool looking designs. A nice and comprehensive list of free website builders can be found from here: 15 Best Free Website Builders of 2016
The problem with free website builders and other free templates is that they usually look cheap. There is nothing wrong if you use them for your own fun, but trying to build a reputable look for your company with them can prove to be quite difficult. What if you hire someone to do the job for you? This is definitely the most effective way to solve the job. It might be a little costly but you will get something that is working. However, you might miss some key aspects that make the company special. The site should bring out the best of the company and work together with the brand.
Compromise? You can do the site together with someone who knows about building the sites, but you are the one making the decisions and content. There is no need to get the whole package, just get a good consultant to work with you and build the site exactly as you want. In addition, the consultant can support you with all the other parts you should consider.
3. What else do I need to consider?
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Xing, Renren, Google+, Disqus, Tumblr, YouTube, Vine, WhatsApp… These are just some social media channels available for your company to use. You might have a personal account in quite a few of them, so why should your company not be part of them? If you use 7 minutes to update and view each of these channels you will be using more than eight hours a week just for this. Most of the marketers do not have enough time for this. You need to be selective: which of the channels are the most useful for you?
SEO – Search Engine Optimization. If you have been part of setting up a website, you have definitely heard about this. No one knows exactly what you need to do, some people have better ideas what works and what doesn’t – there is no correct answer. You should familiarize yourself what the SEO possibilities are. These are some good books for you to read:
4. How in the world do I get it online?
“I’m done now”. Your website is finished and you want the world to see your creation. But… How do you get live? If you are making a new website, all you need to do is go to a web hosting site and buy a free domain for you to be used (you might have done this already before starting your design).
What if you are updating your existing site? First, make sure you are not making the updates to the existing page. Make all the updates ready somewhere else so you can test that everything will work and then update it when it is ready. Now that you are ready, you need to change the new site to replace the old. Don’t be surprised if this is not as easy as you might think: To publish our site, I waited on the phone for two hours and talked to three people from our service provider. Finally, I got an e-mail address to send our details. 10 minutes later we were live.
It can also be fun
After all, making a website is fun! You can do basically whatever you want and test out different possibilities for the final design. There are always challenges and some things will not work as you want them to. Share your problems with professionals who can help you and together you will find the best solution!
What does this blog text have in common with access solutions or BMU cradles? Learn more later by subscribing to this blog!