“I’ve never done this before.” – “Where to begin?” – “Why is this so difficult?”
Creating a comprehensive new website for your organization or even updating what you currently have can be a daunting process. The web development process can actually be quite easy and fun. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you make the process run smoothly and remove most of the bumps along the way.
1. Domain Name
Be sure to purchase a domain (www.domain.com) name that clearly connects to your name or service. If your organization is a nonprofit you can also purchase (.ORG). Keep in mind, you can have several domains that point to the same website.
Starting from scratch can be difficult; an easy way to draw inspiration is to look at websites that you admire. You shouldn’t copy it but you can surely find elements that you like and use them as inspiration for your website. Create a list of links to websites and pages that inspire you.
Before we start, you will first need to collect and categorize your content, i.e. sitemap, copy, photos, videos and any other pertinent info. Start with a sheet of paper and draw, sketch, scribble and doodle your ideas – like you are visiting your site-to-be!
4. What do you want your site to do?
Your site doesn’t need to be an e-brochure. Do you want to drive sales or donations? You could also use it as a platform to share blogs and articles or videos. Your site can host resources like downloadable documents or even have a store where customers can buy your products.
5. Images and Video
Each page and section in your website usually requires an image. While stock photography is available, we highly recommend using your own images to bring the site to life. Video is even better as this is largely the way media is being consumed – adding video is a big plus for your site content.
6. Calls to Action
A way to make the goals of your website come to life is with calls to action (CTA). A call to action might be “sign up to our newsletter” and then a form where someone can add an email address. Do you want to collect donations? Tell them so with a “donate now” button.
7. Add a Face
New businesses or organizations often get caught up in trying to make their model look big, but that’s not always helpful. A lot of web users want to know that there’s a real person who’s going to be working with them. Including a good photo of yourself or your team is almost always a smart idea.
Testimonials can be a great way to build trust and credibility around what you are doing. Focus on a few high value testimonials rather than a lot of bland recommendations. These do not need to be a page long; a few lines to a paragraph is plenty. Remember to have a high quality digital image of the person writing the review.
9. Mobile Friendly
Most web traffic is consumed on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. Making sure that your site is mobile friendly and responsive is very important. You will end up losing a lot of site visits if your site is difficult to navigate on mobile.
Once your site is complete, the work is not over. Your site requires hosting, security maintenance and updates. You will also need to update your content to keep the site fresh so that people return often. Put a plan in place to make sure that your site stays current.
These tips are not rigid rules and every site development is different, but they’re worth keeping in mind as you begin the process. Faith Branding design professionals will help you make the right decision as you take a step towards creating your impactful brand experience. Click here to receive a free consultation for your web development project today.