After our previous blog called Five website design tips for social campaigners and NPOs, which is applicable to any business, we’ve had a lot of interest about the topic.
Many have asked for a basic checklist to ensure that they are doing things correctly, or that their web designer is.
Bigger Than Me can not only help you with your website design, we can actually build the site for you. Pop us a message on the form below, should you want assistance.
The first thing to do when deciding on a website is to decide why you need it.
For the many small businesses, the main priority seems to be to have some sort of digital calling card that one can refer clients to online.
Social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn also serve a similar purpose and often times these days, are the go-to pages many prospective clients will reference even before a website.
This is mainly because social media has become part of most of our lives, so it is just very convenient to go directly to a brand’s page via your app.
But a company Facebook page does not always tell the entire story about a brand, so websites are equally important.
These five tips are pretty much non-negotiables if you want a website to be a worthwhile investment.
1. Responsive design / Mobile friendly
A website that is responsive means that it responds automatically to different screen sizes on which it appears.
So, whether it’s a laptop screen, a massive 24-inch desktop monitor, an iPad/tablet or a Smartphone, the site will respond accordingly and display all components correctly.
Over 65% of website visitors are likely to browse your site on a mobile device – always check your website on your phone, especially when a new page is added to ensure that it is 100% readable.
Responsive websites also rank higher on Google so it’s a no-brainer.
2. Content Management System
Bigger Than Me specialises in WordPress based websites.
This very site you are on now was designed in WordPress.
Among many other virtues, one of WordPress’s most powerful features is its content management system (CMS).
A content management system is a built in ‘backend’ to the website that enables one to update content with ease.
If you do not have a CMS, you’ll need to pay your web developer every time you need new content added to your site.
3. Strong call-to-action
What is it you would like people to do when they land on your website?
Make an enquiry? – Then be sure to have a strong prominent and highly visible call to action button.
e.g. Get a Quote | Call Us Now | Find out More
A call to action button should be near the top of the website – not at the bottom.
And it should be on all pages and should remain constantly visible.
Be particularly mindful of where this button is displayed on mobile.
4. A sensible Web address
It seems obvious enough, but even BIG brands sometimes make this mistake.
Naturally, the website domain name should resemble if not be identical to the name of your business or brand.
This is not always possible for various reasons; the name may be taken, or your company name is very generic or the most common – the company name is too long.
Whatever you decide on as your URL – i.e. web address, just make it as easy to type in and as easy to remember as possible.
Be wary of acronyms, hyphenated URLs or using strange characters in the web address.
The online community has an incredibly short attention span. Make it as easy as possible for them to find you.
5. A secure hosting platform and URL
If you plan to conduct e-commerce on your website this is a no-brainer.
But any website should be secure.
This starts with using a reputable hosting company with a track record.
Then the less obvious security pointer that is still often overlooked today is to ensure that your site includes TLS (SSL) encryption.
A website that uses HTTP has http:// in its URL, while a website that uses HTTPS has https://.
You want yours to have HTTPS. The ‘S’ stands for secure.
Website browsers make it quite clear these days when a website is not secure.
An HTTPS website improves your Google ranking and will make your visitors feel safe to browse and to supply personal information.
Bonus website checklist
Other important points to consider include:
- Important business/brand information
- Regularly updated content – either a blog or product/service content
- Social Media Icons
- Easy-to-find contact information
- About Us section
- High quality images
- A subscribe to newsletter call to action
- Internal links
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If you found our website tips helpful or have any questions on how to ‘go digital’ in your business, from social media marketing to content strategies or to build a new website, please drop us a message below.