Things to consider when creating a website
In the current age, websites are a must-have for any business or service provider in order to showcase their services/products or to sell it online. It essentially helps businesses connect with their prospective clients and to increase their brand reach. However, there are a few different aspects you should think about before embarking upon the journey of creating a website.
7. Maintenance & Update
Firstly, before you create your website, you need to be sure of what you want to use our website for. For example, would you like to showcase your business/offering on the internet? Or, would you like to sell products/services online too? Or perhaps, you would like to create an online application for managing particular business needs like customer relationship, customer support, online learning platforms, billing and invoicing application etc.
Once you figure this out, the next steps will become easier to plan.
When we come to design, firstly a good design will need a specific colour scheme to represent your brand or complement your brand’s logo. The shapes of elements like buttons/images should also be in tandem with the overall scheme.
Secondly, the position of individual elements needs to be decided within each page. This is of particular importance, as it has been found out via multiple studies, that not all areas of a website receive equal attention from the visitors. Hence, we need to keep the most important elements in the areas which will receive the maximum attention from the visitors.
Another important factor of web design is that it needs to be aesthetically pleasing to the visitors. It has been studied that people are bound to interact more with a website which is more aesthetically pleasing despite its content. Aesthetically pleasing factor also includes ease of accessibility and ease of use for the visitors.
Once we decide on the elements and their position with respect to the site area, we need to create content keeping in mind a few things. Firstly, the content and the wordings need to portray how the business operates and their ideology. Secondly, it needs to be designed in a way that at least the most important parts are not skipped by the visitors. Thirdly, a balance needs to be found on the amount of information you want to convey and the amount of information your visitors will want to read.
Lastly, Search Engine Optimization factors need to be kept in mind while creating text content.
For Graphic content, the images/videos needs to be professionally created keeping in mind both the scheme of the overall website design and the placement of each media item.
We recommend you to hire the skills of professional content writers and graphic designers for this.
Once we are sure of the design & content of the website, we can go ahead with planning the actual creation of the website. Here, we need to think about the technology we need to use for the development of the website. This is the most important step in creating the website as this will have a role to play in the scalability as well as the stability of the website.
Websites can be created using multiple methods, each having their own advantages and disadvantages. However, unless the requirement consists of some extremely unique feature set, the best way forward would be to use a CMS (Content Management System). This will help you to consolidate the management and development of the entire website under a single platform. The most famous CMS around is WordPress, comprising over 41% of the live websites in the internet. Usage of CMS like WordPress can decrease your development cost with respect from building the website from scratch using html, CSS, PHP etc.
Now, we come to another important aspect, i.e. Infrastructure. Ironically, most people make the mistake of not investing in the industry standards in the infrastructure, which leads to staggered performance and decrease in both leads conversion as well as user experience. One needs to understand, that the underlying hardware is as important as the overlaying application/website.
Firstly an optimum server needs to be chosen, considering multiple factors like the website computing requirement, total visitors in a day, number of concurrent visitors etc. Our minimum recommendation is to definitely use a server with a Solid State Drive (SSD). If you are opening an e-commerce store, then you should start off with at least a Virtual Private Server with a bare minimum of 2GB RAM at least.
It is wise to invest in a web hosting panel (eg: cPanel) to manage different aspects of the website/security/emails etc.
Another highly overlooked factor in web development is security. One cannot stress how important security is to any website/ application. Security needs to be implemented at all levels to prevent/minimize disruptions to business as much as possible.
Firstly, a SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is extremely recommended for any website aiming for a credible business. This has multiple benefits like creating an encrypted channel between your server and any visitor’s mobile or computer device, thereby protecting both your data and client’s information. A lack of SSL certificate is flagged by most web browsers, tarnishing your brand’s reputation. You can read in details about the importance of a ssl certificate here.
At website level, mechanisms which need to be implemented are methods to decrease brute force attack, methods to decrease password hacking, filesystem level security, database security, application firewall etc.
At the infrastructure level, it will be wise to invest in an antimalware security program like imunify360 in order to protect the server as well as the hosted sites.
If you are using a dedicated server, it will be wise to invest in a hardware firewall also.
Apart from prevention, you need to be prepared for remedy in case after all the measures your site becomes corrupted in some way. You need to take backups at regular intervals in order to prevent any loss of business or tarnish to the brand image.
Maintenance & Update
Once the website is ready and live, steps need to be implemented at regular intervals to ensure that it keeps on working without downtime or at least with extremely little downtime.
Regular updates and security patches are a must for all websites and the servers. Also, security audits, speed optimizations, component interdependency testing are important factors too.
We recommend in choosing a professional maintenance and support partner who can take care of all the multiple IT related factions in the website including liaising with third party vendors like domain providers, hosting providers, email providers etc. Also, it will enable you to make changes to the website based on your business needs. Your maintenance and support partner will ensure that you can focus on what you do best (i.e. expanding your business and increasing sales) by not having to worry about the IT support at all.
Hopefully, this post will help you in making informed choices and save both effort and money. Please feel free to post any queries in the comments section.