In this guide, we cover what your business needs to know about commissioning a new website, so the website you end up with is what your business needs.
1. Convert visitors to customers
Your site should be easy to use, look great, and be specifically designed to make it easy for visitors to make an enquiry or buy from you. What is the point of a new website if it does not increase sales!
2. Be affordable
Your website should be built for an affordable price leaving you a digital marketing budget to help you find more potential customers.
3. Be SEO friendly
Your website should be loved by the search engines from the ground up, giving you a head start to being found in Google and Bing.
4. Be fast
Quick to load on all devices and be faster than your online competitors.
5. Be future proof
Your website should be built on technology that is regularly updated and will not go out of date giving you a site for the long term.
6. Be Mobile friendly
Your website should look great, be super-fast and work well on all devices your customers may use – mobiles, tablets, and PCs.
7. Be updatable without having to use a developer
The website should be on a CMS (content management system) so you have your own login to your website, so if you wish to update some wording or write a blog post you can.
Your website should be designed and built so both your visitors and Google love your site, as the main purpose of most websites is to attract visitors and create more customers.
Many web designers create websites that look great but are not liked by Google. This can also mean that visitors do not like the site either as Google is designed to replicate what visitors like:
Even if SEO is not relevant for you, we think you will agree that a fast and easy to use website that encourages action is?
Is your website efficient at turning its visitors into enquirers or customers?
If you have a product or service that your market wants, there is nothing complicated about creating a site that your visitors want to buy from. Most people know instinctively what it takes:
After doing a search on Google and clicking on a result, you are looking for a web page that helps with what you are looking for.
The web page should load quickly, clearly displaying information and website navigation. We all know how frustrating slow and confusing websites are.
The site will preferably have human faces that show there are real people in the business that cares.
We all like to hear stories from others from review sites like TripAdvisor and TrustedReviews to build confidence.
Is your website fast, search engine friendly and regularly driving new enquiries and sales?
Google has billions of websites to read and index. It makes sense that the search engines prefer websites that are well designed and written over those that are not.
You need a website that your site’s visitors and Google will love, such as:
By having a well set-up website, you can save money on future SEO as you will probably require fewer links.
Your website should be built for an affordable price on a content management system (CMS) technology that is regularly updated and works well on all devices, such as WordPress.
When you commission a new website, try not inventing the wheel.
If you use well-established reliable technology such as WordPress   and Woo-commerce  , the foundations for your site are already there. It is possible to add a great deal of functionality and features to your site via these platforms at a relatively low cost.
Your site can look fantastic and give the right impression even with ‘off the shelf’ themes, and solutions.
Remember however that your website still needs to be fast, so a fast ‘theme’ and minimising plugins should be part of your specification.
If your site is built on a platform such as WordPress, that is highly maintainable, so if you stop using your developers’ services, you can easily find someone else to do this for you.
By using these platforms, you have much more flexibility in the future with whom you use to maintain and update your site.
I practice what I preach - this website is built on WordPress.
Google says that more than half of its UK searches are now on mobile  so if a website is not mobile-friendly, this will now hurt your Google rankings.
Your site, therefore, needs to be built to be ‘responsive’  (will automatically change shape to look great on tablets and mobiles as well as desktops).
Your website visitors will now expect your website to look great, and work well on smaller devices, or they will leave and go to other sites that are.
Ensure your chosen theme, or custom theme specification includes for your website to be fully mobile responsive.
Have you ever owned a website in the past and had to rely on someone else to update it for you?
If you have, you will relate to how frustrating this can be.
The website we will build you can be updated by you, from page changes to adding blog posts.
In the past, some web design companies held their clients to ransom by creating websites that only they could update.
Fortunately, web technology has moved on, so you can cost-effectively have a website built on one of the common CMS platforms which do not tie you to one web design agency.
You should be given the login details of your website so that you can update as much or as little as you want.
The process of increasing the number of customers generated from your website 👍
The design, layout, words, and graphic design of your site’s web pages have a huge impact on its ability to convert visitors into customers.
Every website, the business it represents, and market are different; so, it is not possible to create the perfect converting website from scratch. It requires the testing and measuring of different layouts, copy, page designs, and images to optimise that page’s performance.
This methodology is called Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) .
The purpose of optimising a web page's conversion rate is to get more people on your website to take action, and ultimately become new customers.
Depending on your website and business these actions may include:
Only by testing and measuring the designs of your specific web pages that we can increase the number of visitors that take meaningful action on your website.
Conversion rate optimisation is a systematic approach to improving the performance of your website informed by your website's and user feedback and analytics data.
It requires the testing and measuring of your web page's performance to inform how they can be improved, so the most is made of your website's traffic.
This is a systematic approach that draws from our extensive experience on what has worked on our other client’s websites.
Website development is the ‘clever stuff’ behind the scenes that adds functionality to your site.
71% of UK internet users now use the web to find out about goods and services . So, if you provide them with a highly functioning website that gives them huge value, then you are greatly increasing the likelihood that they will buy from you.
An example: a personal training company included within their website a customer portal where clients could see personalised training and eating plans, plus an online checker where they could monitor their fitness progress. This attracted new clients as no other company was offering this. This was all functionality added by web development.
What could be added to your website to add huge value to your customers? There are 101 potential uses for web development, see examples:
Website development does not need to be expensive - keep your costs to a minimum with where possible we use pre-coded solutions like WordPress plugins .
Websites on poorly run servers will lose customers and search engine rankings.
If your website is not fast you could lose both web visitors and search engine rankings.
The speed of a website is not only influenced by how the site is coded, but also by the server.
You need a host with fast and closely managed so other sites on the server do not take all the resources.
A fast site will also benefit your visitor's browsing experience and search engine rankings.
If your website is hacked, you may lose valuable customers data and push the site offline for weeks.
With the ever-increasing threat of online hacking, a highly secure server is a key part of your website and visitors' web security.
Even if you do not store customer data if your website is hacked malware could cause your site to be removed from Google's index and cause other problems that could make the site go offline for weeks.
For the above reasons Google prefers secure websites and gives them an advantage in its search results.
If your website keeps going offline, not only will you lose customers but also your Google rankings.
A poorly run and maintained server can result in your website going offline.
If this happens regularly, then this will stop visitors from being able to access your site which could directly impact enquiries and sales.
Plus, if Google notices that your site keeps going offline, this will also cause a drop in your search engine rankings.
Ensure you go with a host with proactively managed services so proactively preventing problems before they happen and keep downtime below 1%.