26 Considerations for Successful Website Development

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It takes planning to create an online presence that supports your business objectives. Here are some considerations to get you started.

Successful Website Development Starts Here!

Your website will make a lasting impression on your existing clients and potential new customers. Our 26 considerations for successful website development will help you determine how well your website serves your present and future needs, targets the expectations of your audience, and can be scaled to meet future requirements. Failing to do so can lead to missed opportunities, expensive fixes, and other limitations to your digital marketing strategy.

Yet it always amazes me that many people take more time to consider where to make dinner reservations than what kind of website best serves their needs. Folks, we are not talking rocket science here! Just a few simple considerations before any successful website development can save you many of The Big Problems with Small Business Websites.

26 Considerations for Successful Website Development

To make it easy for you we have identified these 26 essential steps to successful website development. To keep it simple we started at the top of your website and work our way towards the footer at the bottom. Some things may not be applicable in your case, so feel free to skip over them. Make a note if you don’t understand something and contact us for clarification. OK, let’s get started to develop your website!

1. Domain Name

Your domain is both the name and address of your website. The most common domain extension is .com, but there are many others. You do not buy a domain; you register it with a domain registrar like GoDaddy for a period of 1 through 10 years. Avoid domain names that include special characters like hyphens or different spelling, visitors will mistype them. An ideal domain name includes organic keywords that describe your business or service, such as seattlesbestseafood[dot]com

2. Domain Hosting

This part is sometimes misunderstood; your domain does not include hosting. Think of it as leasing a car; you still need a place to park it. Hosting provides a “parking space” for your website. When selecting a host you will want to consider reliability, security, performance, and service. Hosting providers such as Kinsta, InMotion or BlueHost will meet most hosting requirements. For WordPress websites, we can get you a discount from WPEngine as a hosting solution. If you have really extreme hosting needs you may want to check out Pagely.

3. Development Technology

Before you develop a website think about the intended use. The web development technology you end up using depends on your required functionality. Very basic static websites can be created using HTML5 and CSS3. More advanced interactive communities and e-commerce sites will require the use of PHP, Javascript, jQuery, and other specific coding languages.

4. Site Purpose

What do you want your website to do for you? The purpose of your website can range from telling a story, collecting information, describing a service, or selling a product to connecting an audience, promoting awareness and raising donations.  Determining the purpose is essential before you develop a website.

5. Layout & Color

Part of successful website development is to consider layout and color. Both will affect the feel of your new site. In today’s increasingly mobile environment long skinny layouts are preferred over more horizontal designs. Ease of navigation needs to be considered for mobile devices. And different colors evoke different responses from an audience, which can be culturally defined as well. Visual.ly developed this great guide to colors and the emotions they evoke.

6. Site Map

A site map is essential for both your human visitors and the search bots indexing your site. You need to consider the information architecture and flow before you develop a website in order to give your visitors an intuitive and engaging experience.

7. Visual Content

Visual content is all the info on your website and includes text, images, graphics, video, and audio. Your content needs to be informative and target your audience. As you develop a website keep in mind that the type of content on your site will also affect how it looks and how fast it loads for the viewer.

8. Your Audience

If you have the right content you will attract and engage your intended audience. But you will need to carefully track their behavior so that you can keep pace with shifting tastes and demographics. Keeping your audience engaged ensures that they will share and talk about your content.

9. Advertising

A way to make money off your site, if you get enough traffic. And that is a big factor in determining your advertising rates. Overall we recommend against ads for most of our clients. If you must advertise keep it to a minimum, aligned with your message and target audience, and upscale.

10. Pop Up Messages

Please be careful when using pop-up messages! They are by far the most annoying type of advertising, universally despised by viewers, cause websites to load slowly, and can be impossible to close. Plus Google is on the warpath against interstitial pop ups on mobile devices! We are currently running a few tests on our own site, so we will let you know how that goes.

11. Attractive Design

That should be self-explanatory but sadly isn’t.  Forget about glitz or pimping up your site. That does not send a professional message. Especially business websites need good design and a professional appearance. Certain allowances need to be made for the type of industry and the intended audience. Take a look at some of your competitors before you develop a website.

12. Calls to Action

Your website will need calls to action (CTAs) in order to be effective. And CTAs need to stand out. Make your “Buy Now!” and “Download Here!” buttons bright and eye-catching!

13. Background

There are virtually limitless options, ranging from full image and even video backgrounds to subtle textures and solid colors. Keep in mind that your background should do just that, stay in the background rather than overpowering your content. A relatively new trend for 2019 is to use solid colors or gradients, as seen on our own home page. This also helps you reduce your page load time!

14. Your Brand Image

Any successful website design project has to include some sort of brand development. What kind of impression are you trying to create? The right brand image can go a long way when establishing your brand and growing engagement. Choose carefully before you develop a website. You want to be cool and memorable for all the right reasons, don’t you?

15. Easy Navigation

We can’t stress this enough! Your navigation menu needs to be simple and easy to navigate if you want to give your visitors the best possible user experience. Avoid misleading labels, too many sub-menus, and links leading to more links. And make sure your website navigation provides the best possible user experience across all devices. Otherwise, you will never meet the expectations of ever more sophisticated and demanding mobile consumers.

16. Unique Look

You may have noticed that there are a lot of websites out there. If you want your site to get noticed it needs to be unique and stand out from the crowd. But don’t go overboard and make it so unique that people can’t figure out how to use it! A nice touch for 2019 is the use of vertical text. You can see that on our home page!

17. Fresh Content

Another simple, yet all too often overlooked fact. In order to keep visitors coming back to your site, you need to keep the content fresh and updated at all times. Consider writing a blog, publishing case studies, or adding regular podcasts to keep your content fresh.

18. Optimized for SEO

Make sure that search engines can easily find your site. It needs to be compliant with the latest web coding standards, follow Google’s best practices, and have keywords and phrases organically inserted into the content.

19. Cross-Browser Compatibility

Successful website design in 2019 means focusing on more than one device or screen size! Your visitors will use a variety of desktop and mobile web browsers. Make sure they have a great user experience on any device as you develop a website. You can check cross browser compatibility yourself!

20. Screen Resolution

Screens have become both much bigger and much smaller in recent years. Your audience could look at your site on an iPhone or a home theater display, and each has a different screen resolution. This allows you for much more flexibility in arranging your visual content when you develop a website. In 2019 we recommend using images at least 1920px by 1200px. Larger images up to 2560px by 1600px are better for Retina or hi-res displays.

21. Social Media

Yes, you really do need to be on social media for maximum benefits. But there are many different options available for social interaction on your site. Your visitors can simply like or follow you, or you can provide them with a much more immersive experience through a live feed from your social profile. Keep that in mind as you develop a website.

22. Typography

Luckily the days where web designers were limited to only a few fonts are long gone. But don’t abuse the privilege! Bold and simple fonts are easier to read than overly ornate ones, especially on smaller screens. Always remember that part of successful website development is keeping the font size large enough for easy reading!

23. User Registration

Not a good way to attract and keep new visitors to your site. If you really feel that capturing your visitors’ info is important enough to ask them to register, be sure to give them member only advantages, a special gift or offer, or some other way to show your appreciation.

24. Tracking & Analytics

At the very least you should be using Google Analytics to monitor performance and optimize your website as needed. There are other ways to track your social media engagement, website ranking, and other data. If you have any specific requirements or just need more info please contact us and we will be happy to help you.

25. Provide Security

Security is an important consideration for successful website development. This is especially important if you sell products or services or handle payments on your website. If your visitors do not feel safe they will not leave information such as a credit card number. You need to have a privacy policy on your website at the least, and in 2019 getting a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is absolutely essential, not to mention a Google requirement!

26. The Website Footer

It used to be that the footer of your site was more or less an add-on with possibly your copyright notice. No more! These days your website footer is a valuable piece of real estate. You can use it to list your contact info, newsletter opt-in form, links to recent blog posts and just about anything else you can think of as you develop a website.

Now You Are Ready for Successful Website Development!

Congratulations, you are now ready to begin your own successful website development project. No, we don’t mean you have to do it yourself. But by thinking about these important items you are now better able to articulate your vision and requirements and take your website to the next stage. So look for a web design professional in your city, or simply reach out to us and we will be happy to help you!

Our innovative web design team can help you develop just about any type of website. We are experts at carefully crafting custom mobile-friendly websites to meet (almost) any budget. From highly customized corporate sites to responsive e-commerce websites to small business websites and personal blogs we work directly with the client to prepare them for the ever-increasingly social, mobile and local consumer. Why not get started by requesting your free web design estimate?

And if you are still not sure what all goes into successful website development, don’t worry! Simply reach out and contact us. Our expert team will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine the best way to remove the obstacles in the way of your small business success and continued growth. It is one of our specialties, after all!

How Did Your Web Development Project Go?

Did you recently undertake a web design or web development project? If so, did you incorporate any of our suggestions for successful website development? Did that help you achieve your business objectives? Or did you have problems with our suggestions? Please feel free to let us know so our audience can benefit as well, and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our post with your audience!

Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!

By ESPRESSO Team Mobile-first experts translating innovative web design ideas into measurable business results! @ESPRESSOcreates