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Top 8 Items to Avoid When Developing Your Website

In building the right website, just like building anything there are pitfalls you should avoid. Especially when building custom website you need to take several factors into consideration before proceeding forward. Here are the top 10 items to avoid when developing your website:

  • Choose the Right Company
  • Your first step before undertaking a new website is to have an honest assessment with yourself. How much do you really know about the website development process? What are your strengths and weaknesses? By knowing where you are coming from, this will help you and the developer you choose make the right decisions. Counter your weaknesses with your developers strengths. If you are starting from zero – you need to not just find a programmer but a project manager or small business owner. This will allow them to give you a broader perspective for you project.

    A successful project is viewed from many view points; designers, users, administrators, programmers, project managers, yours, and the customers. If you have too few of viewpoints your project can become cumbersome to some users of the system. By selecting a company that has experience from these viewpoints you can save yourself time and money. Sometimes it is less expensive to go with an individual programmer or designer but in most cases you end up paying for it in the long run.

  • Begin with the End in Mind
  • What is the most important aspect of your website? Very few people get this answer correct, but it is so simple when you really consider it. The answer is TRAFFIC. If your website has no traffic does it really exist? In building your website, don’t lose track of the goal, which is to create, enhance, or support sales. Every website comes down to one or multiple of these three goals. Each of the goals need traffic to be effective. Even if the traffic is your employees, keeping the end in mind will save you time and simplify your website. Before starting any web development project, write down your top 3 goals and refer to it often. Ask yourself does this functionality or design help me to accomplish my goal? If not, you don’t need it.

  • Plan for Success
  • “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” you have heard the old cliche’. In the website development world, you can’t just look at the plan for developing the site but how are you going to market the website, or roll it out to your employees? Do you have to import data from an existing system that you are replacing? Instead of focusing on just the development project, look at the bigger picture and include all the steps in the project, not just the website itself.

  • Establish Check Points
  • How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. If you want to get your website development project done, setup 2 – 3 week checkpoints or benchmarks. At each checkpoint, you should be able to touch and feel the code to see the improvements that have been made. Too many clients have come to Full Service Web Design blind to their project. They have no idea what or how much has been done. For both the developer and you the customer, having checkpoints will keep you on the same page and allow feedback so the project doesn’t go in the wrong direction. If your developer says that 2 – 3 weeks checkpoints aren’t feasible, find a new developer.

  • Communication
  • Once your have your checkpoints established, the next goal is to setup a communication path with your developer. You can setup a time after each phase or setup some time in between phases. Instead of every time you get an idea calling or emailing your developer, write it down and ponder the implications. Sometimes your ideas may be great and other of your ideas may not help you to reach your original goals. Take some time to let your ideas mature and talk to your developer at certain points in the process to evaluate your new ideas. As you establish your communication pattern, you will find that many of the ideas you thought were great, maybe weren’t so great. But the great ideas will also be heard because your developer will have set aside time to listen and you are calling him or her when they are distracted.


  • Phases are your Friend
  • Sometimes business owners eyes are bigger than their stomach. In developing your website, break it down into smaller phases so you are able to date with your programming team before you marry. If you are working on a $100,000 project, scope out the entire project but break it down into $20,000 – $25,000 chunks. Each phase allows you to provide feedback or approve the project before starting the next phase. In some instances your budget needs to dictate the separate phases. If you don’t have the money to do the entire project, it is still important that you plan the entire project and separate it into phases. If you don’t plan the entire foundation, with some web developers you can be painting yourself into a corner.


  • Continuous Improvement
  • Every business evolves and your website should be able to evolve with it. If you are not able to plan out your entire project, or it progresses as most businesses do. Don’t get locked into a limited foundation. Full Service Web Design has solved this issue by developing a dynamic platform that allows you to continuously develop and expand your website. Without forethought, many times you run into complications or your foundation doesn’t allow the growth without reconstruction. The last thing your growing successful business needs is having to stop the growth because your website wont’ allow it. In choosing a website development company, make sure you can continually improve and build your site without much hassle.

  • Budget to Win
  • One of the biggest problems that new or developing sites run into is the lack of funds. In planning your project, in many instances you will think of new functionality along the way or forget functionality that you wanted. As you create your budget keep in mind the incidentals or the other items you may want to add. You must keep in mind to set aside money for marketing and driving traffic to the website. In most instances, you will spend 10-30 times the amount of money on marketing that you spent on your website. If you don’t keep your marketing budget in mind, your business may be short lived?


  • Time Management
  • As a small to medium business owner you are pulled in too many directions. Creating your website project is fun and exciting, but keeping it going and doing all the necessary follow-up is more critical. Set aside a few hours each week or twice a month to review your website. Don’t neglect the project until it is done, but get involved and go through each of the phases as if you were the actual user. You know your business better than the developer likely does, the more feedback you can give them the better the outcome of your website. You don’t need to babysit and harass your web developer but set the checkpoints and plan some time to review the progress to make sure it is meeting your expectations.


  • Test – Test – Test
  • After your new project as been developed, review the scope to make sure it was completed correctly. Then the next step is to test…test…test. Approach it as each user and try to break the system. Your web development team has no doubt tested and gone through this testing process, but as a none developer you can find possible bugs and issues they might miss. The website will be representing your business so YOU make sure that it is representing your company well.


  • Expandibility
  • Now that your project is complete, the next step is to establish the next phase of your website. Set up a google document or a wiki page that your employees can access and give feedback on the website. If necessary, allow it to be anonymous so everyone can speak freely without regard for reprimand or punishment. Your website will never be completed…I am not saying that just because I am a web developer, but websites evolve, businesses changes, search engines change their criteria and you need to let your customers know that your businesses is moving forward and not stagnant. Keep growing your list for the next phase of your website, it may be weeks or years but always look to improve.



As you build your site not matter how big or how small keep these items in mind so you can develop the best website for your company.

Kalen Howard
Owner
Full Service Web Design


What Can Your Website Do For You?

Full Service Web Design has spent years developing a propietary framework called Aeris. With the technology of Aeris your site will have a solid foundation, allowing your business to grow exponentially. Aeris prevents the problem of Frankensites... sites that are added onto so much that they become constraining and unusable. Aeris technology will allow your ONE site to fulfill all the funtionality you see below.


Brochure

Need to get new customers? Or provide new information to your current clients? Nothing beats a brochure site.
  • Customer Introduction and Retention
  • Employee Introduction and Retention
  • Catalog of Services

Sales Person

With a website you can literally make money in your sleep. There has never been a better time to sell online...
  • Product Catalog
  • E-commerce
  • Lead Creation

Customer Manager

What is the life-time value of a customer? Are you benefiting your clients at the right time? Give your clients the best individual experience...

  • Customer Relations Manager (CRM)
  • Lead Progression Tracker
  • Company Wiki

Information

Information is king in todays economy. Provide more accurate, better information to your customers and you win.
  • Blog
  • Wiki
  • Forum

Business Management

Do you put out fires all day? Or does your business run and manage itself? Processes can simplify your life and increase your revenue.
  • Time Tracker
  • Task Manager
  • Employee Tracker

Products

Have an idea for a website? Full Service Web Design can help you to plan, develop, and execute your idea.
  • Membership Websites
  • Plugins or Tools
  • Social Sites

Don't see the functionality you need above? Aeris allows us to easily add and develop elements and systems quickly and affordably. Give us a call to talk about your specific needs...Call Now 888-600-1703