These days there are a LOT of people vying to build your website, and they can come from all sorts of backgrounds. Some are very smart geeks who are great at writing code but, quite frankly, aren’t particularly good at writing compelling content. Others are graphic designers who can produce great looking designs but quickly run into trouble when they encounter problems with functionality.
And of course we won’t even talk about that cheap and nasty option from your friend’s nephew who’ll cobble something together from a do-it-yourself app they found on the web.
It can be difficult to sort the good ones from the bad until it’s too late, so here are the six curly questions to ask before you make a commitment.
1. Who’s going to write the words?
You wouldn’t ask a printer to write a book (and quite frankly you shouldn’t ask them to design your business card either) so you shouldn’t ask a web developer to write the content for your website.
We’ve heard of so many clients who’ve committed to a new website before realising they have to supply their own content. We don’t think that’s good enough.
To us, a great website is an important means of communication. What counts most of all is the messages being communicated. And our experience is there are very few clients who are any good at describing their business from a marketing perspective.
So we’ll help you through the process. If you’ve written a draft of what you want to say, we’ll examine this with you, dissecting and analysing, splicing and dicing to write content that sizzles. Alternatively we can sit down with you and your team to ask a whole heap of questions before writing compelling content for you.
2. Will my website look like anybody else’s?
Some companies take a production line approach to building website for their clients, so invariably they all start looking the same.
The best way to suss this out is to check out their portfolio. Chances are that if a lot of their websites look very similar, yours will too.
We believe each website should be a unique creation to uniquely reflect your individual style and brand values. Just check out OUR portfolio to see what we mean.
3. What keywords will you be focusing on?
Even great looking websites with lots of crafty words can get lost on the internet. Ultimately your website needs to align with the words people are using to find you.
So before we start out on your website we’ll do a lot of research to find out just which words people are typing into Google or Bing to find businesses like yours and, importantly, how many times those searches are conducted each month.
That way we can write the content and build your website architecture around an agreed list of search phrases, giving you an important advantage in being found online.
4. Will my website be easy for me to edit myself?
We like to build websites around WordPress or Joomla simply because these are the most popular content management systems on the internet today. That’s because they are really easy to use and will be easy to upgrade in the future as software evolves.
In this day and age EVERY new website should be built on a content management system, but beware of proprietary content management systems which might already be stuck in the past. WordPress and Joomla are open source which means they are supported by many tens of thousands of very clever developers around the world who continue to find ways to improve the system and create add-ons for better functionality and enhanced security. Being open source, you’ll also never need to pay ongoing fees to use these systems and because they are so well known, they will be easier for others to work on into the future.
5. Will my website be mobile friendly?
A contemporary website needs to look good on any screen, be it a huge TV or a smartphone. To achieve this your website needs to be ‘responsive’ so it automatically rearranges its layout to suit the size of the screen.
Beware of companies who will offer to build a mobile version of your website. Why pay so much more? And who’s going to update this alternative content?
6. Will my website be guaranteed against hacking attacks?
We’ll be the first to admit that nobody can withstand a concerted hacking attack, and that includes the FBI and other security agencies!
But we pay a great deal of attention to build secure websites which won’t be easy for spammers or other loonies to hijack for their nefarious intentions. However, if your website is hacked, we’ll fix the damage for you at no extra charge within the first twelve months. We’ll also offer an ongoing monthly maintenance contract which will offer similar peace of mind and ensure your website is continually updated with the latest software into the future.