Struggling with where to start with your website?
Luckily Angela from AB Web Designs has penned her 5 top tips for me as a guest blog to guide your initial thinking…
Your website is a reflection of you and your business, it’s your shop window to the world. Potential customers will judge you on their initial visit to your website and they will definitely compare it to your competitors. Therefore it is important that you have a design that appeals to your target audience AND stands out from your competitors. A good web designer will take all this into consideration but if you’re designing your own website, you need to get honest feedback from friends / family and ask them the following:
• Is it easy to navigate?
• Is it quick to load?
• Does it look good on mobile phones and tablets as well as your laptop?
• Does it reflect your brand?
• Does it stand out from your competitors?
Your website files need to be hosted somewhere and unless your website is built on Squarespace or similar, you will need to arrange hosting for your website. Talk to your web designer and listen to their advice before signing up for any hosting. If you already have a website, make sure you choose good hosting, don’t be lured in by cheap pricing for the initial year as this could end up costing you more. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for – think about your home broadband and the packages that are available. You know the cheaper ones are slower and less reliable so most people go for the more expensive options. It’s the same with hosting, cheap hosting is a cheap service and you could reach your disc space allocation and/or your bandwidth very quickly and have to pay for costly upgrades.
Be aware that if your email is hosted with your website, your email files also take up space on the server and will count towards your disc space allowance. Make sure you choose hosting with adequate disk space, good bandwidth and UK based servers.
If your website is built on WordPress, your website will require some maintenance. You will have regular updates for WordPress, your theme and your plugins. The manufacturers don’t release updates just for fun and you should ensure that they are up to date. Why? Some updates are security patches and you want your website to be secure from hackers. Other updates happen because WordPress itself has updated and the plugin manufacturers have to change their code to ensure they are 100% compatible with the new version of WordPress. Other updates are to improve functionality or to give you more options.
Make sure you schedule some time every month to perform these updates.
4. Backup, backup, backup!
I can’t stress this enough. You should be backing up your website regularly – it is YOUR responsibility. Before you make any changes to your website or perform any updates, make sure you backup your files. If you use WordPress, there is an excellent free plugin called Updraft Plus that you can use. Some hosting providers will provide daily backups as part of your hosting package which is great. However, I still recommend you backup your website yourself before you perform any updates as it is a lot quicker and easier to restore a backup from Updraft Plus than it is to restore one from your host’s servers.
I recommend backing up your website at least once a week (yes – really!).
5. Blog posts
Writing regular blog posts is a great way of driving traffic to your website. Google LOVES websites that are updated as the bots checks for new content daily and if you are blogging regularly, they know you are providing fresh, relevant content for people to read. Many people struggle with ideas for regular blog posts, so make a habit of thinking that every time a client asks you something, make a note of it – could you turn your answer into a blog post? What if you don’t like writing? No problem, consider doing a vlog instead and uploading it on YouTube. You can get a transcript of your speech and turn that into a blog post instead.
Blog posts give you something to talk about on social media too!
For more brilliant tips from Angela on all things websites then visit her very own website here!