Top tips for a successful website

 In Blog

So you’ve made the decision that you’d like a website for your business.  You don’t have a huge budget but are convinced online visibility is the way to go. It’s time to take things to the next step and bring your brand online.

Look at a website as an investment. It doesn’t have to cost thousands of pounds but there are some things you need to think about and consider as explained below from the experts at Black Nova Designs. 

There are so many options out there but here are a few things you might like to keep in mind.

You could use a website builder such as Wix or Weebly. This means you do not own the platform whereas if you use a standalone content management system (CMS) platform like WordPress you own the rights. Let me explain this further – think of it as like the difference between renting a house and buying one. A website builder is the like the rented building, it is yours but there are limitations to the design, whereas the house you have bought is yours, much like the CMS platform.

Keep in mind you have to pay a monthly fee for the website builder with the inbuilt restrictions, whereas something like WordPress the platform is free and you just pay for hosting (we provide affordable, optimised wordpress hosting from £2.83 per month.)

WordPress is a compelling yet free content management system which provides a comprehensive range of features for building remarkable business websites, it is a self-hosted platform which means all you pay for is the domain and hosting – it’s then yours to do with as you wish!

Once you have decided on a platform for your new website you need to remember a few things when designing it:

Make Simple Navigation
For the end user, navigating through your website should be effortless. They should easily find what they are looking for. It’s all too easy for people to leave your website and go to a competitors that is easier to use. Make it easy and keep them there! 

#ProTip: You can use WordPress’ powerful Custom Menus feature (Appearance > Menus in your sidebar) to arrange and name main pages.

Make Your Content Readable & Engaging
Great content is part of building a website, but how to make that content look engaging is what matters most. You can consider the following:

  • Use sub headings liberally and make them descriptive,
  • Use short words, short sentences, and concise paragraphs. It is easier for the user to read them,
  • Formatting plays a great role. Consider using Bold and Italics to emphasize certain words,
  • Use strong images to add colour and variety but don’t let them too high res as this will reduce page loading speed time,
  • Consider using other graphical elements like block “quotes”, lists, tables, and anything else that will add a little spice to your content,

While building a WordPress website, many people make some common mistakes which can reduce the customer user experience. Don’t feel the need to install unnecessary or broken plugins and then not removing them. It can increase the load time of your website. Our top plugin recommendations: WP Smush, Wordfence, WP Cookie Consent and WP Statistics. 

In today’s fast-forward world, user-experience is vital. To make your business a success, follow the tips mentioned above and create a successful WordPress site setup.

Use professional Images

As much as we all loathe to admit it, let’s face it: appearance is everything. What if we told you it can become one of the most cost-effective aspects of your business? Having a plethora of professionally taken photos can create free publicity for your business, and have the added benefit of building effective brand recognition.

Having professional and personalised photography presents you with the opportunity to gain an advantage over your competitors. Clear and creative photo designs demonstrate the credibility of your company and will result in customers trusting your brand as authentic and one they want to support.

“As an entrepreneur, your social media presence, website, and other marketing material is the first impression a potential client has of you and your company.”

While quality imagery is important, we always recommend you resize your high resolution images to increase page load speed. Again, you don’t want your potential customers getting bored waiting for your page to load and shopping elsewhere! In original size image resized to 1MB – 2MB will load nice and quickly and still look super crisp and very professional.

Where will people view your site from?

Our final and potentially most important tip, make your site responsive across all devices, particularly making sure it’s mobile friendly. 

In 2015, Google rolled out a change to the search engine algorithms which now factor in a website’s mobile presence as a ranking signal. This reason alone can justify why responsive design is important! Simply put, a website needs to be user-friendly on a smartphone. Many a time, I’ve left a website where I was willing to spend money because I couldn’t easily use the site on my phone, don’t be that person! 

Website responsiveness is also a great way to refine the content on your site, making sure that those using a mobile device are only seeing the most essential information. Having a mobile responsive website is not just another option—it’s a requirement!

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