Key Mistakes To Avoid When You Build Your First Web
To make a successful website, you need three things 1. domain 2. hosting and 3.website. Entrepreneurs tend to jump immediately to the web creation process and start searching for web developers or graphic designers, expecting them not only to produce a beautiful web but also answer all the questions on the go. If you are lucky and happen to work with a designer or developer who is vastly experienced and also have a strategic mind – you might have a beautiful relationship and receive the feedback you expect. Unfortunately, this is not a common practice, and you should be prepared to guide your team and lead the process. Not vice versa.
Let me share with you five mistakes that can surely contribute to your daily stress level when not addressed on time. The topics sound a bit “techy,” but in fact, they are pure strategic decisions to be taken. I will make this process super easy for you.
Mistake # 1 Delay in decision HTTP or HTTPS, and what’s the difference?
To explain it in the easiest possible way, HTTP and HTTPS are both website data security protocols. The websites that are scheduled to collect sensitive client data (email addresses, delivery addresses, communication, etc.) should apply HTTPS, not HTTP. If you run a blog only or the site without any forms, call to actions and places where customers can leave their data, you can stay on HTPP.
There are three levels of HTTPS protocol. The first level will apply if your site collects the email and address only (www.maggieshub.com uses this level). If you already have or plan to open an e-shop with online transactions, you would need 2nd, level. For example, communicators like Skype or Zoom use this level to encrypt online communication and documents exchange. The top level 3rd will be applicable to protect the financial transactions. I’m sure you have noticed it at your bank website for example.
When you were buying your server, it comes already with HTTP protocol installed. Should you decide to go with HTTPS, it is smart to purchase it and install before you start developing your web. Installation is usually automatic and straightforward. I have decided to change the maggieshub.com protocol once the site was done, and it took me good two days to make sure all the files and applications are under the new protocol. I had to use my IT team and help desk from my server provider.
Mistake # 2 Leaving the decision on CMS to a web developer or graphic designer
CMS (Content Management System) is the platform-environment your website will be developed and functioning further. It is the system that allows people who have access to create its content, optimize texts, and update photos on your website. Since it is the system for your website, you do not want to change it frequently. Your decision needs to be strategic, not emotional. The trouble is you do not know CMS systems, and probably you do not want to spend time analyzing their pros and cons. So how can you make an informed decision? The trick here is to be smart and look only at the most popular solutions. There are currently 3-5 prominent Content Management Systems worldwide – WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and Wix. The market share difference between the number 1 and number 2 is devastating – over 60% for WordPress, little over 5% for Joomla, and around 1% for Wix. The rest of the CMSs present even smaller market shares.
What is more WordPress market share is growing while the second place players shrink year after year. How does this reflect you and your business? Well, it seems that the world goes into the web standard created by WordPress. It means that your clients, future web users will be already trained on how to use the site as they have frequently used other websites made with this CMS. For people who plan to have a simple web, for bloggers, coaches, I highly recommend WordPress. Using the market standard, you create a more comfortable environment and a more pleasant experience for your users.
Mistake # 3 The website architecture missing
Before you start doing anything for your website, you need to know its general architecture, or in other words, functional scheme. It is a defining moment that requires some strategic planning and solid thinking. In a nutshell, you need to plan for the chunks of information to be shared with your audience. People these days are bombarded from so many directions that their brains try to select critical materials only. Contemporary websites offer the content to be scanned rather than read by web visitors. So the way your website will be created determines the way people would receive its content and the message you try to convey. So it pays back to spend some time and draw your web architecture. You can do it in Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Mind map, or even on a piece of paper. The example of what I mean you can find below. See? I’m sure you know what I mean.
The golden rule for the key sections is it should not be less than 3 and not more than 6. Most of the commercial websites try to stick to 4-5 critical parts. Usually, it is 1-2 sections for products and services and 1-2 for company experience or credentials. The last one should be devoted to ways of contact.
It would be time to decide if your web will be active in one or more languages, what other functions or media are necessary (e-shop, videos, podcasts, product presentations?) Remember, it is your website, but it should not be about you, who you are, and what is your history. Its critical value comes from the way you can help your clients, how they can find you, and what they need to do to get in touch. You can read a little bit more about the construction of the web in the article 3 Quick Tips To Improve Your Website Performance.
Mistake # 4 Selecting the web theme before the functional scheme is ready
Web theme is nothing else like the template or skin for your website. Some people call it even “skirt.” The skirt will fit your needs only when you have your web architecture determined beforehand. Then you will understand how much space and what kind of functions you need. Otherwise, you will find yourself in a situation where you will be pushed by your web designer to fill graphically attractive elements with some content. The result might be pretty, but not relevant for your business and your future clients. The theme you select eventually must fit your business character and foremost, your web architecture needs. There are plenty of free themes that you can choose from and even more paid ones. Your decision should not be based on price or esthetics only. In many cases, business owners do not have any other quantifiers available. On the other hand, the theme evaluation process is pretty straightforward and not complicated once you know what to look for and how to do it.
Mistake # 5 Purchasing CMS and Installation with the hope it all will be OK in the end
If you are anything like me, you might decide to build your web yourself. Great, this is a brave decision, and I am sure you can succeed with it! The trick would be to ask for precise instruction and use the help-desk support when needed. Do not be shy; it is their job to help rookies and help professionals the same.
The strategic approach makes sense and saves you time and money. It pays back and saves you a lot of hassle!