Every business ought to have a web site, period. Your online presence is an extension of your brand. Word of mouth has always been the most powerful tool used for marketing, yet in a world full of smart phones and wearable technology the first thing that potential client or customer will do is look up your business after hearing that recommendation. Be visible, look presentable, be ready.
Web site development is a very broad topic which could cover a plethora of subjects, tangents and avenues. This article will briefly discuss web development strategies for non-tech persons so they may better understand what they need to know when looking for this service.
Why is it important to get a good developer?
Trusting your website to the wrong company can be the PR disaster of a life time. For an increasingly large number of people their first impression of your company is what they first see on your web site; thus, keeping this up to date and looking professional is paramount. Seek out a web developer or company that understands you’re not joking around with the web and that you need something that looks good.
Common avenues of development
There are companies that will gladly charge $40,000 for a web site where they’ll have you fill out a questionnaire and then produce a website that looks like 8,000 other websites for you, in about an hour. Don’t do this. Seek out a company that will invest in a relationship and conversation with you about who you are, what you need and what your online presence means to you and your company. From here you can discuss the use of a template to quickly get you off the ground or a totally bespoke solution that is built just for you.
Content Management Systems
Many companies will use a content management system such as Drupal, Joomla!, or WordPress, these services make it easier for your site to be maintained and if you’re intending to do a blog it is easy for you to log in and update your site yourself. This is also very important for artist or any other business where you need to frequently update your site
Paying for hosting, or hosting yourself
Anyone can host their own websites, some services offer free hosting- such as GoDaddy. If you host with a free hosting service you will not be able to do anything but basic HTML, which means quality sites built in the latest technologies are out of the question. Also, you’ll have ads for that service on your page. Businesses should never, ever consider free hosting. If you’re interesting in having your own hosting account you can very easily do this; however, be warned that if you’re not able to hire someone to, or able to personally, maintain the server and keep it up to date you should not consider this option. When a website falls out of date, especially when using third party tools such as a CMS (content management system) hackers gain easy access to do malicious and damaging things to your site and with your site. Finally, paying someone to host, ask what you get with their hosting. Do they update security and other services for your site? Do they back up their server, if so, how often? Should you decide to leave their company and go to another will they give you access to your site files?
This has been a very brief overview of some topics many people simply don’t think about if they’re not in the tech industry. Remember, no web developer or company should give you a straight out cookie cutter price without first assessing your needs.