When creating a website there are many moving parts and things to consider. Here is a list of a few items that people often neglect, or do not think about until the last minute. Place these items at the forefront of your planning to help you create a better website!
- Create your content before you start making your website
Your content is the reason why people will stay on your website. Do not neglect your content. It may not seem as important as the design of the website, but it is the most important element. If you have your content ready before the web design process begins, then your designers can make sure their designs will compliment your content. The website should be built around your content; the content should inform the design, not be forced to fit in it.
- Plan your social media strategy before you launch your website
Avoid being reactive. Create a strategy and start conversations/create some buzz for your new website. If you can get people engaged then you can really make a splash. Plan to be everywhere and really start driving traffic to your new website. As you create your content, create blog posts and your social media posts. Being ahead of the game means that you will have content to unleash when your website is ready.
- Install Google Analytics
It seems simple, but this step is often missed as the deadline nears and the focus is on launching the site and fixing any bugs. Make sure that you have Google Analytics installed from day 1 so you are not missing any data. Set goals and create a schedule to periodically review.
- Budget for website maintenance
When budgeting for your website, do not forget to include a budget for ongoing maintenance. As your website ages you will want to make functional changes or add features. If you are using a CMS (Content management system) make sure that you tackle security updates. It is also important to ensure that you have automated back-ups for your site – just in case you ever need to restore your website. Your website will never truly be done; it is only done when you stop working on it. And as soon as you stop working on it, then it is outdated.
Activity: Make sure that you have Google Analytics (or a similar stat tracking tool) installed on your website. Make sure your website is up to date and create a plan on updates that can be made over the next few months. Check to ensure that your security updates have been completed and that you have automated backups of your website.