Business Websites - Finding The Right Solution
by Ben Wilson on October 15th, 2016
To stay ahead of the competition, your company needs to have a strong online presence. If you’re a businessperson with little-to-zero technical knowledge, web design may sound a bit intimidating to you. However, it doesn’t have to be.
Simply put, web design is the planning and creation of websites. It encompasses the structure of the site, how information is organized, the user interface, design layout, content navigation, fonts, colours, and images. When designing a website, designers also consider the site’s intended function, the target audience, the owner’s brand, and the traffic goals the website owner has to particular content. The objective of professional web design is to build a website that meets the needs of the target audience’s and the website owner.
Most contemporary websites are built using a content management system (CMS) rather than the “hand coded” websites of old. A content management system is a software application that ostensibly allows people that do not have programming / coding skills to easily manage your website content (text, images, etc.).
Not All Content Management Systems Are Easy
Most website developers will tell you that when developing your website they will use an ‘easy content management system’. The reality is that in most cases it is easy to use for the developer but usually not so easy to use for the website owner. The most common systems used are WordPress, Joomla, WIX, Weebly and there are a host of others. It is the perspective of Web Force 5 that all of these systems are too hard for the average business person to manage and are limited in terms of the integrated functionality they provide.
Most business people that we speak to are looking to control the behaviour of their website that moves far beyond just the creation of simple web pages. The ease of use firstly needs to extend to being able to create and edit image galleries, forms, e-marketing, shopping products and anything else that is on the website. Part two of the typical requirements we hear regularly is that the ease of use needs to be consistent and extend across all website functions.
The main advice that we provide anyone who is looking to develop a website that they can manage is, when their potential developer says that they will use content management system that is easy – make them show you, then compare it to the Web Force 5 content management system – the difference is stark.
Why a Content Management System is Important
Google loves fresh content. If you want your website to be placed high in results on the internet’s most popular search engine, you need to add new content to your website frequently. This is one of the main reasons why Blog’s were invented as it provides Google with the ability to validate that the content on a website is being updated regularly. You also need to update, improve or get rid of content that is obsolete and gets the least engagement.
Website Design Options
If you are looking to create a website that is built specifically for your business you can use DIY website builders on platforms such as SquareSpace, WIX and Weebly. They are pretty easy to use and very affordable. Some of these platforms even have free versions. However, DIY website builders such as these have very limited functionality, scalability and customisation options. They are effective if you simply want a 4 – 6 page website that people can find when they know where to go – it is hard to get these types of websites to rank high on search engines.
You can also build a hosted website with a pre-made template or theme. WordPress and Drupal are examples of content management systems that allow you to install design themes or templates. These systems also allow you to “plug in” or “bolt on” additional website functions like e-marketing, shopping, forms etc. You will need some technical know-how to be able setup a website using these platforms, and to manage them. This becomes a problem if you want a unique look for your website and although they offer more flexibility than DIY website builders, their customisation options are still limited.
Having a custom-designed website with an easy-to-use content management system that already includes all of the integrated functions you need is the best option for just about any business. This is the fundamental point of difference that the Web Force 5 website software provides. We believe that the Web Force 5 system is the easiest, most functional and most affordable website system available. We know that we are not the right system for everyone but 65% of anyone that compares us with WordPress, Weebly, WIX, SquareSpace, Joomla or Drupal becomes a Web Force 5 user.
Website Design Best Practice
Whether you decide to build your own website or hire a professional to do it for you, you should know the basic best practices of web design. That way, you’ll know if your website is properly structured and that you are giving yourself the best possible chance that it will deliver on your website objectives. Here are some of the best practices that every website owner should know:
- The most important information and elements of your website should be above the fold. Your website visitors shouldn’t have to scroll down to see what you’re all about and what you have to offer them.
- Make sure that your website clearly communicates your message. See to it that the fonts are readable. Don’t clutter your site with unnecessary widgets and images so that your website visitors don’t get distracted from your message.
- Be sure that your website is easy to navigate. All navigation elements should be clickable and easy to find. Also, they should have clear navigation titles. Don’t leave any room for ambiguity.
- The loading speed of your website should be two seconds or less. Website visitors typically abandon a website when it doesn’t load within three seconds. Every element you add can decrease your website’s loading speed. Do away with widgets, plug-ins, images, and other elements that do not add value to your site. Also, loading speed is a factor that can affect your website’s ranking on Google.
- Your website should be mobile responsive. A mobile responsive website adjusts how it is viewed to whatever device you’re using. No matter what device you’re using, you should be able to read the content without any horizontal scrolling or that awful pinch and expand experience.
Why should you care about mobile-responsiveness? People spend more time online on their mobile devices than on their computers. Also, more and more people shop online using mobile devices. When your website is mobile-responsive, you have a better chance of connecting with your potential customers earning their business. Mobile-responsiveness is also one of the factors that helps your website rank high in Google search results.
Is it Always Wise to Go With the Most Affordable Option?
You can create a website at a very low cost with a DIY website builder or a ready-made theme or template. However, with limited customization options, it may be difficult to build a site that meets your needs. Hiring a firm that offers website design services is an option, but depending on the system, website design can be extremely expensive and difficult to manage.
Some website owners try to avoid investing in professional website design services because they think the cost is prohibitive. There are many options available that will allow you to get your website live affordably however there is a buyer beware warning that should be applied. It is a common strategy among many website developers that they keep the initial costs very low, they use systems that make you reliant on them for website maintenance and they charge exorbitant fees for ongoing maintenance.
The good news is professional website design can be very affordable. Web Force 5 is one of Australia’s largest and most established website developers that offers powerful website functionality that is easy to use and affordable. The Web Force 5 solution includes custom mobile-responsive website design and an intuitive content management system with advanced, integrated functionality. The platform is easy to use; it doesn’t require technical knowledge. It also offers fully-integrated functionality including shopping cart, email marketing tools, a fully integrated customer relationship management (CRM) system and more. All these features are regularly updated and constantly improved by the Web Force 5 team.
To find out more about the Web Force 5 content management system are related services..