So, I’m not a clairvoyant, but I’m willing to bet you’re here to find THE way to create a website, the ULTIMATE guide to having a professional website and a checklist of points to be covered to be sure of have huge traffic, appear in the top results on search engines like Google and have phenomenal online sales.
If so, this article will aim to help you create a professional website by providing the important points to be covered in the process.
Define the objectives and needs of the website
The first step is to define the objectives of the website. Do you want to increase online sales, improve brand visibility, generate leads, provide a platform to communicate with customers or simply have a showcase site?
Each type of platform will take more or less time depending on the level of complexity. Indeed, a showcase page will generally be faster to create than a shop or a platform for your customers.
Go with an MVP (Most Valuable Product) and therefore focus on only the vital functions of your website.
Do you want to create a huge catalog of products? Start with the 5 most popular.
Maybe you would like to offer specific features? Start with the most important and less resource-intensive ones.
Over time you will gradually add the missing items. It’s a great way to get started because if the essentials are already liked, then the additions you make will only improve your customers’ experience!
Once you have defined your goals, you can determine the needs of the website. What features should there be to meet the needs of your business and your customers?
- An online reservation system
- A contact form
- A chat
- An online store
Planning and design
The next step is to plan and design the website.
This includes creating a website map that outlines the site architecture, the content of each page, and the hierarchy of pages.
Which platform to use to create this mockup? The choice is vast. You can also use Photoshop, Canva, Adobe XD or any other tool allowing a better visualization of the platform.
Are you running out of time to create your model?
You can always try your hand at services offered by Fiverr. Keep in mind that you will get a job worth your investment.
If you want an all-in-one deal, Handshake is offering a low-cost bundle for a limited time that includes the creation and complete management of your website.
Interested? Click here.
You will also need to design the user interface of the website to ensure an optimal user experience.
Choose a design that reflects your company’s branding while being easy for visitors to navigate.
Once the planning and design is complete, website development can begin.
This involves creating web pages, setting up features, optimizing for search engines and adding content.
You can choose to hire a web developer for this step or use a website builder that makes the process easier.
Which CMS should I use?
There are several platforms that you can use to create your website. In the most popular there are:
– Rubberduck (Quebec)
– Monpanier (Quebec)
– Votresite (Quebec)
Each platform comes with its pros and cons. Some will require more programming, while others offer the “Drag & Drop” option.
At Handshake, we prioritize WordPress and Shopify.
How do I optimize my website for search engines?
Without going into too much detail, there are several ways to optimize your website for search engines.
Here are the main aspects to keep in mind:
– Site loading speed
– The relevance of the content
– The integration of the main keywords in titles, subtitles and images
– Leave as few empty tags as possible, these are benchmarks used by Google robots to understand the structure of the site
– Keep XML Sitemap files and Robot.txt up to date
– Optimize internal networking to keep consumers on the platform the longest.
Testing and launch
When your website is developed, it’s time to test it and launch it.
Make sure all features are working properly and the website is optimized for speed and security. Depending on the platform used, there are plugins or applications that can make these tasks easier.
A free tool to use to keep the user experience fresh on your mobile and desktop platform is Google Search Console. This tool allows you to have real-time problems related to the indexing of your pages as well as the user experience.
Test on different platforms and browsers to ensure the best user experience.
Finally, publish your website for visitors to access.
Maintenance and update
Thought you were done? That’s an error that the majority of website owners will commit.
It is important to maintain it and update it regularly. This involves fixing bugs, adding fresh content, and updating features. By keeping your website up to date, you can maintain high visitor engagement and continually improve user experience.
Moreover, Google tends to put forward content that is up to date for its users. The explanation is very simple, if you have a problem with a tool and you search for the solution on Google, it is more likely that a more recent article offers a more complete answer than an article dating from 6 years ago.
You don’t have to change and update your pages every day, but every 3-6 months would be recommended.
In summary, building a website for a business involves defining goals and needs, planning and design, development, testing and launch, and ongoing maintenance and updating.
By following these steps in a methodical way, you can create a successful website that meets the needs of your business and your customers.
Still have questions? Read our Starter Guide for the Creation of your Website. It’s free and gives you the answers to your questions in a simple way!