Web Design & Development

Web Design & Development featuring posts with design and development related topics.

My new website is live… now what?

My new website is live.. now what?

Congratulations! Your new website is complete… There are many moving parts to a build, from coding to design and lastly to the content itself.

However, if you want to attract and retain customers, which let’s be honest… WE ALL WANT… then you cannot have a “set it and forget it” mentality once the new website is live. Marketing your business is not only about creating a presence on the web, it’s about maintaining it too.

It is therefore vital that you implement a ‘Website Update Schedule’ for your business.

Here are 4 reasons why a WUS is a wise decision:

  1. Your business deserves to always shine in the best light

Broken links, 404 pages, half-baked landing pages, slow loading times… your visitors will go elsewhere if they don’t find what they’re looking for… and FAST. The last thing you want is potential customers to become frustrated. It never ends well, and worse yet they’ll probably tell their family and friends too.

Building trust is vital to operating a successful online presence. But at the end of the day, who’s going to want to enter their credit card or contact information when your website looks neglected? Ask yourself… would YOU trust this business?

Your website is the face of your organisation online, so invest the time and energy into keeping it current.

Actively monitor for bugs whilst simultaneously adding fresh content like blogs, articles, events and reviews. This way you kill two birds with one stone. We would recommend you do this at least once per week in order to keep your visitors engaged and to reap the benefits of SEO.

 

  1. Keep your website safe and secure for everyone

You are not only responsible for protecting your own data, but you are also responsible for protecting your visitors’ information too. Security requirements are always changing, and nobody is safe – even big brands are targets for cyber-attacks and data breaches. To make this all the more challenging, if you are accepting visitors from countries within the European Union or US states such as California you are legally obliged to implement enhanced data security practices.

Towards the end of 2016, Uber announced the personal information of 57 million of their customers information and over 600,000 drivers had been hacked. To make matters worse, the company tried to hide the breach rather than report it.

In November 2018, Marriott International the hotel group came forward with information that cyber criminals had stolen the data of approximately 500 million of their customers.

Since hackers get smarter all the time, you need a program you can trust to keep your online assets safe.

Being proactive and protecting your website now is so much easier than dealing with the devastation, disruption and huge costs of a hacked site, lost data and destroyed Google rankings. And make no mistake, all of those negatives strike at once so it can be a scary time.

 

  1. Secure backups, made regularly, will literally save your business.

A backup is a saved copy of your website, whether it’s from a day ago or a month ago. Backups are stored in files or in the cloud and can be restored if needed. There are two types of backup, full and incremental. They both have their benefits, but the full backup is the one you need to ensure is operating automatically and regularly.

If you don’t have a backup readily available and your website is hacked and wiped, you’d need to start over from scratch. You wouldn’t want all your hard work to disappear, would you?

 

  1. Software updates are rarely automatic, but essential.

Software is ever-changing, whether it’s plugins and themes that need updating or security programs.

Your site isn’t going to run smoothly and will also be vulnerable to hackers if you don’t stay on top of software updates. The more often you update, the less likely you are to have problems.

Keeping your software updated also ensures your site loads quickly when visitors arrive; speed does have a direct impact on SEO.

Don’t miss vital leads or sales by neglecting content, security, backup and regular software updates.

Remember, spend a little money now and it will save you a fortune in case the worst happens tomorrow!

So, to recap. Ensure your ‘Website Update Schedule’ includes:

  • Continuous state-of-the-art monitoring and “next-generation application firewall” protection against spam, malware and other malicious attempts. 7G firewalls are particularly effective.

  • Ongoing automatic backups of your site in case it ever needs to be restored. Daily backups are expected these days as a minimum, in some cases hourly is recommended. Ensure the backups are stored away from the webserver itself and in a cloud location for further resiliency.

  • Check every page of your website for broken images and links so it runs smooth and fast. As you intend for your visitors to experience it. Have your Web Developers phone number handy if you spot something amiss (in many cases quick fixes are free of charge anyway).

  • Regular updates of your WordPress core (the latest is version 5.8 as of posting) and ensure your plugins are too for optimal performance and security. Make sure your webserver is running PHP version 7.4 or above. Many of our clients are now running on PHP version 8 for the enhanced security and performance benefits.

Top 5 Ways To Improve Your Website

Your website home page is a landing page. It’s where visitors have landed having found you online. Therefore, you should treat it just like any other landing page by following some simple ‘dos and donts’. Afterall, the last thing you want is your visitor to be confused over what you do or worse yet completely lost with no idea how to navigate.

With this in mind, we have put together a list of the ‘Top 5 ways to improve your website’.

1. What are you offering?

The first thing you need to be clear on when creating your website home page is precisely what products or services you are offering. When a visitor comes to your home page, they need to see within seconds what it is that you do and what you offer accompanied with a clear call to action.

Load your website and answer the following questions from your home page:

  • What company is this?
  • What problems do they solve for me?
  • What stands out about this company?
  • What can I do on this page?

If visitors come to your home page and have no idea what value you provide, they are just going to leave. Worse yet, they probably won’t ever return either.

2. Design the website for them, not for you.

Developing a customer persona is one of the main secrets to create not just an aesthetically pleasing website but also an incredibly effective one. This results in a home page that feels like it was designed just for that visitor. This both includes the design and the copy. To create the persona, think about these questions:

  • What is their main problem or pain point?
  • What is their demographic?
  • Who is your ideal customer?

Once you answer these questions, you’ll be able to design the website perfectly for them rather than for you. It’s your website but it’s made for them and that really is the aim here, to connect with them. Step into your ideal visitors’ shoes so they feel comfortable and confident you are the right choice.

3. ‘To the point’ navigation.

What you include in your home page’s navigation is important. It should only be the most essential information that you want the visitor to see and act upon. This avoids too many distractions and focuses the visitor’s attention. To maximise your lead capturing, you’ll need to keep your navigation choices low.

  • Limit top level options
  • Avoid dropdowns as much as possible
  • If you do use dropdowns use visual cues
  • Keep the header height small
  • Ensure your page is responsive

The best home pages only have a handful of options such as Contact, About, and the Blog. If you have a shop, you might also include a shop page on the main navigation links but we would recommend against adding anything else.

4. Include a clear Call to Action.

Most websites unfortunately don’t include a CTA on their home page. As a result, they leave their visitors confused about what to do. Don’t fall in to those 70% of websites too. If you want your visitors to call you, state ‘Call me on…’ or ‘Message me by clicking here’ etc.

Ideally you should have more than one CTA on your website. With the aim of covering as many bases as possible, multiple entry points collect the maximum number of leads.

5. Be Mobile & Tablet Optimised.

Ensure that your website offers a responsive design so that it can be viewed equally well on desktop, tablet and mobile. In 2021, there really is no reason your website should not be responsive as it’s fast to implement by any skilled website developer (we actually do this for free when designing websites).

This really is important as almost 50% of your visitors, irrespective of your industry, are almost certainly browsing your website on a mobile device. As a result, the priority should be that your website loads correctly and has no errors. In addition to ensuring that all images render correctly and are sized accordingly. If these basics aren’t covered you are losing money it’s as simple as that.

Reach out to us if you would like any guidance on how to implement the above methods by visiting our website https://viewfule.com and contact us for a FREE consultation.

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