Building a website today is a lot more complex than years ago, with more consideration and skill required for your content, performance, layout, graphics and keywords.
While many people are attracted to free or do it yourself websites, these are only good as a static website that will not perform on search engines unless you are an experienced developer.
Design & Layout
Starting with your design, ensure that you build your look and feel not for yourself but for your visitors and the image you want to give them of your business.
You site needs to be built for a mobile first, with over 75% of website visitors now on mobiles, google gives mobile first websites ranking preference.
The site should also smoothly transition between the different resolutions.
Use googles mobile compatibility tool to test mobile presentation and also test other resolutions and wide screen.
Google now requires SSL on websites in order to rank correctly, so SSL is a must for a website.
Your site should be built based not only on SEO and keywords but also on flow and user experience. Content is king here, and google rewards knowledge over a keyword seeded page. Talk about what you know and provide as much detail as you can in breakdown areas or blogs.
Key statements should be kept to around 10 words (more than 10 result in a 50% loss of your readers), on your homepage this should be short sharp and to the point, leading off into more information for each section as the visitor requires.
Keep your lead in’s on point, once written go over and over again to reduce the size but maintain topic. Use this with your call to action links/buttons.
High impact images (high res and low weight) are a key feature and they must tell a story that helps with the website, and what you are trying to achieve. Make sure you use your own images or royalty paid images.
Use chrome auditing tools to find out how google will judge your site.
Your new site should come with the following:
- Google analytics connected and monitored
- Uptime monitor
- Registered with Google webmasters
- Submission to Google
- XML sitemap
- Bootstrap or similar UI layer
- reCaptcha on any form submissions
Your servers security is just as important as your website and as your website gets more popular it will attract more potential hackers. A good hacker can get into a server quickly if its not locked down.
Choosing A Developer
The web development industry is unregulated, so this means its very hard to tell who and what you are getting without doing your homework. The short of it is, a good developer or dev shop should have a very visible history, all staff view able on linkedin with their backgrounds and skills. It is possible to get a good developer outside of this, but is it worth the risk?
Finally make sure the person selling you the site is not going to get it developed overseas, I have to deal with this regularly in clean ups, and in most cases the sites are unrecoverable, and we have to start from scratch.