A great website isn’t created by accident.
A lot of time and energy goes into creating an incredible online experience for your visitors… and that’s before your website has launched! Content should be added and things should be optimised after you launch, too.
Our philosophy of building websites is based around what we call “The 7 Pillars”.
The Pillars are:
Let’s take a look at these 7 pillars in a little bit more detail.
The most important.
Before you start building your website (or have someone build it for you), you should work out what the goals of the website are. This is often quite hard to do and people often would have goals like, ‘To let people find us online’ or ‘for people to get in contact with us and buy over the phone’.
These are both rubbish business objectives!
Instead, ask yourself these questions:
If we were to build a new website, what would be the best possible result for the business? How would we know that the website is a massive success?
You can also ask:
What would be the worst possible outcomes if the project were a bust?
You should aim to put numbers against these questions. For an e-commerce site, the goal could be to have 100 more customers buy via the website every day.
An example of a disaster is the old website outperforming the new website, or just not achieving anything at all to move your business forward.
Mobile devices dominate the current landscape of building an effective website. On many of our clients’ websites, traffic from smartphones and tablets can account for 90% of all traffic!
The takeaway here is that your website must look and behave the same across all devices. Someone should be able to view your website on all devices and the experience should be seamless.
Achieving this is a mixture of good coding, and leads us nicely to…
Design has never been more important to the success of a business than right now. Great design drives conversion rates and returns on investment through the roof.
Studies show that the average person is exposed to around 5,000 advertisements and brands per day.
How do you stand out when you’re competing for attention with 5,000 other brands?
The studies showed that out of 5,000, only 12 brands impacted the customer enough to actually take action (visit a website, buy a product, make a phone call, etc.).
You can help your business be one of those twelve through effective, beautiful design.
Added to that, all businesses should invest in great quality design for this one reason alone: customers have a very short attention span.
Google conducted a study and the results were astounding: it took website visitors only 50 milliseconds to decide if they like it or not. That’s 1/20th of a second!
Get your design right!
User experience is often closely linked to design but it’s important in its own right.
User experience is how your website makes someone feel.
When someone is browsing or looking for something on your website, we want it to be in the right place, at the right time.
When someone performs an action on your website, we want them to understand what the action will do, and when the action is complete.
We want your users to be able to use your website without having to think.
If a customer can use your website without having to think, you’ll sell more, engage more and have a greater chance of meeting your business objectives.
The speed of your website is more important than ever. Customers HATE slow websites, Google HATES slow websites.
If your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, your website is actually waving goodbye to your customers, how nice of it!
Ideally, your website should load under 2 seconds, which is modest and achievable. In a perfect world, your website will load under a second, and your customers will love you for it!
In addition to speed, weight is also a huge factor on how Google ranks your pages in the search engine. If you have a website that has to download a load of unnecessary files and huge images, Google Search will mark you down in their rankings.
You have about 5 seconds to engage the average visitor on your website… how long do you want to keep them waiting?
Keep your pages light and speedy!
Do I even need to write anything here?!?
Website security is paramount. If you collect your customer data, then it’s even more paramount!
An unsecured website can be hacked, it can be taken over and dangerous malware installed on it. Or someone could just change everything on your website or delete all your hard work.
Here are 3 things you can do to help avoid this at all costs.
- Use secure passwords everywhere: Pick passwords with a mixture of different characters that are 10 - 15 characters long. Even better, use a password manager to stone them all securely! We use LastPass.
- Keep your website up to date. Log in at least once per month and update everything you can. Go on, put it in your diary now!
- Backups! For our website which gets updated probably once per week we do the following: 1 backup every day, 1 backup every week, 1 backup every month. So we keep 3 ‘rolling’ backup files to ensure that if the worst happens, we’re protected.
Content is King. Everything before this helps the technology get out of the way and let your content shine. Spend time crafting great content that your visitors love. It’s the easiest way to keep them coming back to your website again and again.
These are the 7 Pillars.
Get these right and your website will be hugely successful, we guarantee it.