Anyone can build a website, right?

Anyone can build a website, right? 

When you are thinking about getting a new website for your business, whether that is a brand new, built from scratch site, or a complete update of your existing website, it can be easy to fall into the trap that what is on the front end looks simple, so it shouldn’t cost too much or take too long.

I wrote here about the pros and cons of a diy website vs. hiring a professional to do the job for you. Both are reasonable routes to take depending on where you are at with your tech skills and your business journey.

Be aware though that the front end of a website is really just the tip of the iceberg – the part you see can look simple and easy to put together.

You will most likely have in mind the types of images and the content you want to include on your website, you may have thought about what colours and fonts you want to use. You may even have gone as far as checking out your competitors to find out what they do on their website.

All of this is really important for your branding – getting you thinking about how you want to present your business to the world. A good web designer will ask you who your target market is and what you want them to do once they find your site, so you will need to consider that too.

However, that’s not all there is to it. It’s the iceberg below sea level you may not be aware of.

What goes on under the surface are the technical components, linkages and relationships that make your website really work for you.
Here are a few terms and activities that you may also want to discuss with your web designer to make sure your website investment is robust and will actually do the job you want it to do.

1. Domain Management - before your build a website

This is the hosting that provides the information (the DNS records) that tell searchers where to find the files that make up your website. A website is simply a collection of files and a database that holds information about what it should look like and how it should behave.

Where those files are held is one of the most important pieces of information needed to make sure that when visitors type your domain name into Google your site actually appears to them.

2. SSL Certificate

A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate is imperative if you want Google to find you and like your site. User who are browsing with Chrome will get a safety warning if your site does not have an SSL certificate and that is just not a good experience for your first-time visitors. You definitely need one of those!

3. Email Setup and Configuration

If you are planning on having a professional email address utilising y our domain name (e.g. [email protected]) then you may well need assistance in getting this setup and working. You will need your DNS records updated, you will also need your website to serve emails efficiently and not have them go to spam. Ask you web designer about SMTP configuration too – they should be able to help you with that.

You also want emails that your website sends automatically to go when and where they should – this can all be done by a good web designer.

4. Maintenance and Security

Maintaining the software and plugins which are the building blocks of your website is crucial to ongoing security and fending off hackers. Knowing which plugins play nicely with which other plugins and themes can take time, experience and sometimes painful moments.  

Save yourself from these – your web designer will have a good repertoire of plugins and themes that they know well and can achieve what you need.

5. Custom Coding

No matter how many themes and plugins are out there, sometimes you need a piece of custom code to achieve what you need.

A web designer can do that for you quickly and easily in most cases. As opposed to you spending all your weekends on Google trying to figure it out, while you teach yourself html, css and php.

6. Analytics and Search

Having a website is great – having a website that tracks what your visitors do and how they interact with your content is better. Having a website that Google knows about and ranks in search results is the ideal.

A professional web designer can get your analytics setup and make sure you are listed on Google Search Console with an up-to-date sitemap so people can find your website – quite important!

7. Legal Compliance

Your chosen web designer will also be able to advise about what you need to have on your site to ensure legal compliance within the country or countries within which your business operates.

This can include privacy statements, terms and conditions, accessibility considerations and so on. Each country has different laws so it can get overwhelming!

8. UX

Finally it is critical that your web developer can assist you to provide the best UX (user experience) once they arrive on your site.

Knowing what they are looking for, what you want them to do, what you want to achieve and experience with how websites are used will help build a great experience for the first time and returning visitor alike.

Think of it like buying a new car, you might know what make and model you want, and you know how to drive but do you want to know how to build the engine, what size it should be, which brand of brake pads to use and so on? Probably not.

And so it is with websites.  It is fantastic if you know what you want it to look like and what you want it to do – that is actually really helpful!

And remember, if you are thinking about a new look and feel to your website, or need a brand new website then it is worth remembering that what goes on under the surface is just as important as how it looks and functions.

If you’d like to get started but it sounds like too much – get in touch – we make it easy and we help you along the way to untangle what is needed, create a website which not only looks great, but helps you achieve your marketing goals, build your business profits and convert lookers to bookers and browsers to buyers.

Use the big orange button below and let’s do this.

P.S.

Found a spelling or grammatical error in this post? Then contact me as soon as possible and let me know. In return for your super proof reading, I will offer you a free 30-minute review of your digital presence and some fresh ideas you can try out for free.

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