Just like trying to find the right contractor to build an addition to your home or the best mechanic to work on your car, there are many factors that go into finding the right designer/developer to create your website. You can not be expected to know everything that needs to be done, but if you have some idea of what you want and what you need, you can better determine if the company you are about to hire is up to the job.
We’ve created a short list of the three features we believe to be at the core of every good website. At the very least, your developer must be able to provide these three things.
Your website must be mobile-friendly out of the box
A significant portion of web traffic today is occurring on mobile devices. In addition, Google has started to penalize websites that are not mobile-friendly. Therefore, your website must be able to handle mobile traffic effectively. While most smart phones are able to access most websites, navigating a site that isn’t mobile-friendly on a small screen is a frustrating experience. Studies show that when users have trouble navigating a site from their smartphone, they often leave it in search of another site that works better.
If you want to maintain your own website, you need a content management system (CMS)
To be able to maintain the website yourself, to be able to update text and change images, the platform on which your website is built must be a content management system. Our go-to content management system is WordPress. WordPress is an open-source platform and there is no license fee to use it. The code is open to modification and improvement, which makes it exceptionally flexible. Perhaps most importantly, the WordPress community is active and huge, and we are confident that it will be a relevant platform for many years to come.
One of the major benefits of using a content management system is that it simplifies site updates. Whether you choose to make changes to the site yourself or have a developer take care of it for you, using a CMS makes changing your site’s content faster, easier and less error-prone than working with raw HTML. We would like to note here that there will be some instances where you will want to come back to a web developer. This would be the case for things like structural changes or additions to functionality.
There are other long-term benefits to using a CMS. Website styles change quickly and it is likely that at some point you will want to change the look of your site. By using a CMS like WordPress it is possible to restyle the site without having to recreate all the content. With some platforms, when you want to change the look of your site you basically throw out the old work and start from scratch.
All sites need basic search engine optimization
Your website should work as a magnet to draw new customers. To do this well, your website needs to be optimized. The way a site is built can affect the success you are able to achieve later in search engine rankings. While optimization is not a one-time event, a new site built by a competent web developer will have essential optimization features in place, such as keywords, heading tags, and meta information.
Please let us know if you found this article “Three Things Every Website Must Include” helpful by leaving a comment below. If you’d like to know more about our website design and development services, please visit the web services pages of our website. If you’d like to talk to us about building a website for you, please call us at (518) 392-0846 or email us.