Building and maintaining a website can be a daunting task. But with the right tools, some helpful advice and sheer determination, you can make your website a success. In this article, we will explore some of the most important lessons that I have learned over 25 years of website development, design and maintenance.
The most important lessons I learned trying to operate a website can save you years of frustration and many thousands of dollars.
Do your research and don’t rush into anything
There are many decisions you need to make before you jump into starting your website. Decide on the purpose of your website. Is it to sell products, promote your business or share information? Once you know the purpose of your website, you can determine which tools and features you need to make it successful.
If you aren’t sure, you can always consult with a professional web development company who can help you determine your needs and give you an estimate of the cost.
Get organized and make a plan
Creating a website can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to the process. The best way to overcome this feeling is to get organized and make a plan. Write down all the tasks that need to be completed to launch your website.
If possible, create a timeline for each task and assign someone to be responsible for its completion. This will help keep you on track and ensure that nothing gets forgotten.
This also works well for scheduling regular website maintenance tasks or adding content to your site. Add these tasks to your calendar and make sure they are completed on time.
Choose the right domain
Choose a domain name that is easy to remember and spells out what your website is about. Avoid using hyphens and numbers in your domain name. If you are having trouble coming up with a good domain name, try using a thesaurus to find related words.
Get hosting and a CMS
You will need to find a web host that offers the features you need for your website. There are many different types of web hosts, so do your research to find the one that is right for you. Once you have found a web host, you need to install a content management system (CMS) like Wordpress. A CMS will make it easy for you to create and manage your website’s content. Investing in a good hosting package and using a CMS like Wordpress will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Optimize your website’s speed
The speed of your website is important for two reasons. First, it affects your website’s search engine ranking. Second, it affects the user experience. No one likes to wait for a slow website to load. There are many ways to optimize your website’s speed. Some of those include using a caching plugin, optimizing your images and using a content delivery network (CDN).
Design your website
Now that you have all the technical stuff out of the way, it’s time to start designing your website. Keep your design simple and easy to navigate. Use colors and images that are consistent with your brand. And make sure your website is responsive, so it looks good on all devices.
Create compelling content
Your website’s content is what will really set it apart from the rest. Write articles, create videos or podcasts that are interesting and informative. And don’t forget to optimize your content for search engines.
The more often you write compelling content, the more traffic you will get to your website.
Promote your website
Once your website is live, you need to start promoting it. Use social media, email marketing and search engine optimization to get the word out about your site. This means learn SEO, one of the most cost effective ways to drive targeted traffic to your website. Watch this presentation if you want a solid formula to master SEO.
You can also start building backlinks to your website to improve its search engine ranking. The more you promote your website, the more traffic you will get.
Analyze your website’s data
Your website’s data can tell you a lot about how your site is performing. Use Google Analytics or another web analytics tool to track your website’s traffic and see where your visitors are coming from. This information can help you adjust your marketing strategy and improve your website’s performance.
Keep your website updated
One of the most important things you can do to keep your website running securely smoothly is to keep it updated. This includes updating your CMS, plugins and themes. It also means regularly adding new content to your site and making sure all your links are working.
Use an automated backup solution
You don’t want to wake up one day to find that your website is gone. That’s why it’s important to use an automated backup solution like BackupBuddy. This will create a backup of your website automatically and store it in a safe location.
Be proactive about solving problems
The most important lesson I learned is to be proactive about solving problems. If you wait for someone else to solve the problem, it will take longer and cost more. Be prepared to put in the hard work to make your website a success.
Building a successful website takes time. Don’t expect to see results overnight. Be patient and keep working at it. There are numerous factors that contribute to a website’s success. But if you keep at it, you will eventually see the results you want.
Enlist the help of experts
There are some things that you just can’t do on your own. If you’re not a technical person, then it’s a good idea to hire a web designer to help you with the technical aspects of your website. The same goes for marketing and promotion. There are experts out there who can help you get the most out of your website.
The bottom line is that starting and running a website is a lot of work. But if you’re willing to put in the effort, it can be a great way to build your brand and grow your business. Just remember to keep your website updated, promote it regularly and be patient. With time and perseverance, you will see success.