You are a startup business with a vision to become a global brand rubbing shoulders with the who’s who of your niche. And with this view in mind, you decided to build a website focused on your target audience and steady business conversion. While the objective is perfectly fine and reasonable, as a startup you need to learn a few things from your competitors and other startups that achieved phenomenal growth thanks to their web presence.
For a startup to unroll a website, there must be the place for some learnings from the big names who made a humble start as a small business and went up to become a global name thanks to the robust web and digital marketing. What are the key aspects concerning website development and design a startup needs to consider first? Any idea? Well, we are here to explain some of these key aspects.
Understand Nature Of Your Business
This is the first consideration to start with. For a service-oriented business, the website design and development will have a different focus while for merchandising and manufacturing the websites of respective niches will look and feel quite different.
The second most important consideration is about your target or intended audience, i.e. the users you expect to visit your website and to take interest in your offerings. Market research is the traditional way to know your target audience. Apart from this, you can also study the audience of your competitor business websites. Social media engagement and surveys are also effective ways to know your audience.
You need to know your audience in demographics, typical constraints, and preferences, economic capability, browsing and buying behavior, etc.
Your physical location as a business is crucial to building credibility for your business brand. When you are operating from several locations, you certainly have an edge. But even a small business operating from one small outlet should not restrain from putting the address and contact details for the website visitors in an accessible manner.
As a small brick and mortar store when deciding to shape your web presence you just cannot afford to go for a big enterprise web development service. You have to progress in steps and as per your available budget and manpower resources. Initially, you need to build a simple website with the most important features for business conversion while maintaining optimum performance and speed. An MVP approach is ideal at this stage.
Most small startups begin with just the business heads as the only available manpower. Naturally, you should not take too much rigorous online promotional and engaging tasks that can take up most of your productive time. When working on social media for promoting your website, limit your presence to a few effective platforms and if possible utilise tools to take care of your scheduled posts.
Capital is the amount or value you need to put in the business to get it started and operating. It can be cash or non-cash. To know how much capital you need, list down all the possible spending you need to make to start and operate, such as assets to purchase, renovation, lease payments, operating expenses etc.
Plan The Launch
As a startup, you should not leave the launch as a big opportunity to connect a lot of people and create a buzz. The launch of a business website should be carried in 3 phases, respectively per-launch promotion, launch and post-launch marketing.
In the pre-launch period reach out to your existing customers, well wishes and social media audience about the upcoming website and how it is going to provide them with a value-added experience with the brand. Make the launch event big to create loud buzz about your business and engage all channels to create the hype. In the post-launch period consolidate all your marketing gains and start reaching out to your target audience across all channels.
What Do You Need To Start A Website?
Now let us quickly recap the things that we need for building a website.
- Domain Name
- Business Email Address
- A Content Management System (CMS)
- Website Hosting solution
- Website Theme or Template
- Website Logo
- High-Quality Images for Website
- Google Analytics
- Different plugins and extensions for website features
- Social media pages and their integration with the website
Approaches To Consider When Building A Website
Now when building a website you need to take into consideration a few inevitable approaches. Let us explain here the key things to approach to developing a website.
You need to begin by analyzing user expectations from your website and how can you meet them with design and development. It is important to know the problems of your users and the solutions they want. You can use surveys or get engaged with them in “one to one” discussions or get engaged in social media conversation to garner the most relevant insights about their problem and solutions.
UI Design And Usability
The second most important aspect is the design which should boost usability to the optimum level. Anyone without any technical expertise or skills should be able to understand how to use the website for their specific purposes. Keeping it simple, relevant to the purpose and thoroughly clean without involving any distraction is the key to success for the website design.
Now coming to the technology stack, you need to choose the right framework, tool, and database for developing the website. For fast-paced development pick an MVC framework with good documentation and low learning curve. There are many component-based frameworks that help you with ready to use components for building a website.
Now, you need to choose also a database for securely accommodating all your data while keeping the performance and speed optimum. Instead of designing the entire database at just one go divide it into sections and then progressively design as you continue building your app modules. Here are some helpful tips for this.
While building database ensure the normalization and clean indexes.
Use the right tables for specific modules and establish the relationships among concerned tables. Gather as many requirements as possible to design the database appropriately.
It depends on which development methodology you are comfortable with. Agile development methodology is good. Waterfall methodology is already backdated and irrelevant for most projects. Modular development approach of building different parts of a website separately is a good approach if you can have total control on how they will work together.
Tips To Make A Competent Website
While you already have a gross idea about building a professional looking business website and the requirements, there are few other things you need to know. Learning from other business websites here we are going to provide some useful tips for building a competent website.
You need to ensure a simple design for your website to help your customers find your products and offerings easily. You can only ensure this ease of use and simplicity with minimalist design. The basic tenets of minimalist design are an intuitive and easily understandable interface, following native UI methods like Android Material design and iOS Human Interface design, simple color scheme, a lot of white space and least visual distraction and consistent use of typeface.
While left-hand vertical sidebar used for filtering is common in many e-Commerce sites, presently horizontal filtering is continuing to be popular for many reasons that include the following.
Horizontal filtering is good for the latest range of widescreen phones and tablets and allows optimum scope for using the entire space to accommodate paragraphs, slider, and checkboxes. It allows displaying more useful information on a page.
Follow The Thumb Rule
As most users use their smartphones single-handedly and navigate using only the thumb, any mobile website should put most of the important buttons and clickable elements within the reach of thumb to allow better access and easier interaction.
Infinite Scrolling, Load More Buttons And Pagination
You need to make appropriate choices for loading contents. While Load More buttons give more control to the user for accessing contents as and when he wishes, infinite scrolling is very user-friendly to accommodate the large volume of contents and pagination helps to segregate the contents across numbered pages. You need to make an appropriate choice among these options.
A User-Friendly Search Function
Your website must have an easy and customer-centric search function allowing them to access the contents or listed products easily. Apart from traditional search button, allowing voice search, offering help through intelligent chatbots in search and search function using image recognition can boost user-friendliness and ease of use.
Do A/B Testing
Yes, let us make it clear that the simplest way to evaluate how each of your on-screen element look and work is A/B testing. With this simple testing method, you can easily understand what works and what doesn’t.
A website is now the primary window for any business and so, all design and development decisions regarding the same should be meticulous and well-thought-of. From planning to execution to launch and marketing, each of your steps should be well articulated.