Rodney Laws is an e-commerce professional with over a decade of experience building online businesses. Check out his reviews on EcommercePlatforms.io.
Given that over a billion websites have launched since the World Wide Web was first, one would think that starting a bad website is now a rare thing. Think again
Thousands of websites are launched every year that don’t even teach the basics, limit the companies behind them, and create massive headaches for everyone from webmasters to content creators.
To avoid these issues and give your website a chance to battle in its important first year, here are a few ways to avoid simple startup mistakes.
Don’t underestimate SEO
SEO is one of the most interesting parts of website development.
This invisible website booster can feel confusing to the uninitiated and way too technical to the layperson. For true believers, there is nothing more important to being successful online than mastering SEO.
The truth is somewhere in the middle. SEO isn’t for everyone, but it can give smaller websites a significant head start trying to compete in highly crowded markets.
A new website takes a lot of time and effort to get on-page SEO just right. Optimizing content with targeted keywords is a must, while even a simple link to the right page can have a dramatic impact on how your website ranks on search engine results pages.
Choose a website platform with built in SEO functionality or the option to download industry leading SEO plugins like GoDaddy (see this) to avoid a dramatic search engine optimization stumble GoDaddy Rating for Ecommerce Store Owners for more information) and Yoast with WordPress. This makes SEO an easy box checking exercise and highlights areas your website may be missing from. By combining these tools with research from SEO blogs, vlogs, and thought leaders, even first-time website owners can become search engine assistants.
Don’t go cheap on hosting
When you plan your dream website in your head, Hosting is not exactly something that lies in the head.
You’ll write down ideas for content, work on the graphics, and plan the user experience. You don’t think about how reducing hosting costs can bring your website to a standstill.
But it should be you.
Hosting is what makes your website tick behind the scenes. There are many good options out there that will suit websites of different shapes and sizes. However, there are some common traps that are easy to fall into, but just as easy to avoid.
First, avoid free hosting. It can feel like good business, but most of the time free hosting means submitting your website and visitors to annoying popup ads that not only ruin the customer experience but also penalize you on Google (which ruins all the good SEO work, which you did afford). These packages also rarely contain technical support that can take your website out of service for days while trying to figure out the specifics of the errors.
Speed is one of the most important elements of website design, and the wrong host can have a huge impact on how fast your pages load. If they don’t load fast enough, even the most dedicated users will Jump ship to a competing side. There are tons of ways to speed up your website such as: B. the optimization of images. However, if your hosting is bad, even this work won’t have a big impact.
Understand that SSL certificates are important
On SSL certificate is one of those things that a lot of people don’t even notice until they get down to the start of their website, but absolutely everyone should be aware of it.
New website owners need an SSL certificate before starting, especially if they run an e-commerce shop.
Postponing this can lead to broken URLs when visitors try to visit your website and security warnings to hit on their screens when they arrive. This is another element that affects Google ranking and affects your ability to get noticed.
Seasoned buyers are also reluctant to visit a website with security warnings and no SSL certificate. Unless they can trust that their information is safe with this company, they are unlikely to give it to a competitor.
Make mobile compatibility a priority
Mobile device compatibility should be the primary concern of every web developer and online business owner. With a larger percentage of the online audience using mobile and tablet devices for surfing, shopping, and everything in between, it is important that your website is ready to go.
If your website is not compatible with mobile devices, then it is not suitable for its purpose. Anyone visiting your website on one of these devices will not be able to use your website, the text is illegible, and the operation feels clunky and unresponsive.
Many business owners use Tunnel Vision on their website from a desktop perspective. However, what your company looks like on mobile devices and tests this feature must be a priority during the design process.
There are numerous free and paid tools You can test how responsive your website design is at startup. However, this should not be given up after launch. Monitor activity and usability for the first few weeks like on a desktop so you can make changes at the same time.
Test the key services in advance
Testing, testing, testing, that’s all that should go through your brain in the weeks leading up to a website launch. You can never be too thorough when testing the functionality of your website. This will help you identify problems that might not have appeared until weeks later.
Testing isn’t just about seeing if links work and payment information can be entered. You also need to check that the website is usable and that these trips are obvious. Put yourself in the shoes of the First time visitor spirit. Would you enjoy that, or would you even know how to find your way around if only put on the homepage? When starting a new website everyone is a first time visitor and they need to be guided through the process of having a website that should be simplified and optimized for them.
I’m sure you are very excited about the upcoming launch of your website, but it is important to maintain the relative negativity attitude in the weeks leading up to it. Suppose there is a problem around every corner and do your best to find it and make a fix before it’s too late.
Reconsider competitive research
Competitive research is as important a part of your pre-launch checklist as your initial design process.
Good research isn’t just about influencing certain design and branding decisions, it’s also about understanding the smaller elements that made these websites successful.
There’s no shame in taking inspiration (read: copying) from competitors. Go to their websites and navigate a typical customer journey. As you do this, notice how easy or difficult they make the process and what stays as effective in your mind as little visual cues and tricks that you would otherwise never have thought of.
With this type of information, you should aim not just to replicate what they do, but use what you have learned to create an equally helpful and fun service. This can be enhanced by your own unique touches further down the line.
Starting a good website is as complex as it is stressful
You also need to consider cosmetic issues such as: For example, the impact of your graphics, or whether or not your content is properly optimized for the web. Technical decisions are only half the battle. However, there is no need to panic – it is a manageable process that should be approached calmly and analytically using these simple steps, among other things.