The 10 Most Important Decisions You Make When Planning a Website for Your Business
The Chocolate Moons Team
September 2, 2021
Before we list the 10 Most Important Decisions you need to make when planning a website for your business, sit down first and discuss with your business associate, sponsor or family how much you can afford to spend on this website over the next two years.
There are so many unexpected costs and although you may be unaware of these initially, if you choose the wrong developer or hosting provider, you will find the costs not just mounting up initially but exponentially.
A website is as important as a brick and mortar business. If you are prepared to pay tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on shop fitting, hiring staff, utilities, equipment, accountants, lawyers, contractors and marketing people, you should consider making as strong an investment in your online business that you may have envisaged.
If you hire an excellent, professional and reliable UX Designer, they can talk you through the process step-by-step. Look for someone with great programming, creativity and marketing skills. Check out their portfolio and see if they run any boot camps where you can join other companies who are looking for a fresh website start. An excellent designer will incorporate into their training some, if not more, of the following recommendations:
CHEAP IS EXPENSIVE
- Understand what is the Internet?
- Understand how computer networks connect to each other.
- Choose a short, unforgettable domain name that represents your business and preferably with a dot com extension (.com).
- Research a suitable Internet Service Provider that can provide you with access to the Internet.
- Your ISP or hosting service can sound (Wow!) terribly cheap, as little as $3/month. We would never, never recommend this. (See CHEAP IS EXPENSIVE above.) A shared hosting service means you are sharing the same server with other websites which may contain malware which could easily spread to your website. You can purchase a VPS (Virtual Private Server) or even a Dedicated Server (one that is dedicated to your website only).
- Finding a reputable Internet Service Provider can be difficult which is why we recommend a trainer who can advise you. Those recommended on the Internet tend to be ‘engineered’ by the search engines and can vary considerably in Price, Performance, Support and Reliability.
- Support | Support | Support. You need 24/7 support and this can be either phone (which appears to be offered less and less), through text messaging or immediate chat support. If you have a developer that only offers normal business hours support, that can work as well as long as you share the ISP account. The beauty of having an IT expert is they speak the same language as the ISP support and often the support you need is happening on the server and nothing to do with your own website.
- A reliable hosting service will take active measures to protect their customers’ sites. This may be the most important factor when deciding on your service.
- If you are going to be adding content yourself you will need a CMS website like WordPress if you do not have any coding skills. According to Forbes Magazine, 2017, WordPress accounts for more than 75 million websites. Over 500 new sites are created daily using the free version of WordPress (Tech Jury Business Software Solutions, 2021) and WP holds nearly 65% of the CMS marketplace, with Shopify at 3.2%, Joomla at 2.2%, Drupal at 1.5%, Wix at 1.5%, Squarespace at 1.5% and Bitrix at 1% (search engine journal 2021).
- Your online business is a reflection of your real world business. If you use a cheap service it will cost you in the long run, through lack of security and performance. If it looks like you built it on one of the less popular, cheaper platforms, visitors to your website will judge your business as untrustworthy or even unprofessional.