If you're a small business owner searching for a solution to creating a new website, chances are you've read, heard or encountered opposing theories on what you need, the platform to choose, the foundations of SEO it provides and a million different do's and don'ts for how to proceed.
Here's what I have to tell you today...throw every last bit of this 'advice' out the window and begin at the fundamental root of what a website really is....a tool to display who you are and teach your consumers about the services you provide.
If you're reading this chances are, you're not Google, you're not a CEO of a fortune 500 hundred company, and you just don't need to have a complex mapping of SEO back-end and never-ending knowledge to manipulate it into something of value to you. It just doesn't work and it's an entirely unnecessary expense.
Here's the things which really should matter:
#1 - Quality
Being in the website industry for the last 15 years, I've heard it all...and every argument to coincide. First, websites were complex, difficult pieces of mastery requiring hours and hours of time to build. Then came the first website design aids, turning complex lines of code into manageable, visual pieces at the expense of effective design. Then finally, the first true light of hope for bottom-end small businesses, in the form of template themes powered by the likes of Wordpress. And now, we finally have the ability to create a website of perfection, if the person behind building it understands, and cares, to stay attuned to every last detail. That is where the art truly lies...in the art of the person who is creating the website to care and understand their platform enough to make it a work of art for you...because after all, your website is a reflection of you and your quality.
#2 - Progression
There seems to be no end in sight to the ever-evolving, ever-changing world of websites, design and user experience. Understanding that your website will forever be in need of change, is your first step at understanding the true success of a website. It's not a thing which you create and should expect to sit for years to come. Fresh content, new images, an overall feeling of a busy, piping business is where the real value of its potential lies. Invest and plan to give to it what you give to your product and use it as a way to highlight all of those things which make you different from the rest.
#3 - Manageability
Understand what it is that you are using. Ask questions, and trust the expert who is helping you. I say this with a heavy heart as in my profession, time and time again, I stumble across clients who have encountered the shifty ways of 'part-timers' only to find themselves within the investment of a project they don't fully understand and no way to fully relay the project to someone else when the pieces need put back in place. Ask for previous projects and really check into the functionality of these sites. Is the website complete? Does everything sit and flow together correctly? Is it designed in a way you enjoy? If the person you are working with fails to have created a website you like, why on earth would you want them missing the mark on your own and what you would like to accomplish?
#4 - Passion
I add this part because it is perhaps the most important element. I use it in terms of not only the creation of your website, but also in the passion you hold for yourself in what you do. There is absolutely no way to fully capture who you are without sharing the pieces of passion which turned you into who you are today. So share it, share it with your designer, share it in creating a bio of yourself, share it in images and share it with everyone you meet.
In the end, understanding what creates the sole of a successful website is actually within the pieces of what you bring into it...and flawless design pulled in from a skillful designer. Shifting through lists of theories of advice more adaptable to power chain websites is an unbelievable financial burden and wasted expense. Choose carefully, be picky, and communicate often and effectively with your designer, share your passion, and d*** it, create a work of art!