17 TIPS we use EVERY day with Clients
15+ years building web sites and having the big picture, long-view on Internet, here are some truths I know and use daily helping clients:
- Don’t launch anything online, not even Youtube or Facebook, until you fully OWN a domain name and have a web site. Having a website lets you point visitors somewhere so you can make them do something: buy, contact, signup, read, watch, join, discuss, etc.
- Never let your web designer register your domain name. That includes me. In fact, I specifically tell my clients to register themselves.
- Register your domain and web hosting with separate companies.
- Use a CMS like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, unless you are building something super-custom, in which case, get some professional guidance.
- Most business web sites with fairly standard content needs won’t cost more than 5k. That includes a blog. If you have some area of the site that needs some fancy functionality, it might cost more.
- Use Google Analytics and Google Webmaster from day 1
- If you are building an online shop, use Shopify or Magento (both are CMS’s), or one of the many similar variants. WordPress should be a tertiary choice for an online store.
- Page layout and design is all about eyeball management. YOU decide what you want visitors to do. That’s page layout 101.
- Responsive design is necessary. 60% on average are visiting from mobile and tablet.
- The site should be tested in multiple browsers before launch.
- Content (text, pics, video, audio) is still king.
- Each page should satisfy left and right brainers. Some like pics and bullets, some like the long read.
- If your web designer can’t change the color of something on the page, hire a new web designer. Everything on a page can be changed. Everything. Really.
- If your web designer doesn’t give you a back-end management tool to change/update your content, hire a new designer. No discussion. In 1996 I had to do the updates for clients, but today, the tools exist for clients to do the changes themselves. I still have clients that ask me to do the updates, but the tool is there for them anytime.
- Adobe Flash is circa 2000 and should be used very sparingly – if at all. HTML5, Jquery, and cool CSS makes most things great and is SEO friendly.
- If your web designer says he will get you x number inbound links for cash, hire a new designer and then Google “black hat vs white hat”
- Register your domain name for at least 2 years. Google considers domain age in SEO ranking.
I probably missed about 100 others, but there you go.