How to Create a Website You Love
Let’s say you are in the middle of a sweltering hot, fourth-grade summer and you decide that you need a dog in your life. All your friends have dogs, after all, so why shouldn’t you? (This is all going to lead to one great metaphor, promise!)
After searching and searching (and some serious pleading), you stumble upon a dog that fits the bill. Or so you think. This dog, named Samson, is big enough that he won’t yip but small enough that your parents will oblige.
Then, reality sets in. Your first day together is, well, different than you imaged. You dreamed of a companion, you see; a dog to play fetch with, a dog to chase around in the park and cuddle up to under the stars. And this dog, this Samson character, is anything but a companion. He goes to the bathroom constantly and is painfully slothful and slobbery. He is not exactly what you were dreaming up and after your week-long ”test-drive" is over, you tell your parents that maybe, just maybe, you aren’t suited to own a small pup. Or any pup. Ever.
The lesson you learned that week is that you don’t want just any slobbery dog, you want your perfect dog.
Now get this (and congratulations for getting through that hypothetical canine story), 75 percent of small business owners have a Samson website. They have a domain name and piece of real estate on the internet, but they positively hate it. Their website simply does not work for them, either functionally or aesthetically. Most business owners probably wish they would have been granted a week-long test drive period, too.
So, how do you avoid this? How do you create a perfectly hyper dog that will chase you around the park and lick your face when you get home from work but will calm down to cuddle? How do you not get left with a Samson?
Here are some questions to ask yourself before publishing your site:
- Is my site too trendy? Sure, a neon background and blinking text may be cool now (or never…seriously, blinking text?), but how will you feel about it in a year? Five years? Ten? Aim to design a site that will stand the test of time. Strive to keep the layout professional and simple and avoid anything too loud.
- Do the graphics enhance my business? Have you ever been to a site only to be greeted with outdated and irrelevant pictures? It’s an instant turn-off. Avoid any graphics that don’t contribute to your site and business, and avoid anything too trendy or slow-loading.
- Does my website connect with other sites? Make sure to test that you can send a newsletter from, gather stats about, or post a forum on your website. It should be able to connect with other sites like Google Analytics, Twitter, and your email. In other words, your website should work functionally and help you do business.
- Does every button work? Oftentimes businesses forget to test out every part of their website. Click on every button and make sure each one leads to a working web page. When you click ”home,” make sure it sends you there!
- Is this cool? Ask yourself (and your friends) if you honestly and truly love your website. You want to be proud of your website. Pretend it will be shown to a million people. Now what do you think?
Having a website that works—and that you love—is not a lofty or unrealistic goal. No matter the size or success of your business, you can build a beautiful website that will stand the test of time and not make you cringe every time you log on (blinking text, really?).
Have patience while building your website and seek other opinions. Remember your website should be a tool that enhances your business and properly displays your products, mission statement and professionalism.
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About Oliver Bigler
Oliver Bigler is the CEO of Marketecture. Marketecture is an expert on making professional-grade websites that turn visitors into hot leads or customers. Find out how Marketecture can help you develop a website that you'll be proud of, as well as ease your mind on how to maintain and build the website for your business.