So, You Want a Website? Part 1/6

This is the first post of a six-part series that will be covering each of the key elements that go into building an engaging and effective website.

Your website is your business’ first employee (really, it’s your second, because you were its first, but “second employee” just doesn’t sound as good). Think about it. You’re investing in something that will represent your business, from which you expect and need a return on that investment. You expect it to do work. Meets the definition of an employee, don’t you think?

Stop thinking of a website as a piece of technology to set and forget. It’s not a DVR (or whatever piece of technology is now used to record things). If you set and forget your website, you’re losing out on 90% of its potential.

Just like a human employee needs attention and money in order to continue working, so does your website.

If you hired someone, gave them the company handbook, and then ignored them for the next six months, you wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t very productive. Instead, you train a new employee; you provide mentorship; you are available for questions; you may even eat together and attend holiday parties. You invest in their development.

Similarly, if someone offered you a job and said, “I’m going to pay you $10,000 right now, and then I expect you to do the job of sales and marketing director flawlessly for the rest of your life and for no additional monetary compensation,” you’d think they were crazy. You require financial investment, too.

The biggest myth to be abolished about your website is “build it and they will come.”

Lots and lots of websites are built every day, and most of them never get much traffic. Your website can be one of your biggest assets in your company or it can be virtual paperweight.

For a healthy website, you must:

  • pay its hosting and domain fees
  • use strong passwords
  • keep plugins, themes, and WordPress core updated
  • use a good host
  • use SSL

For a productive website, you should:

  • create useful and interesting content on a regular basis
  • be active on, at least, one social media platform
  • run ads
  • use strong and clear calls-to-action
  • organize your content in a way that makes sense for your user
  • track analytics

“Set it and forget it” is not the philosophy you would adopt for a human employee, and it’s not one you should adopt for your website either.

Read Part Two: What Makes Good Design
or download the whole PDF now!

So You Want a Website? PDF