From the static website built over plain HTML to custom website based on cascading style sheets (CSS) to responsive website that leverages a host of technologies like adaptive image (to detect screen-size), HiSRC (detect user connection), picture tag, to name a few -- a lot has changed, and will change, in website designing and development.
With the rapid evolution in technologies and changing business needs, it?s evident that what brought success yesterday is not sufficient today, and what we consider today as benchmark is set to go obsolete by tomorrow.
Hence, if you are thinking to hire a web development company for your website, mull over What You Have Vs What You Need. Wondering what does the phrases mean? Well, ?What You Have? is a narrative of what your web development company is capable of delivering or how efficient is your current website (If you already have one), and ?What You Need? documents what it says, means, the kind of website or the Web user experience you need to address the current challenges, and achieve the goals of investing in web development services.
Clearly, firstly, you need to create a list of requirements depicting everything you need, and nothing that you don't. If you want to enhance an existing website, then pick out the pitfalls, and ideate the new website with better functionalities and capabilities. This will help you pick the right technology partner.
Checklist on What you Need
There are some basic functionalities, which you need at all cost, and some special that you need to gain additional benefits. Here goes a brief list.
1. Let the Design Portray Your Brand Honestly
No clever work. Make your audience feel at home when they land on your website. Remember, the website should mirror your brand, products, services, missions, visions, values and everything that matters to them with authenticity, in fact, this is what true perfection means. A clear navigation, relevant and head-turning creatives, right fonts, cross-browser compatibility with a good readability are a few must-haves. They add value to the user experience. If you are seeking website design services, you must convey your expectation to the service provider clearly.
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2. Make Content Management Effortless
Content is king. Despite all evolution, this good old saying stands firm. Besides making all effort to provide a stunning visual, means, to make the content sound fresh, interactive and readable, it's highly imperative to simplify the content management and empower the people doing it with powerful features.
Sit with your content management people, and take their suggestions as what features or tools they would need. Convey the same to your web development services provider in a crystal clear manner. Share some reference content management systems with them, if you have.
If you are to work with a new vendor, you must understand their capabilities as what kind of CMS frameworks, like Drupal, WordPress, etc., are they comfortable with. Claims could be deceptive, so ask for tangible proof. It's no big deal for anyone to brag big about themselves on their website. Hence, do some research on your own. While doing it online, you may come across some clues, particularly, on business directory websites or portals that help bridge developers with clients seeking for work, regarding the developer's profile, portfolio, contact, web development rate and other particulars. Portals like UpWork, Goodfirms, are quite particular about accepting profile and portfolio information. They cross-check everything before publishing the profile or work details of members available with them.
3. Innovate the Web Accessibility and Engagement
The more you make your website accessible, the higher penetration you are to make in the market. Besides reach, the other thing that matters is the quality of engagement. You might have heard about the depleting trend of the attention span of human beings on digital devices. You don't have more than 7 seconds to grab the attention.
Once, you have made them stop, it's time to engage them in a deeper conversation. Thankfully, unleashing the potential of voice assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri, your web developer can help you make your website voice accessible. AI chatbot integration can elevate the engagement factor a step further. If you don't want a custom chatbot, you can rely on chatbot builders, and create one for your website. If you are interested in a custom-built chatbot, inquire about the same with your web development company. Wondering how chatbot can help you with your lead generation mission? Here is worth reading article: What Makes Chatbots the Best Lead Generation Tool.
4. Keep SEO Easy
No matter how good your website looks or how much features it has unless it?s visible to the audience over search engine, it?s good for nothing. It may sound harsh, but yes, it?s a reality you can?t deny.
Whether you have an in-house marketing team to promote your website on Google, Yahoo or other search engines, or an external team to take care of the job, you need a SEO-compliant website. Most of the businesses think that SEO or search engine optimization starts once the site is built, but that?s a blunder. SEO is not just confined to link building. A search engine takes into the technical aspect of the website into count while ranking it. So, your website must pass that test.
Hence, ensure that SEO parameters are followed by your web development company. So, it?s better you ask your SEO team or the SEO agency to provide a list of such parameters to your developers.
5. Ensure the Website Delivers a Good Performance
We have highlighted the depletion in the attention span earlier. As web users are going impatient by every passing day, you need to keep your website?s performance at its best. Again, your SEO team can contribute a lot here. But, you have to make sure that the things don?t get overlooked by your web development company. In addition, the developers have to do justice with their core expertise as well. They should adopt not just the best frameworks or resources, but also the best website development practices to reach close to the perfection you eye on.
The Bottom Line
In the age of consumerism, where consumers are overwhelmed with information, you need to understand the gap between what you have and what you need. The better, the sooner you do, the better outcomes you can expect from your technology investment.