This article is almost entirely targeted at our clients and prospects.
The topics of smarter development planning tend to be more-or-less intuitive for website designers, and harder to grasp for clients… but clients ignore or misconstrue these issues at their own risk of increased long-term cost.
We sincerely hope that this article will help your business get more return on investment for their website design and development projects.
Planning for Future Development
If you have a binder that you pull out when you deal with your website and the related contractors or staff behind it, then put this on a sticky note and use that sticky note as a bookmark: “UNDER CONSTRUCTION.”
Naturally, you never want those words to appear on your website – but you always want to keep in mind that a business website is, basically, never complete.
Have you thought ahead to every single aspect, of every single goal that you will ever want to accomplish with your website’s development?
Okay, so maybe you’ve got e-commerce working smoothly. Are there ways to reduce work flow costs? Reduce internal issues dealing with the catalog system? Reduce payment processing costs? Anticipate ordering patterns and prepare for increased demand? Offer affiliate resale programs and track their performance?
Just off the cuff, there are a ton of profitable avenues for website design and development that we can think of for a basic e-commerce system, and we don’t even work in retail. We’re sure in just five minutes, one of our retail clients could come up with two pages of potential features.
Why does this matter now? You’ll find that good web designers and developers will tell you time and time again: “If you help me anticipate future developments you have in mind for your website, I can plan to reduce your costs for those developments now.“
If your developer isn’t bothering to say it, it’s still a fact. Leaving room in the website’s code and visuals, for whatever you have planned down the road, will shorten the development time, and affect present decisions, in significant ways.
Using Your Website to Reduce Costs
If you’re not already thinking about the “and development” side of “website design and development,” here’s why you should be.
Websites are customer-facing technology, and technology is about automation. Take an example: the advent of phone banks with touch-tone routing systems has reduced reception staffing costs.
A website is a much more powerful window into an automated system, than that phone bank is.
When you start thinking about the automation possibilities behind your website’s design and development, you start tapping into huge benefits that can free up your staff to become more productive, and unlocking ways to serve your customers better.
Market Your Business, by
Marketing Your Website
Many companies think of their website as a way to market their business, but that’s not really true unless you’re marketing your website, too.
If you’re not familiar with search engine optimization, please take a look at our SEO service offers page. It’s pretty informative for a sales page, if we do say so ourselves. There, we talk about some of what goes into the first and foremost step in marketing a website.
Don’t forget that most of the web traffic for any website comes from search results, and there’s a science behind getting your site ranked highly for the right searches.
The bottom line is that getting the right Your-Business.com or Your-Niche.com domain name is very important, but it’s even more important to appear in the search results when someone is checking Google for the keywords relevant to your products and services.
All this can be done with the right website design and development strategies, but only if you’re actively working towards that goal when you address your website’s needs.