The Covid Pandemic has dominated us all through 2020 which also put a lot of strain on many established industries and the processes. The healthcare system has never been tested so heavily in our lifetime. We have learned one or two things that helped us to stay strong and fight the battle. 2021 is not just a new year but the beginning of a new decade, and the approvals given to the vaccines is just a good way to begin the year and decade. We may not be certain of the end of the chaos created by Covid-19, but we can be certain that it cannot beat us.
One thing is certain, its all the more important for businesses to keep themselves active and clear online. Ninepings strengthened our and our customers fundamentals during this pandemic. We had opportunities to consult a lot of organizations, big and small, start-ups and established ones, directly and indirectly. Here are some common questions and concerns which we came across. These might help some of you in ways that can have long term ramifications.
This is a list of questions and concerns that impact the fundamentals of your online presence-
- I have a domain but its with my vendor
Domain is like your own name. You will never let anyone own it for you. So should be the ownership of the Domain name. Anytime, you first take the control of the domain. You can register the domain with anyone of the service providers. Some examples are Network Solutions, Register, GoDaddy, Site Ground, Blue Host among others.
- I need hosting.
Yes, you definitely need it, since your website has to sit somewhere. You have many options. Remember the names in my first question, they all sell hosting space. They have small packs to more sophisticated once. Identify your requirement. Understand how many people will be visiting your site. Remember without marketing you will not have much traffic. So don’t worry about a lot of traffic without investing on marketing. A basic pack can easily handle about 100 visitors simultaneously
- I don’t have the Credentials for domain and hosting space
This has been a challenge. Believe me I should charge nothing less than $5000 to work in sorting this issue. Remember your credentials ensure you continue to own the domain and website itself. Ensure you have all the credentials with you and if possible check every quarter if all the credentials are working. Otherwise sorting it becomes a challenge later. Your vendor might even get dirty with you by selling your domain to someone else. So please document and keep it safe for your Peace of Mind. Check if they are working on a regular basis at least once every quarter if you cannot do more frequently.
- Which technology to use?
There are many options now-a-days and we all know and acknowledge that technology is no more a challenge for your website. I regularly opt for WordPress for its ease of use. But remember more than worrying about the technology you should work towards making notes of your requirements. What is the purpose of your website? Who is targeted towards? What action is expected to be taken by your customer? Will you have the bandwidth to stay alive on the website all the time and entertain live chat for quicker responses? The opportunities are many, so stop worrying about the technology and start making your requirement list.
- What will be the many steps to build the website?
- Build a sitemap – it gives quick peek into how your website will interact with your end user or the vice-versa
- Select a Theme – If you are opting for a CMS technology (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla) then you have readily available themes, these give you quick sneak peek into how your website will look like. But remember they are not your website and hence they will be different. While you check them, please ensure to take the opinion of your developer.
- Design the website – Provide your brand guidelines to the designer. Let the designer take some time to design your website. Remember the designer has to look at 2 layout perspectives – Desktop view and mobile view. In between these two there are all kinds of screen sizes that matter, so give them the time to design your site. A flawless thought process does need time. Keep 2 weeks for this process if not more. It all depends on what you need.
- Write content – Its a, what came first – Chicken or Egg, situation when you discuss Design and Content of the website. Designers prefer content to come first, while Content writers prefer the design to come so that they can write content according to the space provided. It will be a good idea to allow the content writer to step in first so that they capture all about your business and services in the best possible words along with managing all the SEO requirements. The get the designer to do their magic. Its like putting clothes on the content. So you may read point d first and then flow with point c.
- Procure hosting space – Get the hosting space that you own so that the website can be developed on your preferred destination directly. Discuss the possibilities with your website vendor. Remember to work out your costing for next 2 – 3 years. You need to consider the number of email ID’s you will require so that it doesn’t throw a surprise in subsequent years. Most of the hosting providers also give free SSL certificates. Its important to have that in place as most of the browsers, search engines and the anti virus softwares throw a spanner blocking website that do not have SSL certificates.
- Development of the website – Now get to the actual development of the website. Since your design is ready, the developer has the freedom to do a great work at it to fit that design into the code. Remember not all designs will be same when it is getting translated into the live environment. The image that you see at the design stage is done to your taste and the elements you put there do not change based on the screen resolution. Where as in the live environment, the design needs to be fine tuned in the best possible way to right fit the screens. This would also been some tweaking of your content.
Note: At the time of development you can see what’s happening, but try to resist the temptation of asking the developer to correct things at this stage. They would be trying to get the major parts in place and then do the corrections. So have some patience.
- Testing of the website in the desktop view – Now is the time for your to get involved and tell what’s incomplete. At this stage you will need the content writer, designer and developer to be involved and help fix and right size all aspects.
- Responsiveness corrections – A lot of elements on your website will need to be fine tuned for the mobile and tablet views. The menus for example that appear open in the desktop gets compressed into a sandwich menu on a mobile device. The content would have already been done keeping the mobile in the perspective, but they need to be fixed to ensure minor variations. Not all mobiles again are same sizes and the website cannot be fixed with all devices in mind. We will need to take some standard sizes and work on the website.
- Go-Live – Once the website is pushed to the live environment, it takes about 24 hours for the website to propagate across the globe. However, it can even take far little time for the same.
- SEO – SEO is an overarching effort that literally spans across all these various stages. Example, your content has to be SEO checked for Originality of the content, Keywords, Keyword density, Keyword phrases, Page titles, Back links, Link redirections etc. Well the list is incomplete as it requires more work and regular effort. Design has to be SEO optimized. example if you have images, they need to load fast.
- Addition of new content – We don’t need to discuss here but to add a word of caution, if you don’t have any plan to add fresh content, remember if impacts your server capacity, your website design and also your content SEO. So plan on adding fresh content on a regular basis to which you have to ensure all elements are made available at the early stage of the design and development itself.
- What should be my budgets?
Well I am into this business, so my suggestion will be for you to keep your budgets flexible if you want the best. While the design and content can be minimal, but budget cannot be.
If you have any questions regarding your website or a first time effort to go online, feel free to send us your questions using our contact us form. We will be happy to revert to you immediately.