Five Fundamental Rules of Creating a Successful Website
Once upon a time, website creation was the domain of business types. Their marketing dreams and hopes of attracting and targeting people to a cause, a product or a service–without resorting to pricey advertising to achieve those aims—seemed limited to this rarified demographic, but if you push the fast forward button, you know that today’s website designer can be anyone. Including you. Just as long as you understand that there are principles and guidelines that should be followed to achieve success. So, Where do you start to make your own website? With the following five fundamentals.
1. Pick a Proper Platform
The right platform is the heart and soul of a successful website. Just ask designer Jessica Rousseau who undertook her own education so she didn’t have to hire someone to do the job. Rousseau learned that a viable content management system (CMS) like Squarespace, HTML5, WordPress, Blogger or Tumbler is at the heart of a successful website so you owe it to yourself to unearth the resource that best suits your need for control, design, layout, theme and maintenance. This isn’t a lifelong commitment, by the way. If you don’t like your first platform choice, you can move on to another.
2. Dynamic Design
Seeing how everything works and looks is crucial when designing anything – Fabio Sasso
Your website design is the face you show the world. Prioritize clean, easy-to-read and navigate pages and tabs designed to showcase your product(s) or service(s). Some platforms offer design services and the experience is like dining at a buffet: prompts and options take you from one selection to another until a pleasing design comes together. Alternately, plenty of people have built a successful website by doing their own design. Undertake this by collecting examples of what you consider the best and worst websites (no copyright infringement borrowing, please), and basing your unique design on these elements. One final design note: if you make this a DIY project, bury your ego. Ask others for their opinions and critiques. Their feedback could revolutionize your original idea and turn a lackluster look into a successful website design.
3. Let Go and Logo
Coca Cola. Apple. The Quaker Oats guy. Close your eyes and iconic symbols for each probably appear. Every successful brand has an unforgettable logo and your successful website requires one, too. A tutorial published by Entrepreneur can get you started if you plan to create your own. Alternately, hire a graphic designer to do the job for you. Our favorite way to snare a great logo for a successful website without breaking a budget is to turn the project over to a community college design class and make it a competition: $100 prize for the best website logo design based on your parameters. You get a unique logo, save a fortune and one lucky student lands a portfolio piece. Once your site is laid out, drop your logo onto every single page (and in the same spot) to drive home your unique brand.
4. Identify Your Target Audience
Until you know exactly who will be attracted to your website, you risk scattering seed into the wind so do some brainstorming to figure out who you want to reach. For example, a hypothetical website sells products to help seniors live more productive lives. But which seniors? Rich ones? Those still working? Perhaps only senior women, grandmothers or men living in cold climates versus Arizona retirees. Run your target audience by business colleagues and friends. Don’t be surprised if they come up with more likely targets. Now, revisit your website design and see if it appeals to your target audience. Using the aforementioned senior target audience, simply making the words on each website page larger for older eyes can make the difference between a site that’s ignored and a frequently visited, highly successful website.
5. Search Engine Optimization
Browse MOZ if you’re interested in learning the ins and outs of search engine optimization (SEO). If all you want is enough knowledge to launch your website, review this Webopedia definition so you’re clear on the acronym: SEO is a collection of tactics, strategies and techniques used to find people likely to be attracted to what you’re selling or offering and the instrument used to grab their attention is words. That’s why savvy website pros sprinkle each site page with searchable words to attract visitors and grab places atop prominent search engines like Google, Yahoo and Chrome. But wait! SEO word insertion can backfire. Want to turn your otherwise successful website into a wasteland? Dump keywords onto the pages of your site indiscriminately. If your sentences don’t make sense because they’re keyword stuffed, all of your hard work could circle the drain.
What other tips do you have for creating successful websites? share them below!