In this video, we’re taking a look at the key considerations that go into developing a modern business website. I discuss the main things companies who are looking to hire a freelancer/agency (or even build their site in-house) must account for to ensure the development of their website is fast, smooth, and efficient.
Whether you are looking to build the site internally or hire a company, you need to know whoever is in charge of developing the website has a well-thought-out process. Not having a refined web development process will almost certainly result in your project taking much longer than expected and with a lower quality final product.
Trust me, that’s not something you want.
So if you’ve been researching building a new website or redesigning your company’s current one, this video will walk you through what a smart development process looks like. By watching, you will have a solid understanding of the technical details that go into developing a website & a simple framework for evaluating potential project partners.
I hope you find the content here helpful. If you have any questions or would like to discuss a project, feel free to book a strategy call with me with the link below.
Below is an outline of the key topics discussed in the video.
Choosing a CMS Platform
- Before starting web development, you and your agency/freelancer should discuss what CMS platform is best for your business. Right now, WordPress and Webflow are my two favorites and I believe these are great options for a majority of clients. However, Webflow is what we recommend for 95% of clients. It offers essentially the same development freedom as WordPress with much less technical overhead & optimization.
- Both platforms offer complete design freedom, easy content publication, SEO tools, and all the other bells and whistles you need to ensure your website can be a marketing tool for your company.
Below are the key areas you should be aware of when hiring an agency or freelancer to create a website for your company.
- Before development can begin, a hosting platform should be decided on. Webflow offers an all-in-one solution for hosting that will allow you to host the site with them with no extra setup. With WordPress, you will need to find a third-party provider to host your website.
- Here, you really do get what you pay for. I would recommend staying away from budget hosting providers like GoDaddy and Bluehost. For a bit extra, you can get a really solid hosting plan from Cloudways, which I use for all my client websites. However, do know that this requires you to manage your own virtual server.
- If that isn’t for you, I would recommend Kinsta, WP Engine, or Flywheel.
- One of the main things to look out for is ensuring that your website looks great on all devices and screen sizes. Whoever you hire as a developer must have a proper understanding of web development to ensure that the website is responsive.
- The speed of your website is becoming more and more important for user experience as well as for SEO.
- Studies have shown that a majority of website visitors will leave a website if it does not load within 3 seconds, so this is really important.
- When it comes to site speed, whoever is developing the website will need to have the proper background in site speed optimization to build your company a fast website.
- To ensure your website gets found online, it needs to be SEO optimized.
- We ensure all of our websites are SEO optimized by adding meta titles & descriptions for all pages (what you see on Google’s search results) by following all on-site and technical SEO best practices.
- With WordPress, we use the Rank Math plugin to manage all SEO settings for our client sites.
- With Webflow, all the SEO settings are natively built into the platform, which we optimize for each of our clients.
Client Edit Set Up
- To get the most out of your website, you will need to be able to update and publish new content. You may also need to have the ability to make basic edits to the website without touching code.
- We believe our clients should be able to update their websites. That is why we code our websites to be client-friendly so that making basic edits and publishing new content is as simple as filling out an online form.
- In WordPress, we do this by creating custom post types. So for example, we may develop a portfolio projects section of a client’s site so they can add new projects over time by simply filling out a form with new content.
- In Webflow, you can do this natively by setting up separate “Collections”.
Testing / Reviewing
- Once the website is nearly complete, your agency or freelancer will send you the website for your review.
- Oftentimes, this is the last chance you may have to make any edits before the new website goes live. We add software to our websites that make it super easy for our clients to leave their feedback on the final design so that we can make any last-second adjustments needed to ensure they are satisfied with the final product.