So your business needs a new website? You have come to the right place!
There are so many little bits and bobs that make up a website – hosting, domain name, SEO, Keywords, Content and the rest…
What do these mean? How much do they cost and why do I need them? These questions an more I will try and answer in this article. Drop me an email if you have anything more specific – Contact Us
What type of website do I need?
This is the first question you should be asking. What exactly is the website to be used for? Are you looking to sell products or services online, simply advertise your business, or allow customers to book / reserve something?
Your new website could do all of the above if you want it to. Just be aware that the more complexity will add cost to the development. In most cases, you can start off with a simple website and just add functionality at a later date. For example, a Cafe may just want to advertise where they are and what they do, but in 6 months time, they may want to allow online bookings, or allow customers to buy takeaways online. Having this flexibility is essential – so make sure your web developer understands this from the start.
A website that takes payments or bookings online will most likely need to have some kind of secure payment facility. These can be fairly simple to implement, from a simple PayPal button, up to full ecommerce integration with stock management, delivery cost calculation and more.
Another consideration is the ability to give customers their own “online” account to manage certain aspects of your service. As a simple example, having an online account may allow a customer to save their delivery details and check up on orders and payment status. A gym website is a good example of this – being able to log into their own account and book onto classes could be a really good way to keep customers engaged.
What are the different bits of a website?
Domain Name – the difficult choice
There are a number of things a website needs in order to work. The first is a domain name – this is your “www.mybusinessname.co.uk”. Each of these is completely unique, so if you have a new business called “Microsoft”… you will be out of luck in getting a good domain name!
Choosing this is important – you have to make sure no-one else is using it, but also be short enough to be memorable. (and fit on a business card!). Most business will have a domain name that matches their business name, but in some cases it’s not available, so have a chat with your web developer before choosing one. They will be able to advise.
Hosting and storage for you new business website
Hosting is an often overlooked part of having a website. This is the server space where you website files will be held. Generally, hosting can cost very little (from £1 a month) up to £100’s per month. This will depend on the type of website you have. For a huge site with thousands of products, large video sizes and millions of visitors a month, you will probably be looking at something towards the higher end of that price range. For a simpler site, you want to be paying towards the lower end. (Cayenne Digital offer hosting for £5 a month ;-))
Email Hosting – how do you want to get business emails
But hosting is not just for your website, you need to think about your email service. In many cases, email is included in the hosting, so that you can have a number of business email addresses based on your domain name (email@example.com). Ask your developer how much space they allow on the email hosting as well as how you can access it (mobile / webapp / Microsoft Outlook software etc).
SSL Certificate – keeping your website secure
Another item that is overlooked. This is a security certificate for your website that lets users know they are accessing a verified domain. Generally, it instils trust in customers as it shows a nice little padlock in their browser:
These can cost between £20 and £100 per year to purchase and install – you generally want to have one that is linked to your hosting for ease of use. You may already have an SSL certificate, but if the business needs a new website as well as a new domain name, you will need a new SSL certificate.
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
This is something most people have heard of, but have no idea what it is! In simple terms, it is the process of making sure your website is optimised to be found by search engines (like Google) and shown in their results page. The better optimised you are, the higher you will show up (Number one on Google, anyone?!).
SEO should be carried out by your web developer while they are building your website as it is difficult to retrospectively carry out SEO on a website that has not been built with it in mind. It is not something that happens overnight – it is a long process and it can take years to get high in Google, even with few competitors in the local area.
When looking for a web developer, just double check what their stance is on SEO. If they simply add it as an extra cost, be aware – you need a developer who thinks about SEO from the minute you start looking at domain names.
SEO is a whole other subject that I won’t go into in more detail here – it’s best to have a chat with your potential web designer on this. If your business needs a new website, it is definitely time to think about SEO now.
Read more on SEO here—> https://yoast.com/seo-blog/
Content and Images
Content is the main bulk of your website – this is the pictures / videos / words and features that make up a good website. Your web developer will need this at some point in the process, so start taking photos now!
Each page will need words. Every product will needs words. Any service will need words. Do you have any ready to go? Will your chosen web developer simply ask you to write them? A good web developer will write content, with some assistance from you, fitting SEO ideals.
Images and photos on a website can make or break it. If you have poor photos, nothing will make the website look good. In our opinion, hiring a professional photographer is worth its weight in gold.
First Steps when your Business needs a new Website
So you have read through this article and your still think your business needs a new website? You are brave! As you may know, Cayenne Digital design websites, so we would like an opportunity to quote for the work – but we do recommend shopping around. Take a look at some other website developers (local is always better) and maybe get a quote of a few. We are confident enough in our prices and quality of service to want you to do this.
When you have a few quotes, take a look at what they offer. Some may fit exactly what you are looking for, others may not. If you don’t understand a quote, we are always happy to help.
Think about initial costs and also the ongoing costs (hosting / domain / SSL certificate) and do a comparison for the next few years. More expensive does not always mean better, so check out the web developers previous work – does it match the ethic and spirit that you are looking for?
Once you have taken on a web developer, ask for regular updates. In our experience, customers have wildly different views on timescales, so make sure you communicate these upfront. If you need a website built by a particular date – let them know.
Also let them know if you are unhappy about any aspect of the website during development. Remember – this is your website, not theirs.
Things to think about after your new website is finished
The main one is what support does your web developer offer? Do they hand over the website and leave you alone, or do they offer you 3 months of support and training (like we do!).
Also think about ongoing SEO – do you know how to do this? Or do you need your web developer to do this for you? Maybe have a chat with them to get an idea of what is needed.
Looking to the future, will they be around to support further development? All useful items to discuss and keep in mind.
If you are looking for a new website – make sure you choose someone you can work with. Someone who designs websites, but also offers further services if you are too busy.
If your business needs a new website – you can’t go wrong with Cayenne Digital! Get a quote from us right now: