As customers you need to familiarise yourselves with the good case practices for web site development and how specifically you can be helpful to the web developers, so they are optimal in their work. Here are some tips.
If you are working with a template design…
- … it would be best to create your content according to the chosen design, not the other way around – to cut the design according to your texts. The designer, who has years of experience, has already placed all the right elements. If you do not have any designing experience and you try to rearrange things, the elements could look misplaced, illogical and hurtful to the eye.
- …know that the pictures you see with it at demo, usually are not included in the license. You should provide your own images.
- … it is recommended that the images go well with the shape, size and colours of the design. In most cases they should be horizontal, with good resolution and shot and edited from a professional. They also need to reflect the company’s identity.
- If you plan to have multiple languages on your site and care for a specific font from the design, you should see whether this font is available for other alphabets. For example many fonts are not available for Cyrillic, so if want to translate to Russian, you should make sure your font supports both. You can ask your web developer for help on this one.
- If you want translation in other languages, you should be the one to provide the translations and not the web development company. This is usually the case, unless it is provided in the offer and contract you signed. Take into consideration that search engines do not respond well to automatically generated or poor translations. This means it is usually best to hire a native speaker to do the translation.
- Most web developers are not designers. So if you are working with a small company, you will most like have to provide the logo. You can do it either yourself or hire a designer to do it. The logo should be in a vector format.
The texts should…
- … not contain any spelling or grammar errors.
- … be unique and relevant.
- … not provide with false or misleading information.
- …should be yours, or in other word – you need to have the rights to them.
- … must be send in full format as separate files.
- Do NOT send them in a word file, because Word compresses their quality and they look worse than the original.
- Do NOT send the images through Facebook, because Facebook and other social channels compress images as well.
- A good example is to upload the images to a cloud space or a server and share a link. Examples are Google Drive, Dropbox, pCloud, iCloud etc.
The first rule is that…
- ….the work of the web developers starts after you provide all the necessary information. Web developers wouldn’t start working before that, because everything is tailored according to your needs. If you start changing many of the things in the process of development it could mean to start all over. And you don’t want that, because it would cost you extra.
Write a functional specification
- To be easier for both sides, you can write a functional specification and send it to the web developers.
- Here is a template – Example functional specification
The structure of your web site
- Think about your customers. They are used to getting the information they need with just 2-3 clicks. You would have less visits if you have big unstructured information or too scarce.
- Example: On the “Service” page use bih headings to highlight the main services you have and small paragraphs to explain shortly what you do. If you have multiple advices on how to use these services, just write blog posts and link them under each individual service you have.
The visits to your web site you can …
- … monitor with the free tool Google Analytics. This tool shows statistical data which could be very helpful when planning your marketing strategy.
- … increase by digital marketing. This includes search engine marketing, social media advertisements and others.
- … increase by posting quality blog posts and then link them to your social media pages.
- … help your web site rank better on Google. The more visits you aquire, the better position you will have according to the keywords your web site provides.
SEO – Search engine optimization
- Search engines, such as Google, Bing or Yahoo, have complex algorithm for listing key words searches. These algorithms are private and no one outside these companies can guarantee that your web site will rank higher when searching for a specific key word or a phrase. These algorithms are being changed constantly, which makes them even harder to figure out.
- There are companies, who monitor tendencies and manage to apply several structural and content changes to help you rank better. Despite that, these changes do not guarantee being number 1 constantly, since the search engine algorithms are constantly changing.
- Until December 2016, web sites are sorted by popularity (number of visits), location, domain name, presence of specific key words, presence of a responsive web design and many others.
Constant pop-up windows
- Your web site should not have constant pop-up windows when clicking at various places on your web site. This not only annoys the users, but there are also rumors that the search engines rank such web sites lower.
Information to send to the web developers
- The structure of the main menu. Example: Home, Products, Services, Blog, Contacts
- Content for each of the pages structured according to the design. For the blog you send titles, images, content, tags, categories and dates. You should structure your information well, so that the developers can easily understand what goes where. Send the information in an editable format, so it is easier to copy and paste it. Do not scan and send hand written texts, unless you are prepared to pay extra for someone to type in all the content.
- Contact information – Phone, Address, Email, Links to social media, Working hours (optional)
- Domain name (You should check first it is available)
- Say whether you want to create a specific email address with the domain. Example: domain name – www.evinat.com, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hosting data. If you can not purchase it yourself, you can ask the developers for help.
- Gmail account you own to implement Google analytics
- Keywords that describe best your company. These keywords are placed in the code to be indexed by the search engines.