5 things small businesses forget when planning for a new or redesigned website

by Jeff Graber, Media Services Executive – Network Management Group, Inc.

There is a lot to think about when planning for a new website or a redesign of a current website. There’s marketing, design, branding, accessibility, and a ton of other things that go into a successful website. But there are some things that are frequently left out or forgotten in the planning process. I have put together a short list of some of the more critical things that are often excluded from the planning process:

1. Mobility

By now, the decision of investing in a mobile website is becoming very obvious. The use of mobile devices for web browsing doubled in 2012, while smartphones and tablets became even more popular and powerful. Some of the characteristics of a
n effective mobile website include fast loading time, navigation optimized for touchscreens, and an easy contact option such as a call button. Having a mobile website keeps mobile visitors engaged longer because information becomes easier to find and frustrations associated with loading delay and formatting go away.

2. Search Engine Visibility

Another important characteristic of your website is how easy it can be found in search engines like Google and Bing. If you are not taking specific measures to ensure visibility in search engines for certain keywords, then you will not be found by people searching for your products or services on the web. Some things to consider when optimizing your website for search engines include locations where you primarily do business and the products or services you provide.

3. Content Sources

Something a lot of businesses don’t think about when planning for their website is where the content will come from. Will employees write website content in-house? Will content come from marketing materials that have already been written? Will content creation be outsourced to professional copywriters? These questions should be answered during the planning process, not after a website is built or redesigned. And remember, the quality of your content is a reflection of your business. So make sure your content is easy to digest, well worded, and grammatically correct.

4. Content Management Solution

Once you have a plan for where you content is coming from, you will need a way to manage your content and get it to your website. This is where a content management system comes in. A content management system stores your content and allows your website to pull from and display it. With a content management system you can update content on your website without having any web development knowledge or experience. A complete content management system should include easy online access with a secure login, options for publishing now or in the future, and version control.

5. Backup & Recovery

Finally, the most critical consideration for your website is backup and recovery. If your website goes down you will need a way to obtain your data and get it back up quickly. Your website backup plan should fit into your business continuity plan. Some options to consider for a reliable backup solution are offsite backup, file backup as well as database backup, daily/nightly incremental backup, and restore procedures.

If you are planning for a new or redesigned website, NMGI is here to help with these and other website considerations. If you would like more information, give us a call at (620) 664-6000 or visit our website at http://www.nmgi.com/services/webcare.