Best practices for highly effective websites

Best practices for highly effective websites

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Scenario

  • This is Nancy – I’m cranky & Impatient
  • I just moved to Billings
  • I plan on getting married in June
  • I work a 9 to 4 week day job
  • I’m also looking after my old parents
  • I have tried several weight loss program

I’m looking to find local weight management in billings and happen to find several places locally online.

How To Turn Your Site Idea Into a Finished Website: 8 Important Steps You Need To Consider

How To Turn Your Site Idea Into a Finished Website: 8 Important Steps You Need To Consider

The eCommerce industry is one of the fastest growing industries globally today. The global eCommerce industry is a $1.5 trillion dollar industry according to the latest estimates (2015). Considering the industry is still growing at a very fast pace and more people are getting online, the eCommerce industry shows no signs of slowing down. The industry’s potential presents very many unique opportunities. For instance, you can start your own online business from home provided you have a computer and a good internet connection.

It is, however, important to note that being a successful online business owner is easier said than done. Very many people have great online business ideas however, very few turn them into finished websites (finished online businesses). If you’re interested in knowing how to go about turning your idea into a finished website, look no further. Below is a detailed discussion highlighting the steps you need to take.

Are your solving a problem that makes sense?

Every website starts with an idea. Before you start building your website, you need to answer these basic but very important questions that will help you assess the validity of your idea;

What is your product/service about?

Every website offers a certain product or service to its visitors and different products and services solve different problems. When identifying a suitable product or service to offer with your website, think of the problem you are attempting to solve, your solution to that problem as well as your audience.

What action do you want your users to take?

This is another important question you should consider asking yourself if you’re keen on turning your online business idea into a finished website. This question helps you design a website that helps you achieve your site goals perfectly. For instance, do you want your website visitors to sign up, become subscribers, download content, buy services/products? There are all kinds of website building tools for achieving any site user outcome you can imagine. You must, however decide what you want your website visitors to do when they visit your site and craft mechanisms for making sure it happens before you start building your website.

Breakdown your site into different components

Let’s face it! Websites are very complex. It is, therefore, important to break down your site into many small components if you are keen on having an easier time building and finishing your site. You can break down your site into 4 main parts namely;

  1. The 1st fold: This part focuses on everything your users see when they 1st visit your site. The 1st fold encompasses everything that has to do with the first impression of the site i.e. the site’s pitch, image/s, theme as well as a proper call-to-action to prompt the desired action from site users.
  2. How the site works: Now that you have gotten your user’s attention with a good 1st impression and gotten them interested by describing their problem/s, it’s time to tell them how you are going to solve their problems. Since sites are very complex, it’s very important to determine how your site will work separately because you give site functionality the attention it deserves.
  3. Building credibility: You also need to think about making your site credible. Having a site that attracts visitors and works perfectly isn’t enough if the site doesn’t have credibility. Website credibility is crucial since it’s what makes people trust your site and place orders for the product/s or service/s you are offering. You need to think of how you will collect testimonials from your users, showcase reviews and success stories from your users as well as any other positive PR attention you receive.
  4. About information: A good site also needs to have a good story of the founder, their team, mission, vision, goals, contact information among other important info. About information is very important because it creates a stronger connection between users and site owners. Your website visitors are more likely to support you if they know who you are, your vision, mission, goals etc.

Once you have the above parts, your site idea will be a step closer to becoming a finished website. You just need to make sure you build all the above parts of your site to completion. You can use readily available tools online like germ.io which have pre-thought templates to help you build all the above components of your site fast and easy.

Breakdown your planning & development process

Site building entails meticulous planning and development. To be able to track your site planning and development process effectively, you need to break the entire process into small tasks which can be tracked easily. Luckily, there are free and fun tools like Trello that make this process easy.

Write user stories

A user story can be defined as a discrete description of the task/s a person can perform with your website. User stories help to clarify the thoughts of a website owner. The stories give you concrete information to discuss with web designers and developers among other stakeholders of your site i.e. your potential visitors, investors etc. User stories are easy to write. They should be composed of two things namely; the kind of person (it can be a subscriber, new visitor etc.) and the task that person should be able to do; As a<person>I can<do something>

For instance, logged-in users/subscribers should be able to access their profile information as well as other parts of a site that non-subscribers can’t access. User stories are important because they show you how you should think about your site’s features and functionality.

Create a use case model

After writing user stories, you can proceed and create a use case model whose aim is to help you visualize the user stories you have written. Visualizing user stories is important because it makes it easier to understand and implement those stories.

Create an activity diagram

You also need an activity diagram to show you all the different paths your site users can take while on the site.

Build your prototype

Once you have a case model and an activity diagram, you can proceed and build your prototype site. You can do this on your own using free site prototyping software or pass over the task to your web developer/designer. The aim of the prototype is to show you how the site will look like and function. It’s also easier to modify site prototypes than work on code. Prototypes also help you identify site flaws early. If you’re keen on finishing your website, you really need to consider this step.

Polish and release

Once you have a prototype working, it’s very easy to proceed. You can hire a web designer/developer at this point to turn your prototype site into a fully functional site. A web designer will be in a better position to determine the technologies you need to build your site if you are not a web designer yourself. Since a prototype site lets you know if your site idea has potential and you also get to identify site flaws early, finishing your site shouldn’t be a problem going forward.

Summary

Most people have problems turning their ideas into finished websites because they fail to simplify the process. When you break down your website idea into small manageable and systematic steps like the ones discussed above, you shouldn’t have a problem turning your idea into a finished site. Furthermore, there are very many free, fun, effective and user-friendly site building tools available online today.

Why does online user experience matter to your website?

First of all, I want to congratulate Elichai for his new website elichai.com. This project key focus looks at addressing user experience design and user interface design (UX/UI) and why it matters.

After many years of working with business owners, the most difficult part as a business owner is understanding how to leverage your website full capabilities to help reduce your cost of acquisition and close more sales quickly. Most business owners that hire a  website designer/developer hope that the solution they recommend address their problems but fail to evaluate solutions that take into account the overall strategic plan of  their business immediate needs.

User-Experience-Infographics

Landing Pages

We all know landing pages (if not, read about it on Wikipedia) are created with a specific intent to make a user exchange his information for something that is of value to them. The biggest opportunity every website has is to turn every page to a landing page, and that is how we approached Elichai.com UX/UI design.

Website design took into account the 7 stages of the buying cycle.

7 stage of buying cycle

 

Website Flow chart

What is an open source platform

 

Open-source-Platforms

 

Infographics about the difference between Open Source Web Application and Close Platforms

Heartbleed SSL Encryption Vuluerability

We recommend changing your online accounts password to protect yourself from the most recently publicized SSL encryption vulnerability known as Heartbleed, this is not a matter to take lightly. Update All your online accounts (Social Media, Emails, Online Bank Account)
For more resource on how to update your password read our blog post –My Password is 123

Resource

Mashable gives more insight on major online website that are affected and you need to update your password immediately.

What is Heartbleed?

 

The Power of a Great Footer for SEO

When it comes to search engine optimization or SEO, one of the most powerful tools in a web developer’s toolbox is the footer. The footer is powerful because it is replicated on every single page

of the website. Therefore, any links put in this area are going to be multiplied by the amount of pages on the web site total. This can be a great technique to gain in competitive searches. Try putting in links to some of your content that you want to rank higher on.

Let’s say that you are a hair stylist, to rank higher in searches for salons, you might try adding a ‘Top 10 Things to Look for in a Good Salon.”

Additionally, you can add a post or page listing all of the related products or services to hair styling, like beauty supply stores and formal wear stores in your local town or city. This post might look like this: ‘Hair Stylist Resources for Billings Montana,’ for example.

These additions to your website will start to index very quickly because they are a multiplier, every page has the links on it. For a 100-page website, these two links have now given the site 200 links related to hair styling and the city of the business. Can you imagine how powerful 10 or 20 links in the footer could be?

Beyond links, there are additional add-ages that can be made to a footer to boost it’s SEO power. One of the most important is clear, precise and accurate business information. This includes your address, phone number, e-mail, fax and social media accounts.

Adding this info let’s Google and the other search engines know that you have put time into assisting the viewer find the information they are looking for as quickly as possible. It also serves to reinforce who you are by cementing contact info on every page.

Of course all of these developments take time and know-how to be able to execute. If you have a desire to up your SEO game this year, but lack the technical prowess to make it happen, give Authentic Imaging, LLC a call at 406.322.3569