Preparing to Launch a Website

Preparing, and launching a website is a confusing issue to many business owners, especially the ones who came of age before the explosion of computer and digital technology. They see many offers on television of easy do-it-yourself services that supposedly help you prepare a beautiful, design quality website with little effort, and it somehow gets found by the masses. Or they have already tried these solutions, and have found them wanting, hard to update on a regular basis, lacking certain useful features, etc. Having the right third-party solution can relieve you of some of the headaches of building and maintaining a website, but only if it is the right third party.

There is a huge discrepancy between the skill level, and the overall quality of web designers and developers. Web designers of different skill levels may be capable of providing high quality service, as long as they only promise what they know they can deliver competently. Because lets face, all websites are not created equal, and for their particular purpose, a designer may possess the ability to deploy specific software packages that enable a website the functionality requested by the client. And as long as that proves to be an effective solution for the client, it ends up being a good deal.

To protect themselves, clients looking to have a website designed and developed for them, must make sure that the designer/developer has the skills to achieve their desired objectives. Have the developer demonstrate desired functions on sites that he/she has worked on in the past. This will what they see as a practical solution, and also will show their experience, bad or good.

Of course, to adequately judge whether a developer has the skills to build your website, you must first know what features would help your site accomplish its goals, and/or serve specific functions that make your business more efficient. So before you ever decide to look for a developer, you must first identify the site you are trying to build. Is it an e-commerce site, is it some sort of social network type site, does site perform a service to paid subscribers, or is it a business or organizational site, meant to share general information about your business with your clients for members. These sites are often equipped with ways to update specific information, specials, etc., on a very regular basis. And they may have some online product sales as well.

Many small businesses can have attractively designed, and with features that are quite useful in communicating your message to your customers through your website. Open-source technologies that experienced developers can use and integrate into your site that will provide many useful and easy-to-use solutions to communicate your message. These site will rely on open-source structures that can be molded and adapted into the configuration your specific sites need.

Where the real programming heavy-weights are needed, is in the other types of sites mentioned. A corporation with thousands of product on an ecommerce site, let’s say, is going to need a very sophisticated, and most likely, a custom programming structure that is going to account for very complex mathematical calculations, customer interactions and tendencies, buying behavior, etc.

Social networking site are also very complicated as they have to manage relationships, and any site like this is going to be very innovative to make any dent the current list heavyweights. Likewise, any site designed to perform a service, whether it be an education site, and legal advice site, are going to have very specific programs designed to handle what that business model requires, and it better be something that no one has already done, or it has no chance.

Conversely, many small businesses or organizations have the need for many of the same functions on their websites, mainly in regards to communication. These clients need marketing platforms that can maintain constant communication with clients to maintain their retention. If your clients find your site, or more specifically, the information you choose to display on your site useful, it will benefit your business immensely.

For sites like these, Content Management systems can often adequately do the job, and are adaptable enough to make similar functions service different requirements from specific clients. Packages designed to integrate an event calendar, or a scheduling solution, may have a plethora of display options in terms of data fields, and aesthetics. There simply would be no need to design a custom event calendar when such capable solutions are available at the ready.

For the person looking to have a website developed, it is important to some research, but don’t looking for developers. Start researching other sites similar to yours, and try to dissect them a bit, find out what useful features these sites have that you might useful on yours, and that fits nicely with your specific business or organization. If you have a good idea of what you want in a website, it will be easier to make an assessment of prospective developers, based on their work and how it matches what you are looking for.

This entry was posted in Forum Posts. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.