A website is a big milestone for individuals taking their message or business online.
The launching of a website signifies the virtual launch of an idea. As an entrepreneur or blogger, getting a website up and running means you are ready to get the ball rolling and start looking for eyeballs to bring into your website.
However, for many, building a website from scratch is daunting. Luckily, today’s technology is better.
When you are just starting out, you may have very limited resources. The good news is, you don’t really have to hire a web designer and spend a fortune getting your website out there. With the help of drag and drop website builders, you can get your launch your website tomorrow as long as you have a design plan and content strategy in place.
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Once you are done with an initial design and content strategy that you may have to test for a while, like around 6 months, before getting an overhaul in case it’s not working, you have a few more considerations before launching your website.
Here are 9 things to consider before hitting publish on your webpages.
1. Most readers are scanners.
It’s a fact: most website visitors are lazy readers.
Well, there are niches where you can expect people to really read an essay or blog article before leaving. But remember, most people connected to the worldwide web are bombarded with information every day. So creating a catchy title or tagline for your webpage or article plus short paragraphs will increase your chances of people reading your useful website information and hopefully sharing it.
2. Visitors want less.
Because most readers are scanners, expect that they want less information. Short paragraphs and lots of space will be very appreciated. If you have a lot of information to share, remember that you have other webpages where you can share them slowly so you don’t create overwhelm.
3. Create a consistent navigation system.
Add a navigation menu for your website and keep it consistent throughout. If your menu is above the page, keep it that way. If it’s on the left side, maintain that. Readers want structure and it can really help them look for the content they need from your site.
4. Consider download speed.
The majority of visitors will leave your website if it takes more than 7 seconds to load. So test your site on a low-speed modem connection and if it loads slower than 7 seconds, try removing pictures or videos to make the download speed faster.
5. Provide a way for people to contact you.
Create a Contact Page where you provide a contact form that readers or potential customers can accomplish to connect with you by email. You may also add your social media accounts here.
Hearing from your customers or readers is so important especially when you are just starting out so encourage them to provide feedback. If you’re blogging, open your comment section and ask questions to the readers to show that you are willing to listen to them.
6. Consider your visitor’s monitor.
Like download speed, monitor resolution is an important factor to consider when designing a website. Contemporary monitors are high end and when you design a website on them you may forget that there are still lower resolution monitors like 800×600 monitors. Browsing your website on these monitors may be difficult. So before launching, test your website on different monitors and research new monitors to adjust to them as well. Of course, you can’t please everyone but the point is do what you can to cater to as much people as possible. They will love you for doing so.
7. Make your website accessible in all the major browsers.
Another point of consideration is the browsers that potential visitors use. As of December 2015, the most popular browser remains to be Google Chrome (68.0%). But a good few choose Firefox (19.1%) as their go-to browser. Internet Explorer, Safari (for Mac users), and Opera are also popularly used. Make sure that your website works on all these browsers.
8. Consider plug-ins.
The problem with too complicated website designs is that their content and effects require certain separate programs or plug-ins to be viewed on some browser. Not every visitor has these plug-ins installed. If this happens, some of your most important information may be unreadable. Keep your web design simple.
9. Some visitors have disabilities.
We don’t want to discriminate against potential readers or clients simply because of their disabilities. People with Disabilities (PWDs) are already discriminated upon in their everyday lives that we don’t want our website to add to that. Provide text alternatives for your photos and graphics and make your website accessible for speech-based browsers.
I personally wish all the best for the launch of your website.
The key here is this: always put the needs of your readers or clients first. You will build an excellent website just by remembering that.