Kickstarting Your Website
Creating your perfect website is hard. Kickstarting it can be even harder. Web design is hard work, and we here at TechTe.am know more than anyone that the many technical aspects of creating and running one are a challenge. Be it the appearance or functionality of your website you want to improve, these tips will give you some ideas where and how to start. And if you’re still lost, TechTe.am’s dedicated experts will be happy to help.
The theme of your website—how it is built, laid out, and organized—directly affects how your audience views it. It’s important to consider what your aims and goals are and focus on them in your layout. This is vital both for the sake of getting across the information and services you provide, and for better facilitating use of the site. If you’re interested in kickstarting your site, it’s the best place to begin.
One of the first points to work on is the look and feel of your site. Is it unique? Is it intuitive? Even something so simple as the color scheme can have a big impact. Your site should be slick and simple, with information laid out in organized chunks. This prevents the user from getting too overwhelmed when trying to read or use the site.
It’s also important to use colors that are comforting to the eyes, and high contrast. Dark grey text on a black textbox is difficult to read and causes a lot of eye strain. If your site is hard to look at, users will give up. Fonts are best in sans serif, which has been shown to be easier to read online.
It’s important to lay your website out so it focuses on its purpose. When kickstarting your website, keep in mind a few factors. Is your site a shop or blog or photo gallery? For business site or personal use? Depending on its purpose, you may want either a more simplified and streamlined design to your site.
Ease and accessibility is important to users. Do you use your site as a storefront? Organize it as such. Clearly define and label categories so people can find what they look for, and highlight top selling, popular, or on sale items! Make sure that the Cart button is easy to find so your customer isn’t scrambling to find it and get frustrated. If they like your site, they’re more likely to return.
Just as important as considering your website’s purpose and usability, it’s also important to consider the backend technicalities when you’re kickstarting your website.
When you make a site, consider how many devices your potential visitors could visit it from. Computers, phones, TVs, video game consoles, tablets, MP3 players and more all have access to the web, and are all regularly used for browsing. Having a responsive site is critical to it working properly—and still looking good—no matter what device is used to access it. Watch your traffic using tracking software such as Google Analytics to see what devices your users tend to use.
Is your website written in a language that exists in multiple dialects? You may want to consider which speakers are more frequently visiting your site, and writing to them. When configuring a site in English, for example, study your web traffic. Are all or most of your users in the United States? Using American English spelling and grammar gives them a more fluid experience, able to skim your site without being thrown out of the text by an unexpected word.
You don’t have to know how to code yourself to create a beautiful site. Especially if your content management system is WordPress, a few clever plugins can produce great results.
Search engine optimization
SEO is something every web owner struggles with. Dedicated plugins can monitor your site’s performance and analyze your content with a view to SEO. Whether you need help getting keywords into articles, or editing header tags without delving into your site’s coding, a plugin might be the solution.
Image ALT tags can give your site a boost without you even realizing it. Firstly, search engine bots can’t understand an image. Using the right ALT tags on your graphics tells search engines what viewers are looking at, which helps them determine how relevant and authoritative your site is. Tags can also be useful for users who cannot view images because of visual impairments because the ALT text can be displayed when they mouse over an image.
Installing ALT tags is easy for new uploads: in most CMSs there’s an option when adding a graphic to fill out the “alternative text.” This doesn’t appear on the page, but is embedded in the code. Changing or adding ALT tags to existing images—especially if you’ve got a whole website’s worth to update—can be more complicated or time-consuming. Plugins can take care of all the ALT tags for you, meaning you don’t have to worry about them.
Got a performance problem that needs solving? Whether you’re site’s loading slow, lagging, or crashing, chances are there’s a plugin that can help. Plugins can streamline your code, or monitor what’s going on so you can isolate the cause of the problem.
There are a million and one things you should consider when you try kickstarting your website. Getting started can be a daunting prospect, but our tips should give you some ideas to get started. If you’d rather let professionals take over, TechTe.am would be happy to help! Let’s get started.