Whether you are a business owner or an individual wanting a website – or improve your website – there are 10 things that EVERYONE should know about web development in general. We at the RightStart Program created this article to help educated individuals about the industry so they can make informed decisions and understand uncontrollable factors that we all face.
Here are the basics…
- The Wild West. In a lot of ways the Internet is still the wild west. It is growing fast and there has been very little regulation and rules to keep things in line. The Internet is a very fluid environment that is changing every day. Understand that there are no guarantees or fixed outcomes when it comes to anything online.
- Know something about Web Standards. Web Standards are the rules established by the W3C, the governing body for Internet technologies and languages. All web developers should follow these standards for the longevity of their clients sites, however, sadly most do not. (There are a lot of WordPress Themes that follow Web Standards. Look for them when you are setting up your site or blog!)
- Proper planning. Make sure you spend time before developing a new website creating a plan and goals on how the website will work and what it will do for you. Spend time with your web developer and make sure they know those goals so that they can make recommendations on how to achieve them.
- Have proper expectations. You are not Target, you don’t have a million dollar budget to build your website. Therefore you need to be realistic on what kind of a website you can afford. You may need to start out small and add to it as your business grows. Knowing how much you can spend will help your web developer give you proper expectations on what they can do for you.
- Time to develop. Keep in mind that a typical website takes about 2 to 3 months to develop from start to finish – sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. The size of the site will determine the length of development time.
- Finished is a feature. In the development process it is easy to get side tracked and add more features which extends the timeline of getting your site released. Make sure you keep the launch date in mind and put certain features on hold as upgrades later on.
- Maintain! A website needs constant maintenance to remain effective. You should review your website every quarter to see what needs changing, updating, or freshening up. Consider new technologies too so you don’t seem out-dated.
- SEO is a whole other game. A lot of web developers will build SEO right into their website, but it is usually just the basic set up. You will need to continue to work with your web developer or SEO expert to leverage SEO, SEM or SMM to gain more website traffic.
- Security. Security is always an issue online. Hackers are everywhere and they are winning the security war. If you are using a file manager or collecting data through your website, keep in mind the risks involved and talk to your host or web development company to make sure you are doing everything you can to stay safe.
- Knowledge is power. There is an overwhelming lack of knowledge when it comes to the Internet, yet we all interact with it everyday. Having a basic understanding about the history of the Internet and where it is going will help you make smart business decisions.