Creating a successful website is certainly not rocket science, though the government might have you believe that it is—if you get your website development tips from them.
After spending upwards of 65 million dollars on their health care website, or some ridiculous amount, they have been the subject of much controversy and ridicule as their servers have crashed and failed miserably to accommodate their customers.
A successful website can be created for at least 64.9 million dollars less than that, if you follow the right formula. It is important to remember that “free” is not usually best, but it does not have to cost more than a spaceship to develop your terrific website.
Here are some quick pointers to help you get ready—and help you avoid some of the huge mistakes made by the government as you develop your site:
- Don’t launch before you are ready. This should certainly go without saying. When you think your site is ready to go—it is probably not. It is, however, ready to be checked, double checked, and tested. Test all opt-in and contact forms carefully. Make sure that each and every link works perfectly and goes exactly where you think it goes and where you want it to go.
Use some simple beta testing, like asking your friends and family, or close colleagues to take a look and poke around. Accept feedback and criticism. When you are developing your site, you want to know what people think of it—for real. Just like asking your best friend if your jeans make you look fat, you want an honest answer, even if it’s not the one you want to hear. It will make your site better!
- Don’t overspend. Before you even begin, you need to have a solid idea what your budget is, and you need to stick to it. Don’t hire an expensive “creative agency” that spends most of it’s time helping you choose colors, graphics and logos, but doesn’t have expertise in how to integrate a sales strategy and funnel into your back end.
If you stink at graphic design, hire someone to do it. The first impression is critical when visitors arrive at your site. Speaking of visitors, unless you know a lot about search engine optimization, you may want a consultant for this too, to get some traffic to your site.Spend where you need to, and cut costs where you can. Whether you spend $5,000 or $50,000 on a website that doesn’t build your list and attract clients, you’ve overspent.
- Hire the right people. The government, just as an example, is notorious for hiring people for the wrong reasons. Someone who has “put in their time,” or “is a friend” something like that. You want to hire people who are qualified to do what you need them to do and get proven results for other clients. There are going to
be things that you are an expert in—these are the things you do yourself, such as writing your about and services content. The other things may require some extra help.Learn how to delegate and make sure you know who you are working with. To have a successful online presence, you want to work with others who have a successful online presence. Very simple concept, but often overlooked.