Website design Ipswich: Five essential questions answered
Website design Ipswich: Having a new website designed is a huge decision for any business to undertake. There is the hefty financial investment. There is also the trust element. As a business, your skills lie in your trade – not website design. But getting the right look, feel and function of your website is an essential when selling your services online. Check out our top tips for knowing the basics of website design and planning.
What’s the purpose of your new website?
This might seem like a basic question – but it’s fundamental in terms of how your website developer will decide to manage your website rebuild. For example, is your website simply an online company brochure that tells people what you do and where to find you? Or, do you require something a little more in-depth? A booking page to take appointments perhaps? A section where you can feature products or services that might change on a regular basis? Or, are you looking for an online store – an e-commerce website?
Basically, you need to have a clear idea of your requirements so that your website developer can decide on witch design strategy to opt for. And that strategy needs to be discussed with you, so that the website operates in a logical way and reflects how your business functions.
Should I re-design my current website – or should I start again from scratch?
While it might seem as though you can save money by simply updating the design of your current website, whether this will be successful or not, depends on how much work is required. Take advice from your web developer regarding this situation.
For example, when most businesses set up their first website, it’s done on the cheap because set-up budgets are tight. The website is often basic, fulfilling a function of sorts, but with limited capability. As your business grows, and offers more services, you may find that this first website build no longer reflects your brand or capabilities as it should.
Very often, first time websites for newly launched businesses are built as cheaply as possible. The websites are often hosted on platforms that offer simple, out-of-the-box hosting solutions for the new business. And that’s fine. However, once your business starts to get established, you begin to look at ways in which you can scale your operations. Very often, this comes in the form of an SEO strategy, whereby your website requires certain aspects that the current solution fails to offer.
When it’s time for a website re-build
In this situation, it’s far better to redesign your new website from scratch, on a professionally hosted platform such as WordPress.
However, if your website is built on a platform like Weebly, Wix or Square Space, and you are seeking a new developer to explore much higher website capability, you will need to look at building your new website from scratch, in a format that can be correctly optimized.
Can I take my old domain with me to the new website?
Absolutely. In fact, taking it with you is a very good idea.
Your website developer would first open a new hosting account for your new website build – usually on a fully managed and reliable platform – like Blue Host or Siteground. They would create a temporary URL that would only show on the hosting platform. They would design the website on that URL, and once it met your specifications, they could then migrate the design onto your old domain name. We won’t bore you with the technical details, but developers do these types of tasks all the time – so keeping your old domain is a cert.
My website is already built in WordPress. Why can’t a new developer just revamp it?
Unfortunately, the process simply doesn’t work like that. WordPress has, essentially, technical skins called themes, that you can upload to your domain. These themes offer all sorts of different functions and capabilities. Some are basic and some are very high-tech. If your website has originally been built in one of the pleasant but basic free WordPress themes, chances are, you will need to upgrade it to a better functioning one.
Equally, because WordPress themes are numerous. There are literally thousands and thousands of them. It’s very unlikely that a website developer who is new to your website, will be happy to simply revamp what is already there. Firstly, they won’t necessarily be familiar with the theme that’s been used on your website. Every theme has different functionalities. Website designers use multi-functioning themes. They learn those themes inside out. They won’t know exactly how your theme operates, unless they set it up in the first place. So, it you are using a new designer, expect them to recommend a complete re-build rather than a re-hash.
But won’t a website re-build cost more than a simple website re-design?
Honestly? No. Or at least it shouldn’t. Furthermore, your website functionality will usually be much better if you opt for total re-build. This is because re-designing all the old pages will take just as long. Re-building from an existing theme could take longer than starting with a brand-new theme. Your business requires certain features. The right theme will provide you with options.
You also need to think about the impact the build downtime will have on your website. Google will de-index your website if you have an ‘Under Construction’ page put up for more than two weeks. Considering most websites take around three months to complete, with website design changes, you are looking at having your website out of commission for a long time. This isn’t a good move. The best thing to do is for the website designer to build your new website on a temporary url in the most optimal format. Your original website can stays live until the new website is ready to be launched.
Will my business will take off once my website is launched?
It will certainly help. Having a properly indexed, brand new, fast website that is properly indexed, is a great business asset. But the job doesn’t end with the website. Your next step to boosting sales or profits, depending on your business type, is to focus on SEO
SEO is search engine optimisation – and it basically means that you need to get your business to the top of Google so that more customers find you online. There are lots of things you can do on your website to help you achieve it – but if you want to find out more about website SEO, take a read of our dedicated blog on the topic, here.
Seensocial website design and management services
Seensocial works closely with clients to deliver beautiful, up-to-date, fast and well-functioning websites. We also have a website management service. If your website has technical issues, we can fix it. Take a look at our recent website projects for more information.