Building a new website is a process. It requires time, planning, and back and forth with designers and project managers – all of which can be time consuming without the right development team and project manager. To help ensure your website design or redesign goes smoothly, you need to have clear project expectations and deadlines. Determining budget, deadlines, and your ultimate goal with the website will make sure everyone is on the same page from the start of the project.
This post will help walk you through the most important steps of your new website project, and what you should know before choosing a web design company.
Finding a Graphic Designer and Web Developer
Before starting on a new website design, you want to make sure you’ve chosen a strong web development team. Finding a graphic designer with a strong portfolio of work and a web developer with the experience to compliment the design isn’t always easy. There are several website design companies in Columbia to work with, so there are certainly options to choose from. Ultimately, you want worth a team that understands how people interact with websites and can bring your company website to life.
Zimmer's web development team has built websites for businesses across Missouri including credit unions, law firms, restaurants, car washes, pest control and many other industries. Our creative team believes in keeping designs simple, utilizing white space, avoiding too much content and using clear and concise calls to action so that your website is easy for people to use and find information. You want users to take an action on your website, whether that is filling out a form or downloading a piece of content. Keeping a simple design helps guarantee people will be able to find what they were looking for when they came to your website.
Working With a Project Manager
The project manager in a web design project is the point person between you as a client and the development team. It is the project manager’s responsibility to make sure deadlines are met, graphics and designs are approved, and that the client is aware of the project status at any moment. Communication is vital when undergoing a website redesign and launch, and it’s important to make sure you’re working with someone who communications clearly and gets back to you with any questions you have throughout the project.
Questions to ask before choosing a web design company:
- What other websites has the web development team built?
- What are some websites that you like/dislike?
- What is your budget?
- What is the realistic timeline for your project?
- What is the first impression you want users to have on your website?
- Will there be a point of contact for my website to review analytics, make changes, etc?
Developing A Plan For Your Website
The most important step in building a new website is to develop a plan. What is the goal of your website? Do you want people to buy? Contact you from a form on your website? Register for an event? The answer to this question ultimately determines how your website should be designed and what elements should be the main focus. The key to a successful website is developing a content strategy plan that will be the foundation of your website and keep your visitors coming back for more.
Questions to ask when planning for your new website:
- What is the ultimate goal of my website?
- What do I like and dislike about my website?
- What content should be featured prominently?
- What action do I want people to take on my website?
- Is there any specific functionality you will need?
Finding a CMS for your website
Every website is built with some sort of CMS system or content management system that allows you to edit and maintain your website. Our interactive team at Zimmer builds all of our websites on Wordpress so that our clients in Columbia, Jefferson City, and everywhere in between can easily log-in and make changes on their own. It’s important to feel confident in your new website, and you should know how to use it even if you aren’t a web developer.
Website Hosting and Support
Web hosting and support is something no business owner should have to deal with. To make sure you never have to call an IT or support team because your website is down, it’s important to work with a company that maintains secure servers. The last thing you need to worry about is dealing with IT issues with your website.
Our creative team works with a web hosting and support company based in Jefferson City, Missouri and have dedicated servers for our client websites. We provide secure hosting and support to make sure your website stays up and running after launch, and hosting covers any basic changes you may need to make to your website but simply don’t have the time.
Analytics and Reporting
It’s one thing to have a website; It’s another to have a high-performing website that converts traffic into leads. We install Google Analytics on every website so that you can see exactly how your website is working and how people are using it.
You need to know how people are interacting with your website so that you can make future decisions. Maintaining a website requires looking at analytics and focusing on what you can do to convert traffic into leads. Google Analytics is a robust reporting tool that offers a lot of amazing data about your website, but it can be overwhelming if you don't know what you're looking for. We can help review your analytics and show you where people are spending time, or where they’re not, so we can focus on converting more of your visits into leads.
Take a look at your current website analytics and ask yourself:
- What are the most viewed pages on my site?
- Which pages receive the most leads?
- Average monthly visits?
- Average leads per month?
- Are there pieces of information or content that gets viewed the most?
- Is your content written and optimized for SEO?
Building a new website takes time and commitment, and there are quite a few web development companies in Columbia to choose from. At the end of the day, you want to work with a team that understands branding and has the experience to develop a high performing website capable of generating traffic and leads.