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Delia Ayoko
Delia Ayoko

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What to note before or when developing a website.

Domain Name

You should choose an easy-to-remember domain name. Instead of putting a killer name like janewalkertheprofessional.com, why not simply put janewalker.com, with a special character? That sounds much more professional. Also, choosing a TLD (top-level domain) like .com, .net, .me, is going to be your choice.

Hosting

Keep your website running smoothly with a hosting company that guarantees you good uptime, fast load times and easy setup. Choose an affordable and reliable plan. You could choose between free hosting sites like AWS, Google CLoud Hosting, WordPress, Wix or Squarespace.

Tech Stack

Make sure you're using the right technology if you want your website functioning properly and in great shape. You can choose MERN, MEAN, MEVN, LAMP, or just HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP as most people do. This will depend on if your site just portrays content or needs to fetch data as per the user's request.

Purpose

Is your website for business? E-commerce? Portfolio? Education? Make sure you don't deviate from the purpose of your website. You don't want your site visitors having mixed ideas about what you want to say. If it's about sports, talk about sports. Don't end up talking about recipes.

Layout & Color

Choose a pattern that is similar to the common website structure. Remember that in your website, there must be a logo, a header, a navigation bar(not in all cases), the menu, the footer and of course, content. All sites contain content. Also, your website should have a color scheme that will affect its feel. The blend of the layout and color scheme accounts for its neatness.

Site Map

A site map is a visual or textually organized model of a website's content that permits users to navigate through the site to find the information they want. This tool displays relationships between the site's pages and its content elements, and search engines crawl in them to find users' queries much faster. Google says that building a website without a sitemap is like building a house without a blueprint.

Content

Your site should be informative. Use the most common keywords to rank high in search engines. Sometimes, stand in the client's view, type whatever pops into your head relating to your topic in any search engine and find synonyms to that phrase or keyword. Use them in your website. Also, do not embed too many pictures and videos. One video and a few pictures should be enough to elaborate on your content.

Audience

Know your audience. Code should attract developers, sports should attract athletes and recipes for chefs. Write only what they need.

Advertisements & Pop-ups

Adverts may be useful, but you should know when and where to put them. Do not put it where it will block content, or your client will leave your site for a similar one. If your pop-ups and adverts are not necessary, do not put them.

Attractive Design & Typography

Do a simple yet professional website. An eye-catching design will keep eye-balls glued to the screen. Choose a specific font throughout. Go for simple, choose an easy-to-read font, not Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Background

Choose a background element that blends with your theme and color scheme, to keep your website neat. Gradient? Picture? Patterned? Any of them would look great, but be sure that they really look good. If you don't get a tip of satisfaction, then you need to put something else. Satisfy yourself first.

Easy navigation

Your navigation bar should be easy to understand. If they're icons, choose the right ones. Everybody knows the icon that says location, so if you want your clients to locate you, use the common icon, or something that says location.

Up-to-date

Always update your site. Tell your clients what's new, and give them the chance to subscribe to your weekly newsletters. That way, they won't forget they ever visited your website because once you update, they will visit to see your updates. You could also use your social media to announce your updates.

Cross-browser/Cross-Platform Effect

Remember that your website will be accesses not only on laptops and mobile phones, but also on tablets, e-readers, standard and widescreen monitors, using multiple browsers like Firefox, Google, Safari and Edge on different operating systems like Mac OS, Android, Linux, Apple or Windows. If you're chanced to get all operating systems, you're good to go. If you can't, acceptance testing is another method. Be sure that your website works as intended when accessed through the different browser-OS combinations.

Optimization

Use tools and advanced strategies (like SEO) to attract more traffic to your website. Check the mobile and search engine friendliness, and the site load time.

Screen Resolution

Responsive web design has its benefits, one of them being variable screen resolution. From Smart HDTVs to handheld game consoles, the layouts vary from widescreen, to normal, to narrow, then to mobile depending on the device.

Tracking analytics

Tracking analytics enable you to track the performance of your site, and provide perspective by giving you insights and meaningful data that you might not otherwise detect. A common example is Twitter analytics that shows tweet data used to optimize one's future Twitter campaigns.

Security

If your site uses a secure host, there are higher chances it's safe. If it requires login pages, encrypt them. Backup your data. If your visitors feel safe when they leave their information in your website, then it definitely is safe.

Provide Review

Sometimes, tracking analytics may sound like ‘sneaking’ or ‘peeking into clients privacy'. Reviews and ratings bring you closer to your audience, and your feedback feels ‘sincere’. Give room for reviews or comments at the bottom of the page (not as pop-ups, because those kids are annoying when they're not necessary). This feature is not important, you could still go with tracking analytics.

Footer

Someone's asking why I'm writing about the footer; well, I have no idea, because I didn't write about the header. But this is important. Your footer stands as a placeholder for your social media. If you have a ‘Contact Me’ button on your nav bar, then you should have your socials below. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, whatever you want to use to connect and discuss with people. Add copyright. You sought professionalism anyway, so yours professionally.

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