Website Development is a Service

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Web development can be a tough process.  Understandably, if it isn’t your strength or interest there are some misconceptions or misunderstandings that come into the process of having a website developed.  What makes it even more difficult is that the website development industry has a lot of people who provide poor service and even poorer quality websites.

To pile on top of that, website development is often coupled into a commodity “one size fits all” product by big organizations with slick marketing.  What can you yourself do to determine the best way to approach website development?  You don’t need to become an expert but it helps to understand one fact:  Website development is a service, not a product.

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Buying a Product

I remember buying my first car.  My dad and I visited one car lot, and it didn’t take me long to find a car within my price range that I liked.  I don’t even remember test driving the car to be honest.  I just remember my urgency to get a car since I was in college and in need of my own car.

Once I bought the car, I never went back to the dealership.  I never even heard back from the salesperson who sold me the car.  It was a “one and done” situation.  I’d imagine this is similar to most peoples car-buying experience.  You may spend more time shopping, but it’s likely you bought the car—or another product—and that was it.  You own the product and life moves on.

Building a website isn’t the same as buying a car or a product.  We too often think it’s a “one and done” situation.  It’s not one visit to the website “dealership,” never to return unless you’re ready to buy a new one.  If your business needs a website, you need to approach your website similar to your business service overall.

Your Website development should be ongoing

Your business operations are ongoing and your customers and employees need to be able to connect with your messaging online.  No business is the same, or at least no business likely has the same exact approach or personality.  So why should you believe that your website should be manufactured before your goals for the website are?

I get it.  If your business is small and you’re not experienced in dealing with website development, it’s difficult to want not to treat it like an item on the checklist.  You have to determine to partner with your website developer.  Build a plan and determine how to get the greatest results from your website.

Here are three items to consider to get the best ongoing results for your website.

1. Make your website stable.

Most websites have content management systems that have updates which must be backed up and updated often.  This is the case for websites running WordPress.  Websites can become hacked, resulting in the loss of data and the loss of thousands of dollars of your investment.  You can’t risk it.  Make a plan for your website to be as stable as possible.

2. Create great content for your website.

If you want to attract customers or become a better resource for your employees, content is crucial.  SEO is important for customer attraction, sure; but content and proper website development principles apply for an effective website.  Once you have a customer on the page it needs to be easy for them to convert!

3. Create, test, repeat.

In addition to creating new content and getting your website more visitors, it’s important to determine what works best.  Once you start producing content you can then determine what brings the best results and expand upon that.

4. Plan for the future.

Easy enough right?  You shouldn’t have to redesign your website entirely every year.   Not that I’d fight you if you asked us, but honestly it would be best to determine the course for your website and how it will best serve your business goals.

Concluding…

You don’t have to be the expert at website development to know how to get the most out of your site.  The biggest challenge most people have is their own incorrect assumptions.  You don’t know what you don’t know, and you have to ask to know in most cases.  I hope these items have given you some things to think about with regards to your website and how web development is a service.

Until next time!

Cody Landefeld

co-founder at Mode Effect. ECommerce consultant. Coram deo.

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