The Importance of Regular Updates in Web Development

Online businesses and activities are more different than ever these days. The web sites being developed are a lot faster, more accessible and interactive in nature, making the whole experience unlike any other. Dynamic websites have increased in numbers.

SEO or search engine optimization is now considered as a standard when building business websites. And along with it, search engine have become more competitive with blogging and social networking websites become more and more popular.

A lot of individuals and companies turn to the Internet in search of information, products, services or more business. The World Wide Web has become an incomparable resource that nobody can do without.

And if you have a business website, it is very important that you always keep it updated – whether with the content or the technology that you use to keep up with the advances in web development. This helps I making sure that clients would always find your website relevant.

By being able to regularly check that your website is up-to-date, you can also be sure that business, old or new, would keep on flowing in.

There are numerous resources online which could help in keeping your website updated. You have to read different news and updates in technological tools and advancements. You could check out other websites as well to see how they have been developed.

And you could also get the services of web development experts. Whichever method you choose, make sure that you would be able to keep your website relevant and updated to generate more business.

Why You Should Not Engage A Web Developer

When I first started my web designing business five years back, I didn’t have any experience, customers, money or any clue about building websites. For my first attempt at a dynamic website I bought a book on ASP programming and with the help of the book I built my very own simple content management system. It was really difficult. It took me almost 2 months and cost about $10,000.

Last week we launched a dynamic CMS based website for a client and it took us one day and cost $299.

Back in 2006, it was rather difficult to build a website and you pretty much had to be a web developer to do it. Open source programs hadn’t yet taken off. Most of the websites were custom programmed by the web developers. If at all they used a CMS, it would be the ones built by themselves. Either way, you had to be a programming geek if you wanted to build your own website.

Thus many businesses didn’t have dynamic websites at all.

Thankfully the times have changed…

These days it is not really necessary to be a programmer to build a website. After my initial foray into ASP, I tried to find an open source system that I could use; that is when I discovered great systems like Joomla! and WordPress that could be used for back end client websites. I never looked back once I started using these open source systems.

I do have programmers on my staff, however there is no programming required for an average small business website. At least for people like me who are using open source systems like Joomla! and WordPress it isn’t required. All the programming work is already be done for you.

This is the reason why you don’t have to be paying a web developer to build your website. If you are paying for developing small business websites:

1) They either haven’t been using the free systems available and are still stuck in the dark ages coding the site by hand or
2) They are using their own CMS which makes it harder for you to move on if you want to.

Standing Out

While it is rather simple to build a website these days, it is not easy to build a good one. In fact you can argue that as it is really easy to build one, the task of building websites in lots of cases is put back in the hands of the business owner.

Hence there are a lot of self-built websites of average quality in the sea of small business websites. When you combine this with the number of legacy websites online from back in the day, it paints are really grim picture of the quality of sites online. Here lies the opportunity.

The opportunity

In the good old days, you just needed to have an online presence, but now the opportunity is in having a websites that stands out from the numerous average websites with a website that works properly.

So who should you engage?

Now the question is if you don’t want to engage a web developer, who should be responsible for building your website. Building a website requires a lot of different skills, some that can be provided by yourself and some by your provider. Below is a list of ingredients that are required for building a great website.

YOU

You are the most important ingredient for building your own website because:

1. One can design a great website only around a goal and you are the only one who would be able to express the strategies for your business.
2. Great websites will give the visitors exactly what they are looking for. You are the only one who will be able to know what your customer wants and how to pull their strings.
3. You will have to exhibit something unique. You will be the person who knows what is unique about your business.
4. You will have to work out a plan with your provider to generate traffic and lots of traffic will come through your own efforts.

Your Provider

1. You have to make sure that your provider is a good designer because great websites will look good.
2. Your provider needs to be flexible and open because you will need CMS that is easy for you to maintain.
3. Your provider needs to know about web promotion and help you to generate traffic to your website.

Using the services of a web developer to build website is close to over. If you wish to take the present opportunity you will need more.

Questions to Ask Your Web Developer When Getting a Quote

If you are looking into investing in a website but don’t know a lot of information about how websites and web design works, it’s OK, you can relax.

As long as you know the right type of answers to ask your developer when getting a quote, you won’t be taken for a ride. However, taking some time to research what things you would like on your website–specialized text and images, video, slideshows, ecommerce etc.- is extremely beneficial to you so that you have an idea of what you’re looking for and an idea of how to ensure that’s what you’ll get.

This brings us to the first and most important question to ask a prospective developer:

1) Show me your work

Hiring a developer is like hiring any other type of employee, you must investigate their past work, references, and have access to current projects they have contributed to. If your developer tries to give you a link or PDF file of websites that are not in use anymore, you need to tell them you will only look at websites that are currently operational. Have the developer point out and discuss specifically what they worked on with each of these websites. Many times this will reveal if the developer was just a designer for what you see and the back-end programming was all completed by someone else.

2) What will you do for me?

The second question that you should ask should be, “if I give you the opportunity to build a website for my business, what will you do for me?” A sure sign that a developer is in tune with your needs and wants is if they respond back by asking you more details about how your business functions. If a developer immediately starts rambling off all the elegant designs, website headers and web banners they can offer you, they are simply rehearsing a speech used many times before and are offering you the same generic website all their previous customers have received. A developer that is genuinely interested in what your business does, how it works, what you represent, what your short-term and long-term goals are and more, is going to be able to offer you a custom website that is completely tailored to your business’ individual demands.

Once you’ve established the basics and have some insight into your prospective developer, it is now time to pinpoint all the costs and extras that will add up to success or failure such as:

  • How much will hosting cost me?
  • Is the website hosted in the country I’m running my business out of?
  • What is the expectable speed my website will load in?
  • Do I have to renew my domain or will you do it automatically?

Getting a very specific picture of how all the components of your website will work together and how much it will cost you will allow you to determine if this developer will suit you and your business’ needs the best. Your developer should be proud of their previous work and should promise to keep your website effective by offering to keep your content refreshed, delivering a clear message of what and who your business represents, have easy navigation, fast loading time, promotional tools, and ensure you technological support during your training (if a Content Management System) and after. You don’t have to be a website developer to understand what your website should have that will meet your wants and goals. Just figure out exactly what to ask and have specific examples of what you are expecting your website to look like, and you will be able to find a perfect match for a web developer in no time.