Web development is something of an interesting topic in
business circles. To some owners and executives, it essentially amounts to
website design. To others, and particularly those in the online marketing industry,
development has more to do with functionality and user features than it does
visuals and layouts.
These two areas of business website creation tend to overlap
quite a bit, of course, but the point is that you probably want an online
presence for your company that does more than show pictures of your team and
products. In this day and age, you want pages and applications that give
information, automate data collection, and perform lots of other features that
help your bottom line.
The good news is that all of that is very possible. The bad
news is that it won’t happen by accident. If you want a website that’s as
versatile as a business tool as it is an online brochure, you’re going to have
to plan ahead.
With that in mind, let’s look at a handful of key questions
you should ask yourself when planning the perfect web development project…
What do You Want Your
Website to do?
You can think of this question in a couple of ways. The
first points at the specific features you’d like to have included on your site.
Maybe you want to have real-time inventory and pricing data. Perhaps your
customers can benefit from shipping information or currency calculators. It
could be that a live customer chat feature would help you get more orders and
In a bigger picture sense, though, we would invite you to
think about what it is you want your website to do for your business. How could
it impact your bottom line by helping you to improve sales, increase your
margins, or cut costs? Often, the goals you have for your company can help lead
you to the right features to integrate on your pages.
Until you know what it is you want your website to actually
accomplish, it’s difficult to create a plan that will meet your needs.
How Do You Want Your
Website to Look?
This is the part of the process business owners and
executives love. And, even though we are emphasizing the functionality and
business power of a web presence, aesthetics are still important.
That’s because your website shouldn’t just “look good.” It
should reflect your value and unique selling proposition by positioning you
correctly against your colleagues and competitors. And, it should be designed
in a way that grabs the attention of your most important prospects and
customers. It should almost literally jump off the page and make them want to
interact with your content.
Make no mistake: your website has to do a lot of things, but
it also has to look like something buyers want to use. If it doesn’t, then all
the features in the world aren’t going to help.
What Existing Apps
Can Help You Meet Your Business Goals?
When it comes to web programming, not everything has to be
built from the ground up. In fact, they’re so many apps and plug-ins out there
that work alongside WordPress, Drupal, Magento, and every other major platform
that you can often get by with little or no custom development.
It’s worth pointing out, however, that it’s easy to overload
your website with extraneous plug-ins that add little to user experience while
slowing down your website or adding security risks. Think of them like
ornaments on a Christmas tree – you really stand out, but too many can tip the
whole thing over on its side.
This is another area where a good development team can help
you to not only find the right solutions, but to figure out what you really
need on your website in the first place. They can help you find the fine line
between giving visitors lots to use and keeping your website working quickly
Is Your Web
Development Project Worth the Time and Expense?
Just like anything else in your business, there should be a
cost and benefit analysis attached to website development. You might not want
to pay for all the features you have in mind, and some ideas may turn out to be
unprofitable in the long run.
In most cases, the biggest risk associated with spending
money on web development is putting too little into a project. That might sound
counter intuitive, but a truly innovative website sets you apart from your
competitors. If you have functions and features they don’t, customers will come
your way. But if you cut corners when having your site developed, it can come
off as generic, glitchy, or hard to use. In that case, the money you’ve spent
will have been wasted.
If you have a great idea for a web development project that
can take your business to the next level, then commit the right resources to
the job. Good programming costs less than you would imagine, and it almost
always pays for itself in the long run.
What Plans Do You
Have to Update Your Web Programming?
The golden rule of coming up with custom software – whether
it’s going to be used on the web or locally through a computer or phone – is
that you have to plan for future updates, patches, and new releases.
Obviously, doing a bit of planning with your project and
hiring the right company is going to cut down on the revision work that is
needed, and will stretch out the time between new versions. Eventually, though,
your needs for your site will change. Or, web browsers and HTML standards will
shift. Either way, you’ll have to release something new to keep up or watch
your business fall behind.
The good news here is that updating a well-programmed
website is hardly ever a big or expensive project, even if it contains custom
code to run specific features. However, if you ignore this part of the process,
you’ll have a hard time maintaining a positive ROI as your competitors catch up
and then surpass you.
Web Development Made
When most business owners and executives decide they “need a
website,” they don’t have any of these issues on their minds. And even when
they have thought about a website in
terms of programming and functionality, it’s easy to lose track of important
priorities when they are sorting through layouts, logos, and content.
That’s why it’s important to choose the right creative team
if you want a website that has advanced features. The right firm will take the
time to get to know your business, ask you about your needs, and even make
suggestions that can help your company rather than creating a generic web
presence for you as quickly and cheaply as possible.
If that sounds like the kind of service you want and expect,
then maybe it’s time to talk to the experienced marketing and programming minds
at Kinetik IT in Phoenix. Drawing on what we’ve learned building websites,
software, and online marketing campaigns for dozens of organizations around
Arizona, we can answer your questions and point you in the right direction.
Reach out today to schedule your free consultation!