Mistakes Businesses Make When Setting Up a Website

Mistakes Businesses Make When Setting Up a Website - Macaulay Gidado

Okay, I’m not going to drone about the usual stuff you are likely to find online when you Google this topic. You know, points like “failing to customize your theme”, “forgetting to make your business site responsive”, “not implementing a good SEO strategy”, “poor navigation”, “using too many pop-ups”, blah, blah, blah…

I’m not trying to demean the validity of these points. It’s just that the Internet is riddled with them, and I have no intentions of adding to the clutter. So instead, I will take you on a journey through the various mistakes many of our clients (typically small and medium businesses) make prior to approaching Macaulay Gidado to build their web presence.

In fact, when you mind the mistakes I’m going to elaborate on below, you automatically avoid many generic pitfalls like the ones mentioned above.

No business is an island

No Business is an Island

Yes, a bit of a cliche. A bad one at that. But some of our clients, like many other businesses out there, started out thinking they can go it alone. Trust me, even if you were a genius entrepreneur highly skilled in copywriting, web design, and web development, going it alone is still a bad idea.

Why? Because you need objectivity. Subjectivity would only produce a website that appeals to you mostly. You need input from people less emotionally attached to your business. People that can give you the hard truth.

You’ve got to ask yourself. Why does my business need a website? It goes without saying, but you most certainly are trying to reach a certain demographic. Should your business website then be built to appeal to you or that demographic?

Let me know your answer to that in the comment area.

Shop for value, not trinkets

Shop for Value Not Trinkets

Many of our clients were comfortably knee deep in this pitfall. One would think that coming to us meant they had figured out why their cheap-looking websites weren’t delivering the desired results. But no, most of them came with the same pathetic budget that funded the mess they were in. It was like doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a better result each time.

God, I want to scream. These things drive me crazy.

Okay, let’s face it. When you see a cheap website versus one built with value in mind, you just know it. There’s no debating that. Not saying you should throw all your money at copywriters, designers, and developers—um, hello 🙋, please throw your money at me. It all depends on what you want to achieve with your business website and whether your resources can accommodate that goal. In other words, go for cost-effective.

Yes, there’s a big difference between “cheap” and “cost-effective”. The latter has value written all over it. And that’s my recommendation. That and the saying, “When you want to do something, do it well.”

Vision & strategy need each other

Vision Strategy Need Each Other

When building a website for your business, vision and strategy should be at the core of everything. They address the questions: “What do I want to achieve with this business website?” and “How is this website going to help me achieve those goals?”

These two questions, if addressed properly, will determine what goes into the copy, design, and development of your business website. Unfortunately, a good fraction of our clients came with half-baked goals. Well, fortunately for them, we like to be thorough at Macaulay Gidado. So we typically start by getting them to ruminate on their visions. Then we work with them to develop a working strategy.

I have to say, there’s a great satisfaction that accompanies knowing we have helped a client solve a dire problem. Here are more stuff to consider when setting up your website.

Being responsive goes a long way

Being Responsive Goes a Long Way

Not referring to making your business website responsive, but that’s also highly important. So what the hell? What a turn of phrase.

Anyway, I’m talking about being responsive as a client. Imagine how frustrating viewing a mobile unresponsive website on your smartphone can be. That’s how working with an unresponsive client feels. Makes me want to pull hair out. It basically cripples the progress of the project. If this passage inspires you to become a responsive client going for a responsive website, then good job to me. Now, time to go congratulate myself with a cup of Malagasy coffee.

Still here 🙋. Will get the coffee when I finally visit Madagascar.

So my fellow businesspeople. When you hire a professional—me, of course—to build your company website, remember that talking about your business is a good thing for the project. Every business is unique. While there are similar businesses online from where the professional can source info and inspiration, the last thing you want is for your website to turn out just generic or worse, a replica. Certainly you want the content, design, and other features to zero in on pertinent aspects of your business you want to convey to your audience.

The bottom line is: you want to hire me to build your website? You must be ready to make out time to discuss, really discuss, your business.

Don’t leave your assets behind

Dont Leave Your Assets Behind

At Macaulay Gidado, we have what we call a handover document. Basically, this is a comprehensive documentation of all tasks completed under a particular project, all login details, and a linked DropBox folder containing all files and data generated throughout the project development process. As soon as the client has approved the completed project, we close the contract by passing the handover document to them.

The unfortunate truth is that the majority of clients we have worked with in the past didn’t ask, much less expect, a handover document. They typically imagined that all they needed was the finished product–that is, the link to their website, thus forgetting that:

  • They would need to take control of their hosting, domain, and other accounts, change the login details, and update their payment details so that their subscriptions can renew automatically.
  • By leaving their assets behind, they are leaving themselves open to extortion. This is how some developers hold people’s websites hostage.
  • They need access to the raw assets that make up their branding identity.

The list goes on and on, and it’s pathetic. Please, if you are a business, never leave your assets behind, no matter what the project might be.

Phew! I think I’m done emptying myself. Now let’s hope that someone listened. Please do let me know what you think in the comment area. Would greatly appreciate your feedback.

Thanks a lot.

This article also appeared on Macaulay Gidado Medium publication.

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

Quality web design is the building block of great websites and thus is an invaluable investment for any company looking to establish its online presence. An excellent design will cost between a few thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars—sometimes even millions for hefty websites—depending on the features and the type of website.

The big question is whether or not the investment of using a professional web designer is worth its price tag. How does it positively impact your business?

Professional Web Design Improves Identity and Uniformity

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

Professional web designers are experts in their field, with years of mastered talent and skills. To ensure your web design resonates with your brand, they consider every aspect of your business (your niche, products and services, target customers, company logo, business cards, online profiles, and so on) before tailoring out a uniform visual representation.

A consistent design will not only improve your company’s identity, but also make your site speak to the heart and soul of your brand. Thus, instead of your website looking like that of three different businesses, the design identifies it as a brand.

Professional Web Design Makes for a Great First Impression

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

It’s human nature to worry about first impression. We hate rejection and disapproval, because we understand they leave us isolated. In business, isolation can be a deadly blow, especially because every brand needs customers’ approval to thrive. It’s only when customers approve that they are willing to swap their hard-earned money for whatever you are selling.

You can set your brand up for a powerful and lasting first online impression by investing in your web design and ensuring that it identifies with your current and prospective customers. An unprofessional company website will destroy whatever credibility and reputation you hope to build and can manifest through poor loading speed, template, colour integration, and so on.

Professional Web Design Plus Great Webhosting Boost Loading Speed

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

Research shows that a single second delay in the load time of a webpage can result in 11% decrease in page views, 16% in customer satisfaction, and 7% in conversion. This makes the loading speed of a website very vital to the survival of the brand that owns it.

A great load time can be achieved by choosing a reputable webhosting company, one with an exceptional uptime, one that allocates the ideal amount of RAM and bandwidth at a good price. There’s also the issue of whether the RAM and bandwidth can be scaled as traffic to your site grows.

But then you would be defeating the purpose of taking out a quality hosting service if your website design is poor and hindering the performance of your hosting package. This is why you should always go for a professional design service.

A professional web designer will know to simplify your web design to reduce HTTP requests for various parts of your webpages like images, scripts, flash, and stylesheet, compress your website’s resources, enable browser caching, optimise images, minify your resources, optimise CSS delivery, reduce number of plugins, reduce redirects, and perform a host of other design tasks that can tremendously speed up your site.

Professional Web Design Helps You Stand Out from Competition

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

The last thing you want is for your company website to drown in the crowd of similar website designs that populate your niche. These overused designs, no doubt, deliver some good results.

But then a company that aspires to stand apart from competition doesn’t need good results: it needs great results. Don’t imitate; imitations are never as good as their originals. Instead hire a professional designer that will build your site’s design from scratch and imbue your company’s unique selling points in the design.

Professional Web Design Generates Revenue

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

It’s naturally a human thing to be drawn to attractive, useful and important things. That trait remains the same even on the Internet. In the case of your company’s website design, the look of your pages, what they say, and the features they highlight will go a long way in converting traffic to your site into sales.

The designs of your calls to action and their locations on the pages are all part of your web design. They should be able to compel site visitors to do exactly what you need them to do.

Professional Web Design Integrates Content with Structure

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

When people visit your company website, their interest is in the content. The design is merely a means of making that content easier to digest. This implies that while design is important, it’s not the purpose of your site.

To deliver the message you are trying to pass across with your site, you need a professional web design. One that leverages useful and well-positioned navigation. Readable fonts and font sizes. A great blend of page colour and text colour. Good content organization. Well-structured catalogues. And many other design aspects.

Always remember: a great design is like an architecturally sound structure. Without the beams, columns and a strong foundation (which make up the framework of the structure), everything else crumbles.

Professional Web Design Offers Your Website an Objective Point of View

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

There is no doubt that you are the expert in your business. Or that your imagination may have cooked up a fantastical design. Putting such a design, if it can be created, to use may result in issues. Like poor loading time. A website too colourful or too dull for your niche. A design that hinders the digestion of the content, and so on.

A professional web designer understands what’s feasible and what’s not. He or she can serve as the objective perspective that can trim your raw idea to deliver an effective blend between your concept and what’s practical.

Room for Cost-effective Development

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

By using professional web design, you avoid having to pay for web design in the future when you realize the disadvantages of a poor design.

Also, a quality design is a solid foundation on which you can add extra features and tweaks in the future. You can do this without needing to give your website a complete redesign. Even when many tweaks are needed, you benefit from having developed a relationship with a professional designer. One that is familiar with your design and can make the adjustments without ruining your website.

Your website is the online equivalent of your business premises. This implies that it requires as much attention as your physical the business premises? Just the way you hired a professional to set up your physical office, hire a professional to design your website.

Get in touch with Macaulay Gidado for a professional website design.