These are five simple tips, designed to help you get the most out of your next website. If you’re not building a new site, the first two tips are still great things to check for on your existing homepage. Hope this helps!
1. Does My Site Pass the Three Second Test?
The three-second test is a measure of messaging and clarity. Our creative director, Andrew, loves this one. The rule is:
If you can’t tell what a business does within three seconds of viewing their landing page, the messaging is too clouded and needs to be clarified.
When you’re building your website, particularly if you’re working with a freelancer who doesn’t specialize in marketing, you need to make it absolutely clear that you expect a concise message above the fold on your website. It’s a good idea to keep this rule in mind when browsing through their portfolio as well.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS YOUR WEBSITE?
2. Is My Website Responsive? (another easy test)
Next, you’ll want to test your website’s responsiveness. Responsiveness is your website’s ability to adapt (or respond) to different screen sizes, and still display well. There are a lot of ways that this can be done incorrectly, as all font sizes need to change, images need to reorganize, etc., and the content should look good on all screen sizes (within reasonable aspect ratios). Despite this complexity, we’ve found this to be a good rule of thumb:
Open your website on your phone, and try swiping from side to side. Do you have the ability to scroll outside the width of your screen? If so, your website isn’t responsive.
3. How Much Control Do You Need?
This is the number one reason that I see projects go over budget and over schedule.
In the industry, we refer to the stuff on your website (text, images, videos, etc.) as content. Some content stays on the site for a long time unchanged (such as the information on the contact page of your website) and some needs to be regularly updated, such as updating listings for realtors, adding or removing healthcare for medical practices, and blog posts.
4. Should You Pay your Developer Hourly? (probably not)
I get it – from a freelancer’s perspective, hourly pay is very attractive. If someone asks for revisions, you get to charge more for the extra time that you spend catering to their needs. Additionally, you don’t have to deal with the struggle of developing a sophisticated pricing model, which we all know can be tedious and stressful.However, from a business owner’s perspective, this model usually doesn’t make sense. You don’t care how much time your developer spends fixing bugs – you just want the final product, and you know exactly how much that’s worth to you. Paying someone a flat fee incentivizes them to get the project done correctly the first time, saving you time and money.
There’s an exception to this: if you’re developing a sophisticated web application, you want your development team to spend lots of time ironing out bugs, improving user experience, and other things. This article is specifically referring to business websites, not SAAS products.
5. What’s the Goal of My Website?
Why are you building this website? Are you a realtor trying to showcase your listings? Are you a doctor or medical practice trying to book consultations? Keep your primary objective in mind the whole time that you’re monitoring the progress of your website. Here’s a rule of thumb:
If a feature on your website doesn’t contribtue to your primary objective, it should be given less prominacne than those that do contribute to its completion.