The value in designing a website that evolves with your business

Blowing the lid on how to design a website that's a perfect fit now and that grows with your business (spoiler alert, it's go nothing to do with CMS!).

The value in designing a website that evolves with your business

A future-proofed website needs to grow with your business

If you don't read any further, then this is all you need to know. (but please do read on, as there are some other things that are worth knowing before you start your new website). We know that the businesses that are most able to adapt and respond to change survive. So it makes sense that this is the case for your website. We don't just revise our business strategy when we get around to it, and so when you change your expectations around a website that is only a project that needs to be tackled every few years you'll be in a better place to create a website that grows with you.

If you don't read any further, then this is all you need to know. (but please do read on, as there are some other things that are worth knowing before you start your new website). We know that the businesses that are most able to adapt and respond to change survive. So it makes sense that this is the case for your website. We don't just revise our business strategy when we get around to it, and so when you change your expectations around a website that is only a project that needs to be tackled every few years you'll be in a better place to create a website that grows with you.

But first, you need to really (really) know who you are

Your website is the litmus test for your brand. It's the first step in any marketing is truly understanding who you are as a business. In knowing unequivocally what that means to your customer. You're explaining who you are and why that matters, without you being there to explain it. If you've only got the 'what you do' part of the picture covered and don't have a handle on your values you're website won't flex with your business. But you'll have bigger issues than needing a new website, because in only knowing the 'what you do' you'll also find that your business won't flex with change.

Then, understand how your website works with your business operations

A future proof website is one that is built knowing how it will fit into your business systems. This isn't just about knowing who's going to respond to the enquiries, but how it can be a constantly updated tool for communicating to your customers. If you are running Facebook ads then make sure you have a specific landing page (a stand-alone website page) that fits the marketing message of that site. If you want to rank in SEO, make sure you have the means to create blog pages that speak to the customer. Bonus tip - if you have any ads going to your home page, your website isn't fit for purpose!

Find a website platform that's fit for your purpose

Every website developer has their favourite website platform to build in. They will hand on heart tell you that WordPress, Silverstripe or (insert other website platform jargon here) is the best platform for websites. They believe that the platform that they subscribe to, but then, in turn, be the best platform for you. Like the age-old Apple versus Andriod debate, not one system fits everyone. Interview a few companies before committing to a site build. Ensure that your brand team is a part of this discussion and that they have experience in which platform decisions will have which outcomes in the long term.

Know that a content management system is only as good as the content

A popular approach to creating a website is by setting up a CMS, or Content Management System, website. But there are two things that are never explained when choosing this type of platform. The first is in the belief that you'll be able to provide an endless stream of content to update it with. Almost always, this type of website gives the perception of a flexible website, but it relies on you, the business owner, being able to plan, write and post content - and know what it is you want to say in the first place. The second thing you're not told is that content is only as good as the visual interest it evokes.

Always bring a guide

It's a daunting task to create a website that truly fits your business, so bring an expert along with you. It's very easy to get sucked in to the design and bells and whistles of a website. But by teaming up with someone that knows and understands the heart of your business but is experienced with the website process so they can not just guide you, but steer the website developer on the right path and ensures they understand what you need out of your website.

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