10 Common Mistakes Made By Business Owners Made On Their Web Development

It’s apparent that in this new era of information technology, having a website is important to almost all businesses. However, many business owners, usually from small and medium sized companies have completed up their websites and then found them not performing to expectations. This is especially common for business owners setting up website for the first time. Here are 10 common mistakes made by business owners, and how to avoid them.

1. Cutting cost and using freelancers. We all know someone or at least know someone who knows someone else who knows a little about web programming. However, the job of a complete website is not to be handled by just one person. You need a creative designer to handle the aesthetic look and feel, and then an experienced programmer to handle the coding. Overall, you need an experienced coordinator who knows the important elements of websites and to propose the right ones to suit your business.

2. Selecting a web design company based on Price. Despite it being obvious, many business owners starting their website for the first time fail to understand that a lower price quantitatively does not actually equate or work out eventually. Be sure to compare the specifications and not just the price.

3. Writing contents themselves or using own friends or staffs to write the contents. You may swear that you understand your business more than anyone else but if you are not trained in website contents development, you will lose out two benefits that copywriters can provide. Trained website contents development can plan targeted keywords into your contents to increase the chances of others finding your website after it’s launched. Having good copywriters will also increase the chances of you making more sales, as they are able to write better and also incite in your readers an element of trust and invoke the desire to take up your services.

4. Under utilizing the capabilities of their website. As many business owners are not trained in IT (Information Technology) or have sufficient knowledge in the field of web development, they often restrict their website to basic functions, and forgetting that they can achieve higher efficiency by incorporating certain functions required by their business to their website.

5. Losing focus on website’s objectives. It’s quite common for new business owners pointing out that they want a Full Flash website, or a website with exciting and interactive navigation. More often than not, these new business owners forget that their main objectives in developing their website – which in most cases are to increase sales leads.

6. Not knowing what is a Landing Page. A landing page is referred to the page in which your web advertisement will lead your browsers to land upon. It need not be the Home Page, although it’s possible to optimize your Home Page to be a good Landing Page. Most often than not, a sale is done based on the first impression of your clients landing at your website. As such, it’s important to keep in mind in selecting a web design company who understands the importance of a landing page.

7. Not allocating a budget for marketing website. This is especially common for those who are new to website, thinking that their website will automatically have visitors or customers flowing in. Most website design packages these days come with submission to search engines as well as meta keywords. However, these are just basic elements of Search Engine Optimization, and have minimal impact to increase your visitors.

8. Spending time and / or money experimenting on advertising & marketing. Most business owners, especially small and medium sized, tend to think that they can cut cost and handle their own advertising and publicity. However, there are important lessons involved in terms of driving qualified traffic to website, and getting professional help often results in a higher return on investment.

9. Not updating and improving the website. A website is like your best salesman introducing your business to customers walking by. Your best salesman has to be updated with new products or services, as well as be taught on using new slogans to attract more sales. As such, it is paramount to keep your website updated with new contents, especially if you are using your website to generate enquiries for business.

10. Skimping on Images. A nice looking website requires nice looking photographs. Fortunately, these photographs can now be purchased easily through stock banks nowadays. There are usually two practices in the web design industry – one offers a certain amount of free photos, which they already factor a lump sum in their packages, while another practices buying what you like only.

What Are The Benefits Of Taking A Web Development Refresher Course?

Are you fully qualified in the field of web development and have been working for a company that makes websites for a number of years now? If the answer to this question is yes, it might be time for you to take a quick refresher course. Not only will this give you a much needed break from the drudgery of a 9 to 5 work life, you will come back with some great new ideas to try out.

  • Keep up with the times: It seems that every day something new is being released onto the market; it can be impossible to try and stay up to date with everything that’s going on. Taking a short course can give you the chance to play a bit of catch up.
  • Have it paid for: Quite often, employers are more than happy to pay for some extra training for their web development teams. They understand that learning new skills and refining old, rarely used ones is integral to the success of their business.
  • Learn some new tricks: It is possible to find short courses that specialize in a particular area of development, so why not find something that interests you and give it a go? You might learn something that could make your job all the simpler.

As you can see, there are a number of benefits associated with taking a refresher course in web development. Actually going to a class instead of choosing to learn online also gives you the opportunity to network with others in the industry; you never know, you might just find someone who is willing to give you a much better job than the one you currently have!

Top Ten Tools and Resources for Web Developers

If you are a budding web developer then you should be aware of some of the amazing resources that are available online. No list of this type can ever be definitive but I’ve tried to gather some of my particular favourites in one place.

Firebug Plugin

This is an absolute must in my opinion. The Firebug plugin is a free add-on for Mozilla Firefox that really lightens the work load when styling HTML elements. I allows you to view changes to your page in real-time as you tinker with the CSS. Great for positioning awkward elements, where pixel perfect precision is required. It also helps you to identify inheritance problems within your style rules.

Blog.Spoongraphics

Home of graphic designer, Chris Spooner. This blog has an abundance of great tutorials and tips. Some of his resources are free and some must be paid for through ‘access all areas’ membership but there really is plenty of great stuff that can be viewed or downloaded for free. Excellent creative advice on Photoshop and Illustrator as well as some insightful writing about the design process, where he explains the reasons behind some of the design decisions in his work.

CG Textures

I absolutely love this site when I need to make a background ‘pop.’ Thousands of textures can be downloaded for free although some of the larger sizes require registration.

W3 Schools

Definitive reference for all developers and designers. Need to know the correct syntax to use is your code, the W3 Schools will have a page dedicated to the particular task that you are looking to achieve. One of my first ports of call when I hit a programming stumbling block.

Webmonkey

Web developer’s resources from wired.com. Includes cheat sheets, color codes and re-usable code snippets. Also has a tutorials section with a design and development tutorials and Javascript help.

Colour Lovers

In my opinion, this is the best place to go for inspiration when choosing a colour scheme for your site. Users submit their own palettes and colour HEX codes, which are then voted upon and can be browsed through by popularity. Also features sections on the latest web and print trends and is quite a bustling and friendly community.

iStockphoto

Not a free site but the ability to download a water-marked comp to try out in a design before purchase is invaluable. I use this to present ideas to my clients and let them make a decision on whether or not to pay the extra for the larger image. There are quite a few stock photography sites online but this one is my favourite choice due to the large number of images and the site’s ease of use.

DevShed

Comprehensive list of developer’s tutorials. Great for learning about the fantastic world of open-source development and adding the latest functionality to your projects.

CSS Zen Garden

The beauty of pure CSS design. The next time someone tells you that Flash is required to make a site look good, tell them to go here!

Web Know How

More tutorials and free code snippets. Also feature free to use design templates, which can be a great starting point when learning or when struggling for inspiration.

I hope that if you are reading this and choose to visit one of these excellent sites then you will find them as useful as I did. Of course, I might well have made a glaring omission and would be glad to hear any suggestions to make this list better.