Build an Winning Website

Welcome to a new series of blog posts from 2020Media.com on planning, building, marketing and selling the best possible website for your business.

Part 1 – Planning

a road stretching into the distance
Planning – the road ahead

Who is your website for?

Websites can do a lot of things, and some of the ones you’ve looked at for inspiration probably do very different things. However take some time to think about your website will help you achieve your business goals.

Plan and Prioritise

Ask questions like: Where are you now? Where do you want to be? How can a website help you get there? Basic questions like these can really help focus your aims from the start. They will reveal what you want from your website, what is unnecessary and that your expectations are realistic.

Looking for Funding?

Grant and fund managers will look at your website. “We find a well crafted website is a good indicator of quality and professionalism” says Elliot Fry of iwoca.co.uk. So having a good website could even improve you chances of getting funding.

A businessman peaking at a computer screen
Your website is the public face of your business.

Choose the right Domain Name

Picking a domain name (website address) gives your website and email address legitimacy, inspires trust in your customers and will help people find you online. A good choice is a maximum of two or three words, so that it’s more likely people will remember it, and more importantly pass it on to their friends and colleagues.

Stay Focused

Don’t forget your core idea and get carried away creating hundreds of additional features. Extra ideas added during the process can easily end with your website becoming as confused as your train of thought. But a website is a continual process – tech changes, your brand evolves and so do the people using it. Stay in touch with people who can help you keep it up to date and relevant.

Stand Out

What is your USP? The internet is huge – think how you will stand out from the competition. If you sell product online, you might not be able to offer free delivery like Amazon, with their huge volumes, but having a personal touch and fast replies to queries will make you noticeably different and bring repeat business.

Start with a Niche

It’s great to think big, but sometimes it’s better to focus on a niche, and grow over time. Designing, building and optimising a highly targeted website helps focus every aspect of your business, and lets you cut through the noise to reach the exact people you are looking for.

Paper and Pen

Paper and Pen
Give your ideas some structure

Before you spend money on a fancy web development agency, or while away the hours playing with an online website design tool, start with a design on an A4 sheet of paper. Draw a spider diagram of your site showing how evrey page links to another. Look at the ways visitors will navigate through your site to reach the goals you want them to. Shuffle your paper around until you reach a point where you are confident to reach for the computer mouse.

Look at other sites to see how they optimise their navigation to reach their goals. You can benefit from the work they’ve already done in “User Experience” optimisation.

Next time: Building

Joomla Day UK – 2017 – Home

JoomlaDay UK 2017 will be at the Ilec Conference Centre in Fulham, London on Saturday the 8th of July.

The full programme is available here. Tickets cost from £50.

Some highlights from the programme:

  • High Traffic websites with Joomla!
  • Communicating with the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • How to sell Joomla! to your clients
  • Advanced SEO in Joomla!

JoomlaDays are a great way to meet community members and learn new skills, there is a huge a range of sessions and workshops to suit all skill levels.
You can find out more at www.joomla-day.uk

Source: Joomla Day UK – 2017 – Home

Spammers Stole My Bandwidth

This is a guest post from 2020Media customer Andy C. He writes:

The other morning I had an automated email from 2020media advising I was nearing my bandwidth quota. So I went over to google analytics to see if there had been a sudden surge of interest in the site. There was no real change so I knew I’d need to investigate further.

I also had a look at my spam numbers as spammers had previously been a bandwidth cause. However, there were only a handful of comments needing approval and the numbers that had been sent directly to spam were quite small too.

Rex from 2020media recommended looking at the webalizer web stats provided by the site, these are driven directly from the Apache server and are used by the bandwidth monitor. The numbers here are hence a more accurate reflection of bandwidth use. I logged into the FTP server and downloaded the logs to analyse off-line.

The monthly summary did not give any clues so I drilled into the details for March. The problem was highlighted both in the form of the graph and big numbers that had been pulled in over the weekend of 11th and 12th.

Looking further down the report I could see that the big numbers were for the home page (not much of a surprise) and for the comment subscription page which is the landing page when people save a comment.

Comment subscription page

Further down the report I could see the culprits, a couple of IP addresses that were pulling a lot of Kbytes.

IP addresses that were pulling a lot of Kbytes.

I’ve added those to my blacklist so that should keep them at bay. I’ll also be pro-actively monitoring my Bandwidth Gem to make sure they’ve not come back.

Many thanks Andy.

Starting From Scratch: How to Generate Traffic For a New Site

Starting a new site is equal parts exciting and dreadful. The latter is because making a site successful takes a lot of effort and you can’t always be sure it will get there.

After all, building an audience is not done overnight. At the same time, it’s also not rocket science but something that has been done countless times.

Read More: Starting From Scratch: How to Generate Traffic For a New WordPress Site