3 Website Design Features All Small Businesses Should Ask For
A strong online presence is vital to remaining competitive in today’s market. But many small and mid-sized businesses use their websites ineffectively, or don’t know what to ask for when getting a new website designed. The good news is that there are some strategies that can allow small business owners or managers to get modern, useful websites even if they aren’t particularly tech-savvy. Here are three important features that can allow small businesses to run a website without anyone on the team having extensive computer or web knowledge:
- A Content Management SystemEssentially, a content management system is an interface (often called a “dashboard”) that allows you to modify and update your site without any knowledge of coding whatsoever, making it possible to maintain a company website without a dedicated webmaster. This feature is practically assured these days, so you should immediately head in the opposite direction if your website designer doesn’t plan to include it. However, it’s wise to dig a little deeper as well, figuring out how custom your CMS will be. Some website design companies make quite a bit of money by throwing a few custom features onto free platforms (such as WordPress) and selling them as custom sites. But these popular platforms can also have security flaws and glitches that may make a truly custom base a better investment in the long run.
- Built-In Features and AnalyticsAn important part of website development is engaging with potential clients and then gauging your success in those efforts. This means that it’s a good idea to have some built-in engagement tools such as polls and mailing list signups included in the website design from the start; these features probably won’t be difficult to add during the design process, but it may be a pain to track down your website design company months down the road and get them to add it without paying additional fees. Also make sure that you have tracking and analytics built in, and that your web developer gives you some basic information on how to access and interpret those stats on who is visiting your site.
- A Blog and Auto-Posting CapabilitiesContent marketing is an important part of both promoting your website directly to prospective clients and optimizing it for search engines. For this reason, it’s important to keep up a regular company blog and share it across social media platforms and email lists. Asking your developer to set up auto-posting, so that every new blog is automatically linked to your social media accounts or newsletter, can save you time and free up your social media person/team to focus on true engagement and analysis, rather than routine posting. This is a relatively simple feature, and you shouldn’t need to pay a large extra sum to have it included in your initial design and setup.
What other features can make life easier for small business owners and managers trying to run a website? Join the discussion in the comments.