Website Development for SMEs - Made Easy
They say first impressions last a lifetime. But is your website really giving the best impression of your business to your customers? In today’s modern world, your website may well be the most profitable way of doing business. With a clean and efficient design and hassle-free functionality, you’ll streamline the user journey and maximise user satisfaction, translating to greater conversions and boosted profits.
For SMEs, trying to establish a presence within an industry can be incredibly challenging. But the quickest, and often easiest, way of gaining exposure is through an online platform. This does, however, have its own considerations.
Poor website design can be significantly detrimental to your company’s opportunity for expansion, profitability and growth. Have you ever visited a slow, unresponsive and poorly structured website and left immediately? Us too.
The pain points are also not just reserved to customer interaction. Poor web design software, or a website builder which is difficult to use, can be incredibly time-consuming, and this labour could show little or no return.
Of course, there are different ways to approach web development.
SMEs will require a different perspective from larger, more established organisations. Breaking this down further, many SMEs require a different type of site, depending on their product or service and what stage of operations their business is currently experiencing.
We recognise that as a smaller business, wanting to become established quickly is a top priority. However, it’s vital that you do not rush into choosing a website builder or platform. By taking your time and doing thorough research into your competitors and, most importantly, your target market, you will be able to decide between contacting a web developer, who can create a bespoke design from scratch, or implement a pre-made template.
So let’s say you choose the first option.
Picking the correct web developer for you is crucial. You need to determine whether they understand your vision and, most importantly, whether they can produce what you’re looking for. There needs to be synchrony here between design and functionality – lead by you, rolled out by your developer.
Although you may be tempted, be sure you don’t settle for the cheapest deal at this point as any savings made here can end up costing you more in the long-run if shortcuts are taken.
Instead, focus on the getting your specifications correct, and the best way to streamline your customer journey, as this is the factor which leads to conversions. Once you have your finer details mapped out, price comparisons can be made between different developers, and you can be confident that your requirements have been understood.
What if you choose option 2?
Selecting a pre-made template is quick and easy – but it isn’t fully dedicated to your specifications. It may work well in the short-term, but as your business grows and develops, you may find that it fails to grow with you. You may also find that its functionality is basic, and cannot offer everything you need.
Types of Website Development
Types of Web Development include:
• Brochure Websites
• App Development
Your web design is particularly important if you are primarily an e-commerce business, as your website may well be the avenue driving your company’s profitability. E-commerce refers to the commercial transactions that are processed via the internet. Having an e-commerce website will increase the opportunity for your organisation to make more money and essentially run your business online. You can use this site to act as a convenient extension of your brick and mortar shop, or you may even run your business entirely online.
Brochure websites are static sites which give a view of the products or services you offer, without having the functionality to purchase. This may work well initially, giving your business a head start, as it able to display clear information on what you do and how best to get in touch. It cannot, however, manage transactions and generate revenue.
App Development was previously reserved to larger, more established companies, but now it is not uncommon to see SMEs with their own apps as the market expands and the benefits of app development become more apparent. Engaging with customers through an app on their smartphone is an excellent way to increase ROI and retain customer loyalty. This is definitely an area for greater research.
Tell Me More About E-commerce Platforms
E-commerce platforms are suitable for companies who wish to begin selling their products or services via the web. This gives you an opportunity to extend your business further afield and increase your chance of revenue.
Shopify is an e-commerce software that allows you to easily create your new e-commerce website, bringing your offline business into the digital realm and ensuring you’ll avoid any technical issues along the way. You are provided with a selection of templates that make your site look professional and trust-worthy from the get-go.
Hailed as the most efficient and easy to integrate out of e-commerce systems, this is a great one to use if you’re new to the game – and worth considering if you picked option 2 previously.
Magento is another platform that provides you with a professional e-commerce web design, proving to be a suitable software for those looking to cast their business out to international locations.
Although Magento does offer a licence-free software, their main platform comes with a very hefty price tag which would be detrimental to a smaller, younger business. Furthermore, it is worthwhile acknowledging that you will need to source the very best Magento developers to ensure your site is set up to a high standard and avoids experiencing clunky, technical issues.
We recommend you only consider Magento if you have the budget and capacity to hire a Magento developer – i.e. if you picked option 1 previously.
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