Your company online presence – what do you have to know before ordering a website?

19 sierpnia 2017

1) Which law regulations should you know about? The creation of a website is associated with many legal regulations such as copyright law. They are always created for the benefit of the author so the interactive agency taking care of your website’s development should include the transfer of property rights in the contract. The agreement should specify if the company which orders the website can outsource works on the page to another agency, whether it can use the graphics in other advertising materials or if it can duplicate the content for e.g. subsidiaries opened in other locations. Sometimes, agencies that make websites buy photographs to use them in the project and charge extra fees for them. A common mistake is to hand the photos over to the company ordering website so it can use it outside the page. The regulations of photo databases forbid such actions and the agency cannot hand the licensing rights over to another entities. Include in the contract that the purchase of a photo is at the price of the page or agree on a fee for finding and choosing proper photos for your website. Keep in your mind that ordering a website you have got a right to one-year quality guarantee even if there is no word about it in your contract. That is the law regulation described in Civil Code. It means that you are fully allowed to request a repair of any defects within the first year after the website’s purchase. The duration of the guarantee can be specified freely in the agreement and it is a reasonable move to prolong it. To make sure that your contractor is fair make a solid research on the market and find the most reliable partner. Before choosing an interactive agency which will create your website, analyze not only its portfolio and experience on the market but also the reputation and ex customers’ opinions. Remember that a good impression made by potential partner should not be the key deciding factor. Do not let your emotions to make a choice instead of you. Compare all the available offers and let your lawyer check the contract before signing it. 2) Open source or authorial CMS? Currently, it is a standard to implement websites with Content Management System (CMS). The variety of choice is very wide. Some agencies offer their authorial systems while the others implement a system available on the market. Starting your online business you have to opt for one of these solutions. Both of them have got their promoters and opponents but more than 60% of websites work on WordPress - the most popular open source platform. Authorial CMS is a software entirely developed by an interactive agency for a specific site. That is a closed solution with certain functionalities and code. It is most likely perfectly understood by its author but any other people wanting to use it could face much bigger problems than while using open source CMS. The changes can only be made by the creator and it means that the company ordering a website have to rely on one particular service provider. In the future they can charge you for each little service and, for the most, they may vanish from the market. That is definitely a very risky choice so it is strongly advised to have a long-term plan and strive to be as independent as it is possible. The open source concept offers a free and legal way to copy and modify code so new sites can be created much easier and faster. What is more, open source solution means mutual help while thousands of programmers all over the World catch errors and fix them, create system updates and add new functionalities. There are many platforms based on open source software and almost anyone can use them. The top 3 are: WordPress, Drupal and Joomla!. 3) Which CMS should you choose and why is it WordPress? – the biggest advantages.
  1. Out of charge - you pay nothing for the installation, updates, plugins etc. What is more, on the Internet you can find plenty of free patterns to use.
  2. Easy to use – this is undoubtedly one of the most intuitive and best-organized scripts ever created. Thanks to that even without any knowledge and experience you will be able to make small changes on the page on your own.
  3. Continuous development - WordPress is constantly being improved and updated by developers from all over the world. It makes the platform up to date with changing trends and technologies.
  4. Easy positioning - WordPress has been designed to be 100% compliant with web standards. If you decide on WordPress, your page will be quickly indexed by Google. What is more, there are extra plugins e.g. YOAST that can help you to upgrade the SEO of your website.
  5. Big catalogs of free graphic templates and plugins.
  6. Responsive web design – WordPress allows you to create and browse RWD sites.
  7. Multiple language package.
4) Why is the website’s usability absolutely crucial? Jakob Nielsen defined usability as a set of 5 elements:
  1. Learnability - how easy is it to perform simple tasks at the first contact with the product?
  2. Efficiency - how quickly can you use the product when you already know it?
  3. Memorability – how easy is it to remember the product use after a long break?
  4. Errors - how often do they occur and how easy is it to fix them?
  5. Satisfaction - how pleasant is it to use the product?
Only a transparent website will be able to please the user with its usability. Moreover, it is much easier to make changes to a page that is designed to be legible so that all buttons and text lines are visible. When you take care of the proper usability and clarity of the site, you can also count on more visits. This is an undeniable fact that simultaneously affects positioning while increasing the number of page views can boost our site's ranking in Google. In addition, a useful and transparent website will be much more often shared on blogs, other sites or in social media. About 55% of users indicate that the most common problem on the site is to find information that they look for. What is interesting, other studies report that as much as 30% of all Internet clicks are clicking the back button - that is most often attributed to incorrectly designed navigation and naming. Ordering functional mock-ups of websites is a very good solution to check the agency’s ideas before the practical realization. It makes you able to control if the usage of website will be easy and intuitional. That is the phase in which you can propose your own changes and suggestions and make sure that the final result of the cooperation with agency will be at least satisfactory. 5) Why is the website’s design equally important? The graphic design of the website - layout is another extremely important part of the website project. Why? Because nice and pleasant look always helps and makes the content much more attractive for potential customers’ eyes. One must remember that the Internet is primarily a visual medium. Web pages are first viewed and then read by users. This is very similar to the way we browse magazines: we just glance at the headlines and choose the most interesting articles for us. Preparing the website in a proper graphic contexture can help you in bringing users’ attention to the most important content. Another aspect of a well-designed website is your brand’s consistency. If your company has a logo and that logo is being used in printed materials, then the same logo, brand’s colors, brand messaging and imagery must be carried over into the website design. It is very important that the graphic face of your brand is coherent in all forms of communication. All the symbols connected with your company should be easily recognized and they ought to anchor in the customers’ awareness. You must always remember that in the present day a website is often the first and only way to contact your customer. Your website just as e.g. social media fanpages is the key flagship of your company. And the truth is that fine feathers make fine birds.  6) Why is the website worth nothing without its responsive design? The times when all the websites were projected just for PCs and laptops are gone and nowadays you must be aware that your potential customers can visit you using many and various devices. You can be absolutely sure that a huge fraction of people reading your website will use their mobiles or tablets to do it. Just have a look at the statistics showing which devices people use for online shopping and how the relation has changed in one year. Seeing the trend, it is quite easy to predict how these statistics will look in few years. Websites without RWD can become totally useless. That is why your web page must look nicely and clearly on every device and in each resolution, both vertically and horizontally. That is where Responsive Web Design comes in! The main functions of RWD are:
  1. Navigation adapted to the screen size,
  2. Scrolling limited to one axis (up-down),
  3. Readable content,
  4. Photos, videos and other items matching the size of your mobile device,
  5. Easier link management,
  6. One URL, one hosting,
  7. Easier content management,
  8. Google recommends RWD and it has got an influence on websites’ SEO.
When it comes to the website usage trends, there is definitely no retreat and the increasing market share of mobile devices requires taking into account the needs of users. Always remember about your potential customer’s habits and practices when creating web pages. RWD is an economic, safe and relatively easy to implement technology which perfectly fulfills this assumption.  7) Why is Crafton the best website author you can choose? The whole process of creating the website usually consists of stages listed below. However, we have an individual approach to each project, so we adjust the steps to the client's needs accordingly.
  1. Research - defining user types and an audit of the current website.
  2. Wireframing - information architecture and low fidelity mockups.
  3. User experience tests - A/B tests, 5-second tests and scenario tests.
  4. Web design - desktop design in Photoshop, considering the top global trends, constant consultations with UX team.
  5. Implementation - front-end development, CMS training, back-end development in WordPress, Crafton CMS or Drupal.
  6. Support - continuous interactive support, new functionalities recommendations, fixing occurring bugs.
We, at Crafton, developed our unique project process based on years of experience with international clients. This is the process we use to achieve best results, improve our products and launch our unique approach on time and on budget. You do not buy a single website but the whole complex service which assures you that your investment will pay off as quick as it is possible.   The article is based on: