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Four Risks to Avoid During B2B Web Development

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

A basic tip provided by start-up technicians, expert technology specialists, self-help experts, and network experts on how to start an online business is: “Be Effective.”

Start-ups in e-commerce do their best, often taking part in courses tagged “Start-up 101” that are being promoted as the “easiest”, “fastest” and “best”, and they all seem to disappear in one or two years for reasons unknown. The people who have created new e-commerce enterprises ask the same questions raised by slick and motivational articles about success, instead of clarifying their vision. Unfortunately, none of these resources contains a single piece of advice on how to avoid at the typical errors synonymous with web development during the creation of platforms.

Our company is not just a web development agency; we are the technology partners of several start-ups. Our focus is on quick launch, and long-term projects have also become our priority. Our company is not only interested in the development hours paid by the project owner, but also in the success of a project, the development of additional features, maintenance capacity, and scalability.

Without further ado, we will talk about the main risks involved in web development:

Risk No 1: Contractor’s Experience

Most decision makers try to find an experienced web development company with skills that align with the planned project. If all companies were the same, there would be no single company or proposal that matches the needs of a specific project.

Solution: Look for a web development contractor with extensive expertise. Brendan Wilde of Discountdomains.co.nz believes that it demonstrates the contractor’s ability to implement different business models and bring the experience of other business areas to the benefit of the system. ‘A contractor with limited experience can be a star in a specific field but cannot always see the system in a broader sense’, Wilde added.

Risk No 2: Shortcuts

Some decision makers believe that if they find a contractor with the same experience in implementing the same type of project, then there’s no use to invest in research, analysis, lists of features, prototypes, etc. This may seem reasonable for small business websites or blogs, but when it comes to B2B systems and e-commerce platforms, these errors could lead to huge losses.

Solution: Take your time. Analyse the functionalities and their means of implementation, plot production, create prototypes and align the system’s professional outlook with marketing experts before coding. This will save costs on redesign, or solve technical bottlenecks created by lack of planning. This phase requires between 2% to 7% of the project budget, but saves a large amount of funds for long-term projects. Since start-ups are high-risk on their own, we suggest you avoid all possible dangers whenever you can.

Risk No 3: Length of the Project

This risk also relates to the cost of the project. The trick is to combine the financing model and the development calendar. In a linear process, different experts participate in various parts of the project, passing the baton to the next phase and to the team of experts. This approach may be suitable for small projects, but for large platforms it can ruin the whole idea. This is because the project could be obsolete before you even launch it.

Solution: Look for web development agencies aware of this risk. We have seen a huge positive impact when involving all types of experts in every phase of the project. This workflow ensures a faster transition of expertise among project team members at every stage of development, reduces repetitions and over-clarification, saves development costs in general, and shortens the development cycle.

Risk No 4: Linear Development

As per practical implementation, consider linear workflow as an example. The customer decides to create a B2B web platform from scratch. In a linear workflow, the first two months would be devoted to engineering requirements, creating feature lists and creating prototypes. The following two months will be dedicated to the correction of the prototype with the designers, the outlook design, the correction of the design (because the customer takes on a marketing agency for the purpose of the project) and the fine-tuning of the design. Development will begin in the fifth month simply because the corrections made in the second phase would return to the previous phase and would be used again in the second phase. This process is long, boring, complicated and risky in a competitive environment.

Solution: Try to reduce these repetitions, since the amount of work done by the requisite engineers in two weeks is enough to start working on prototypes, present the marketing agency with results, demonstrate the concept, and implement the changes and subsequently adapt to the market.

In this way, the client can start receiving comments from project experts in four weeks instead of four months. In addition, several specialists work at the same time: the developers are involved in the requirements analysis phase to discuss the performance of features and in the prototype phase to share their vision of coding design with the highest engagement ratio during the phase of development. The participation of designers is at the highest during the design phase, but also influences prototyping because they share their UI/UX experience and continue to support developers during the development phase.

With projects created in two weeks, you can start the development phase faster, using good WordPress plugins. Since the start of the design work is two weeks after design requirements, one month of preparation in this model is sufficient to initiate the development of back-end and front-end, and align the design or functionality with the recommendation from the marketing agency.

Think big, ask relevant questions, act quickly and pay attention to the details of hidden importance. These can ruin the entire project or bring it to the highest peak of business.

Conclusion

The team of web developers over at ALT Agency believe that with any web development project the key to success comes down to project management.

When projects aren’t planned correctly from the start they tend to fall apart mid project and leave to unexpected delays and often increased costs for clients.

By sitting down as a team and planning correctly and using tools such as Trello and Invision it allows for a much clearer outcome and with through planning with all requirements and elements of a development broken down it’s easy to identify issues before they arise.

How to Create a Professional Online Presence For Your Startup Business

The Internet has made it easier than ever for budding entrepreneurs to start a business, but the nuances of “being online” can be confusing. If you’ve recently launched a startup, the first thing you’ll want to do is create a professional online presence, so people know who you are, what you do and how to reach you. Whether or not you intend to sell your products or services online, it doesn’t matter; you still need a website and some active social media profiles for your business to grow. With this in mind, here’s how to build an online presence for your startup business in five easy steps.

Step One: Do Your Research

Before you start marketing your business online, you need to know who you’re marketing it to. Find out who your target audience is and how they use the Internet, and then you can target your efforts more successfully. You probably already know your business goals (perhaps to turn a profit or fill a gap in the market), but you also need to think about the goals of your customers. What do they want and why are you best placed to provide it?

Step Two: Create a Website

As a startup business, your first investment should be a professional-looking website. There are tools you can use to set this up for free, but if you want to make an impression and stand out in your field, it’s best to consult with a web design agency. Web design can be tricky; as well as layout and branding, you also need to consider security, mobile responsiveness and search engine optimization to help people find and use your website.

Step Three: Get Active on Social Media

To connect with a modern audience, you need to know how to use social media for your business. Refer back to your customer research to decide which platform is most likely to reach your target audience. The key here is consistency: you don’t have to be on every site, but you do need to provide communication and consistency if you want to build trust in your brand.

Step Four: Promote Your Business

Social media provides the perfect platform for promoting your business, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s free or even easy. Paying for ad space and running targeted campaigns is an excellent way to drive traffic to your website and build a following. Without investing at least some time or money, you’re unlikely to make much of an impact.

Step Five: Keep Up the Good Work

Now you have a professional online presence, which will attract high-paying clients, help spread the word about your products or services and enable you to build a glowing reputation. The work doesn’t end here, however. Creating a professional website and setting up your social media accounts is just the first step in marketing your startup. You also have to maintain your online presence to keep growing your business.

How to Set Up Your Business’s New Website the Easy Way

These days, the first thing most customers will see of your business is your website. They’ll be most likely to find it via a search engine or some form of online advertisement. But what matters is what they think when they eventually click that link and see what the website can actually offer them. You want them to be impressed and satisfied with the experience, but it’s not always as simple as that. First of all, you need to get your new and improved site up and running; here’s how.

Compare the Pros and Cons of Each Potential Platform

There are many different platforms out there that you can make use of when you want to create a new website for your business. Whether you use WordPress or Squarespace is up to you. Each of these platforms offers something new and interesting to users, so it’s up to to you to find the one that’s right for you. Compare the pros and cons until you’ve come to that conclusion.

Find Tools That Streamline the Process

There are plenty of great tools out there that you can start to make use of when you’re trying to streamline the process. You can try Unbounce for free if you want to. It’s this kind of thing that you should be doing if you want to get ahead of the competition because there’s no way to succeed if you don’t. It needs to be as straightforward as it possibly can be.

Create the Most Important Pages First

Some page matter more than others when you’re trying to create a new website. It’s pretty much always the case, and you can’t get away from it. You want to think carefully about what you want to achieve and where you want your customers to look. You can’t afford to ignore the pages that matters most, so these are the ones that should be sorted first.

Choose a Simple But Effective Theme

Themes matter a lot on websites because them immediately set the town and make it clear exactly what kind of tone you’re trying to set from the get-go. Ideally, the theme you choose should say something about your business and what kind if values you’re trying to push forward to people. It certainly doesn’t have to be over complicated, but it has to cut through.

Engage People With Imagery

People aren’t going to be impressed with nothing more than the words you deliver; you also need to engage with them on a visual level too. You can’t ignore just how impactful images and video can be on a website, so don’t underestimate those things. The right images can go along way.

Your business’s new website could be exactly what’s required right now if you want to push on and reach out to younger demographics. If your website still looks like it was made in 1999, the changes can’t come soon enough. It’s not an overstatement to say people won’t take your company seriously if your website looks like a joke.

The World Of Websites: Everything You’ll Ever Need To Know

As a business owner, you know that you need a website. The internet is definitely the future, and it has been for some time. So even when your business is offline, and you have a physical store or office, you know that you’re missing out on a huge chunk of custom by not being online. But at the same time, when you are an online business, you know that simply having a website just won’t do. You have to get it right, know the ins and outs of websites and what you need, and be able to create the best possible site for your business. And when you’re not all that well versed in technology or the internet, it can feel a bit overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.

Websites can often seem complicated at first. Because they involve code, plugins, development, widgets and more. Whether you want to know exactly what a widget is and why you need it, or you want to be able to drive a significant amount of traffic to your website, you’ll need to do some research. But when that tends to tire your brain, you might like to have it handed to you on a plate, in one concise article, right? So here it is – everything you need to know about the world of websites.

Getting Setup

If you’re yet to launch your own website, then this section is going to help you to get started. If you have, then you may find that you can improve and enhance what you have by following these steps.

Hosting

First off, you’re going to want to make sure that you get some hosting in place. You may be considering setting up a free website, but this isn’t really the best choice when it comes to professionalism and being able to grow in the future. In fact, it’s only ever going to hold you back. Instead, you need to look into web hosting options as listed in that post, and choose a hosting plan that suits you best.

Choosing A Domain

Along with hosting, you’ll also need to find a domain. When you have your own website domain name, your site will look more professional. To do this, you can find expired domains with someone such as FreshDrop or search to see what is currently available. And choose carefully, as you will ideally want your domain name choice to stay with you.

Building The Website

Your final step in getting setup is choosing how you’re going to build the website itself. When you take out hosting, you may find that you’re given a range of options by your hosting provider, so this will help you to decide. You may also find that WordPress, in particular, is an easy to use and manage platform to build your website from.

The Design

When you’ve got the framework of your website ready, it’s time to think about how you want it to look and what functions you’d like to be able to have.

The Look

This is where you can start thinking about the colors that you like, a logo, your font choices, and what kind of image you want to give off on your website. Unless you are experienced with code, which we are presuming you are not, you’re going to want to look into a template that you can use here instead. This is often an inexpensive way to get a design on your site.

The Functions

At the same time, you need to be thinking about the key functions your need your website to do. There are a range of website features that are important, and you will be able to find widget and plugins to help you add this in. Essential, these are small pieces of software that allow you to add a particular function to your website, such as an email subscription tool. So work out what you want your website to have, and find the right plugins to help you do to do.

User Experience

As you start to move forward with your website, you’ll want to make sure that you’re thinking about the user journey. This is how visitors of your site move around the website and effectively use it. As you start to gather this information, you may even want to hire a developer to help you edit your template or create a new design that will suit your user journey better.

The Content

You’re also going to need to populate your website with content. There is a range of information that you will need to include, so let’s go over what that will be.

Pages

From browsing the internet yourself, you’ll know that websites need to have different pages. When you’re building your site, there will always be a range of pages that you need. Alongside your product or services pages, you need to have an about page, as well as an FAQ, testimonials, and even a privacy policy page. So be sure to get writing these as soon as you can.

Blog

Whether you want to add this in before you launch or later on down the line, having a blog for your business is a really great idea. Not only will it help with your SEO (we will go into more detail about this in the next section), but it also gives you content to share with your customers and site visitors too.

Contact Information

A contact page is one of the important pages that you will need to have on your website. But your contact information is often the most important kind of content that you need to include across your blog, and not just on that single page itself. You’ll want to have your information visible on the homepage, as well as links to your social profiles. You never want your customers to have to dig for your details, as they may choose to just give up if so.

Traffic Driving Strategies

Now that your website is essentially up and running, you need your customers to find you. But how? Here are a few ideas on how you can start generating traffic to your website.

SEO

In order for your website to show up on search engines like Google, it has to be optimized. And that is exactly what the practices of search engine optimization (SEO) do. To make sure that you’re optimizing your content and site as you’re building it, be sure to use this SEO checklist as you go along. This will help you to show up in searches and generate traffic to your site.

Social Media

Next, you’re going to want to turn to social media. Because you can actually generate some traffic from social media if you take the right approach with your marketing. You’ll want to make sure that you’re applying tactics that will engage your followers and lure them to your website. Yes, it can take time, but it’s actually quite fun to test out different ideas and see how they do.

Online PR

Finally, you’re going to want to think about doing some online PR. This fits nicely in the above two points. Getting links to your website from other sites will help with your SEO, and collaborations on social media and with other businesses or influencers can help you to generate some online PR and bring visitors to your site.

The Importance Of Analytics

Finally, you’re going to want to get to know your analytics. Why? Well, they are essential for you to be able to find success with your website. So let’s see how you can do that.

Knowing Where To Look

As you set up your website, you will find that you have some tools right there in your dashboard (particularly if you’re using WordPress). You will be able to see how many visitors you get and sometimes even where they came from or what links they’re clicking on. But, you need more. Registering for Google Analytics (GA) is important here. GA allows you to see how many hits your site has had and by how many people, how they found you, what pages they’ve been on, and what they have clicked onto. This data can then be hugely important to improving your website.

Using Your Analytics

Once you have got your GA hooked up, you’re then going to want to read something like this guide that will help you to get the most out of your analytics. This data is invaluable and can help you to understand your customers better, which will then help your website to meet their needs.

Continuing To Improve

Finally, you’re then going to want to make sure that you apply your data findings to tweak your site and get results. And you’re going to want to keep on refining your site and then finding new insights from your analytics over time to make sure that you’re always meeting your visitors’ needs.

It may seem like a lot, but when you approach your website in this way, by taking in the build, design, populate, promote, and refine stages that we’ve walked through, you should find that your website is exactly what you want it to be – successful!

Choosing the Right Web Hosting for Your Website

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleLaunching a website requires more than simply choosing a domain name and uploading content you want to share. Choosing the right web hosting provider is essential when you want to get the most out of your online presence, regardless of the purpose of your website. Before choosing a web host that is right for you there are a few factors to keep in mind to ensure you make the right decision.

Budget

Consider the budget you have available for a hosting package and whether you prefer to pay monthly, semi-annually, or even annually. When you have a budget set in place, eliminate hosting companies that are out of your price range or that do not offer the space, speed, and bandwidth you require.

Shared Hosting vs. Dedicated Hosting

Compare both shared and dedicated hosting options when reviewing web hosts you are interested in. Shared hosting is often less expensive, but requires you to share a server with other individuals using the same web host. Dedicated hosting is a way to utilize a server of your own, increasing loading times without utilizing all of your server’s bandwidth when you are sharing with others.

Uptime and Reliability

Always choose a web host that boasts a 99% or higher uptime and reliability guarantee. Ensuring a web host is reliable and remains up at all times is essential when you want to leave a professional and lasting impression on your visitors and prospective online customers.

Features

Many web hosts offer feature such as free CMS (content management systems) including WordPress, WooCommerce, Drupal, and Joomla to help launch any website you envision with ease. Additional scripts for forums, eCommerce shops, blogs, and even online portfolios or photo galleries are also available with web hosts that provide free extensions and add-ons for all hosting customers.

Support

Find a web host that offers multiple methods of communication regarding support if you are ever in need. When you need support, having a live ticket system, email option, live chat, and phone number available are all possible with the right web host.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Check customer reviews and testimonials from various web hosts you are most interested in using to determine the hosting provider that is best for your website needs. Customer reviews provide insight into a web host’s customer service as well as the type of service they provide altogether.

Taking the time to compare various web hosts is a way for you to determine the package that works best for the website you have in mind and the uptime, reliability, and support you prefer. The more you know about individual web hosts, the easier it is to select a package that is optimal for all of your online hosting needs.