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Top Website Development Tools and Considerations to Grow Your Business

ShapeConnect Business Advisors

When building your website, if you’re not building it yourself, you’ll need both Web Designers and Web Developers.

Web Designers are graphic artists who work on designing the layout, usability, and visual appearance of the website. They possess an array of creative, graphic, and technical skills like working with web accessibility standards, conversion rate optimization (CRO), branding, color theory, typography, design tools and software, and other tasks.

Web Developers are those who build and maintain the core structure of the website. They’re responsible for converting the web design into a functional website, using coding languages like HTML, JavaScript, PHP, and Python. There’s typically 3 kinds of web developers.

-Front End: They can create static sites like restaurant websites that do not require any information to be stored in a database. They may not have web design skills.

-Back End: They can create services that process business logic and access other resources such as databases, file servers, Cloud servers and more.

-Full Stack: They can do both front-end and back-end developing

2. Domain Name, Web Hosting, and Email Hosting.

Next you’ll need to take care of your Domain name, which is the address of a website that people type in the browser's URL bar to visit your site. It’s simply the address to your store.

Web hosting is the place where all the files of your website live. Think of it as the actual building the address points to.

Email hosting refers only to the storage of email data. Using servers like Google is common for a company’s email hosting.

3. Content Management System (CMS)

Think of CMS as the physical tools to build and design your store like hammers, saws, and nails. It’s a software tool to create, administer, and manage a website. They're usually a no code or low code approach software that users can manage without the need for specialized technical knowledge. Meaning you don't need to be an expert in coding or graphic design in order to build your site and maintain it.

Two Main Content Management Systems we recommend are WordPress and Shopify.

WordPress is open sourced and allows users to build their own site using open code.

It’s much more customizable than Shopify but usually requires more technical skill due to the number of options in coding. If you anticipate your site evolving and needing continuous development in the long run, WP will be more cost efficient. Yes you likely have to hire a web developer but that would be cheaper than Shopify's higher tiered monthly plans.

Shopify is closed sourced and allows users to build their own site using templated code and plug-ins. It’s more structured so even someone with no coding experience can build their site. If you anticipate your site to remain more simple with its structure and its functions then stay with Shopify. But later on if you need your site to do much more, it may get expensive since they have a tiered payment plan based on the complexity of the site.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Lastly there’s SEO and you can look at it as the road signs that direct traffic to your store. The better it’s done, the more traffic to your store, the higher the opportunity for growth.

Simply put, SEO is a set of techniques and actions focused on improving the positioning of a website in search engines.

There are 3 pillars of SEO

1. Website optimization

There are different things you can do within website optimization such as improve sitemap.xml, robots.txt, crawling and indexing qualities, as well as the crawl budget. Although we’re getting more technical here, these elements are very important in making sure your site is getting the traffic it needs in order for your business to thrive. If you don’t have the time to learn these crucial components in website optimization, we encourage you to visit our client portal where we’ll match you with the best-suited SEO experts for your business.

*This is considered On Page SEO because it’s SEO that's on the actual website.

2. Content quality

Like website optimization, content quality also has crucial elements that, if done correctly, drives increased traffic to your site. These include things like search intent, semantic density, friendly URLs, headings hierarchy, user response, titles and descriptions, and structured data.

*Also On Page SEO

3. Links from External Sites

This element of SEO is huge in the same way that referrals are vital in business. If your business publishes something online and it’s being used by other large and well-known companies and organizations, search engines will reward your business site by pushing your company up on the results list. There’s different ways to do this: organically or using specific link sequences.

*This is considered Off Page SEO because it’s SEO that’s not on the actual website.

In summary, we've covered the digital elements of your company that make up your business. From the store itself (website), to the road signs that point to it (SEO). It’s address (domain name), and building (web hosting). And the hammers and nails that create the store (CMS).

Again if you need assistance on any of these elements, head over to your client portal to receive professional suggestions on vetted vendors that best compliment your business’ needs.

And to dive into the operations of a smooth, secure, and profitable business, visit our blog, The Top IT Strategies and Tools for Small and Growing Businesses.

Where we discuss critical business practices that avoid very common and costly mistakes that growing businesses make. If you have any questions on your website or how to build a powerful technology stack to boost your businesses security and efficiency, sign-up for ShapeConnect and share your business need. We’ll connect you with a Business or Technology Advisor for a free consultation about solutions that can help your company.