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What should every website have?

When it comes to building a website, a lot of people wonder what needs to be considered when having a website built.

Since we have been building websites for years, we thought we would tell you what every website should have and what needs to be well thought out.

The first thing you will need is a domain name.

If you are thinking about having a website built for your business and don’t currently have one, the first thing you will need is a domain name. A domain name is your business address. If you’re running an Australian company, you should have a .com.au address, to make sure your website reaches your Australian audience. If you are branching out to the overseas audience, we would recommend signing up for a .com domain name as well.

When signing up for your domain name, ensure that you consider a domain name that contains your company name, rather than a small abbreviation of your company name. If the domain name you are trying to sign up with is already taken, make sure you sign up for a domain name which is extremely close to your company name. This will guarantee your domain name is found on Google when your company name is searched, so will enhance your online presence.

What will I need to think about next?

Once you have thought about your domain name, it is time to think about a responsive design for your business.

When we put together websites at Forerunner, we assure that the design we provide you with is responsive, ensuring that it can be reached across all types of computers, web browsers and smartphones. Quite often, it also helps to do some research and note a couple of websites you like the look of, which will guide your designer in the right direction. When conducting your research, it is imperative to have a look at your competitors to see what their online presence looks like, assuring your website stands out amongst competitors.

These days, most websites we build at Forerunner include the implementation of a WordPress content management system. A content management system allows content to be updated on a frequent basis, which will assure that content can always be posted efficiently without the need of contacting your website developer.

If you have the time and staff around to update your website at least once a week or every fortnight, it is great to include a Blog, so that you can always make certain that up to date content for your audience on the latest products and services you are offering is placed on your site.

We also recommend to include some photos or images on your site to keep your site entertaining and interactive for readers. This will break up pages that do feature a lot of content. Sites like iStock Photo contain stock imagery that can be purchased and used on websites. When images are placed onto your website, it’s important to ensure that they have “ALT tags”, which are tags behind your images describing what your images are. This helps images to be indexed on Google.

Your website should also have links to your Facebook and/ or Twitter pages so that your readers can find you easily on social media, making the updates you post appear in their news feeds on Facebook or Twitter feeds. If you are a company that gains an audience from photos you post on Instagram, for example; you are a photographer, or you sell specific products you post photos of on Instagram, your website should definitely contain a link to your Instagram page. If you would like to start using Instagram and need a guide on how to do this, you can view our blog on using Instagram here.

Lastly, we can’t stress enough about hosting!

In order for your website to be found online, it must be stored on a server. This process is referred to as hosting.

Unfortunately, we have all heard one or two stories about companies losing their websites due to failed backups or website hacks that have destroyed websites with malware.

As you could imagine, the security of your website should come as a priority. It’s important to choose a reliable host for your website. At Forerunner, we ensure that we monitor your websites closely and run the latest software across all servers to ensure reliable backups of all files and databases. Along with this process, we also scan all websites that we host for malware, ensuring quick discovery and removal.