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Kristopher Crockett May 20, 2015 8:00:00 PM 3 min read

Five Things You Should Know Before Having a Site Built

Building a website can be a challenging endeavor, especially if you’re making it from the ground up. There are a ton of things to consider – everything from the site’s layout to the kind of content that you’ll be putting out. There is undoubtedly a lot of pressure placed on site owners and website designers, but as long as you look at this with a detailed eye and use a systematic process, creating that ideal website isn’t an impossible task.

Here are a few tips that you can follow when building your website.

Invest in a Secure CMS that Works for You

First thing’s first: your site will need a nice home that is both secure and is suited for the purposes of your target audience. There are many CMSs (Content Management Systems) out there that can help set up a nice looking website for you. As a site owner, you also have to practice due diligence in its maintenance and security against outside threats like hackers. Fortunately, the developers of these CMSs usually release updates that can shore up any potential vulnerability that pop up.

When choosing a CMS, you also have to ask yourself what the purpose of your site is. If you want to inform your readers through blog posts and other informative content, then you can use something like WordPress to quickly setup your site. If you plan on turning your site into an e-commerce platform, then something like Magento would be more suitable.

Look for a Theme that Balances Style and Functionality

Setting up your site isn’t all about looks. Many CMSs come with many pre-set themes that you can choose from. When choosing a theme, you have to make sure that it fits the overall look and feel that you want it to project to your audience. You can choose subdued colors for a more professional look or something brighter if you run a more light-hearted site. You will also want to consider the layout of each theme when it comes to the way it displays images and content. There are certain themes that cater to image heavy sites. Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the theme that you’re choosing is also mobile responsive since this can have a small but positive effect in terms of search engine rankings.

Create Your Site with SEO in Mind

Optimizing your site for the search engines can save you a lot of headache in the long run. It can also give your site that much needed initial push to easily make it more visible once it rolls out. The great thing about this is that since you’re just in the process of building your site, all you need to do is to follow SEO best practices to keep things in line. Things like creating appropriate title tags, meta descriptions and a sitemap are all small and simple tasks that can be easily implemented to keep your site SEO friendly. You might also want to see if you can install plug-ins that can help streamline the SEO process. For instance, WordPress has several plug-ins that can help optimize your content with SEO in mind.

Design Your Site with a Good User Experience

Smart design choices can mean the entire world to your site’s visitors. Before you push your site live, make sure that all its components and plug-ins are in working order. It can really break the user’s experience when a single form doesn’t work properly or they’re mistakenly directed to a broken link. Giving your site one last run through is a good practice to get into before you open the doors to the rest of the world.

Plan Your Content

You site will need a good amount of content to entice visitors and to get them to come back for more. Of course, this content should be a good fit for your site and relevant to your readers– be it blog articles, detailed product descriptions, infographics or videos. Building a solid content plan can create an equally solid following if you are able to capture their interest. Don’t forget to promote your content through the proper social media channels and get the word out.