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There are many reasons why you might want to create a website. Maybe you’re interested in development and see it as a good way to develop your skills. Maybe you want to create a site to showcase your work, forging a portfolio that can advance your career. Or maybe you’re running a business and want to represent it properly online. Whatever your reason, it’s a worthy project.
It isn’t easy, though — particularly if you want to make it as good as it can be, which will be absolutely essential if you’re using it for business purposes. There are plenty of things that you need to consider when you’re going through the building process. Many of them you might already be familiar with, but what about the parts that don’t get so much press?In this post, we’re going to look at five things that you might not usually consider when building a new website but are absolutely worth considering. By paying attention to things that other website owners overlook, you might be able to outperform them in some ways. Let’s begin.
When I talk about accessibility here, I’m referring to how easy it is for different people to use your site. Take colorblind people, for instance: someone who struggles to differentiate between two colors will have a really difficult time using your website if you use those colors for important elements. This is an unusual consideration for the simple reason that people assume their sites (particularly when created through builders like WordPress) will have it all done for them.
That isn’t necessarily true. Though a good WordPress theme will feature some accessibility options, you still need to check to ensure that everything’s well-designed. Are the buttons big enough? Can the colors be changed? Does the site load quickly on weak connections and work well on all device types (desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones)? Check out the WCAG accessibility requirements and do what you can to meet them all.
International trafficYou know perfectly well that your site is likely to get visits from people in other countries, and might think that you don’t need to do anything. After all, there’s nothing stopping someone in Spain from visiting a US site. What’s the issue? Well, there’s one issue that can arise when certain products or services aren’t available in some regions, and this is something that’s frustrated a lot of people during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
Take something like Netflix, for instance. If someone wants to watch something that’s only available in another country, they’re out of options unless they’re willing to use a VPN — and while there are free VPNs to be found, they don’t offer the kind of bandwidth needed to stream high-quality video, meaning the consumers who aren’t willing to pay for expensive VPN tiers will inevitably end up frustrated with the limitations.
This might not be a big problem for Netflix, one of the biggest entertainment services in the world, but you won’t be able to lean on market dominance — due to this, you must make your site work well for every region you want to operate in, which leads us to the thorny matter of translation. Assuming you’re building your site in English, how is it going to field visits from various countries? This is where you should think deeply about translating your navigation elements at a minimum to avoid confusion, and ideally translating the rest of your content.
On-page copy is often given short shrift, with people assuming that it’s only how their websites look and function that matters. This is why there are so many sites with boring or minimal copy. It’s a huge oversight, because the quality of the content on your site will massively affect how the visitors perceive it (and you).
It’s crucial that you put some time and thought into the keywords you target, of course, because they’ll largely determine how well your site performs in organic search. The BoldGrid SEO plugin can make a big difference, helping you to analyze your site content and make smart changes to ensure that it will perform better down the line.
But keywords aren’t everything, and a page optimized for keywords and nothing more will end up pushing visitors away. The best website content only ever uses keywords in a natural way: terms appear when they should appear, and everything flows in a sensible way.
Internal linkingEveryone wants to earn backlinks to their site, knowing how much it means for SEO. And when they’re creating their sites, they may want to add some high-value external links: linking to big domains with good metrics (or just useful resources, of course) will add to a site’s credibility and provide some room to seek reciprocal links when the site has become more established.
But internal links matter too, far more than most think. Not only do internal links help to keep people on your website and consuming your content, but they also provide search crawlers with invaluable context to help them understand how your website fits together. Ahrefs has a good guide to them, so give it a read when you can. Couple plenty of internal links with an up-to-date sitemap and you’ll give your site an excellent structure.
PluginsSpeaking of things outside the box, let’s talk about plugins: even for a CMS designed to be built upon like WordPress is, plugins are about as outside the box as you can get. Most website creators don’t bother with them, and may not even know they exist. They just stick to the features available to them by default — and for those with no technical skills, this is smart.
But if you’re going to make the most of your site, you need to pay close attention to what plugins are available and what you could potentially do with them. The fact that so many plugins are free (or at least extremely cheap) only adds to this. And the smart choice of just one plugin can plausibly be the thing that sets your site apart from others.
There are so many options out there for WordPress users that it can be tough to know where to start, but you don’t need to put a huge amount of time into it. Just do some basic research, look up plugin roundups, and go through all the plugins on this site. You should be able to reach some worthwhile conclusions about what will help you.
By Kayleigh Alexandra. MicroStartups is the top destination for industrious entrepreneurs. Sharing inspiring business stories from around the world, MicroStartups is your dose of entrepreneur motivation. Head to our Twitter for the latest entrepreneurial news and side hustle tips @getmicrostarted.