key takeaway: building your own website can be daunting!
Many of our current and prospective customers come to us after their prior website provider has let them down or after they have built a website themselves but feel it does not fulfil their needs. They may have used platforms like Squarespace, Wix, Wordpress, or Shopify, which all appear to be good platforms, and if you’re looking for something simple, they are.
However, these platforms do have their limitations. While they may be suitable for small businesses or personal websites, they may not be able to handle the demands of a larger or more complex website. Additionally, they may not offer the level of customisation or control that some larger businesses need, which may instead lead them to solutions such as Magento and BigCommerce, which offer more customisation and features than Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify. Larger enterprises and online stores that need more powerful inventory, order, and product management will typically employ them.
Our clients encounter difficulties when attempting to implement the most intricate aspects of their vision and realise that they lack the necessary knowledge or time to do so. The regions where they face these obstacles most frequently include:
- Complex terminology [ GO ]
- Hosting [ GO ]
- Branding [ GO ]
- Graphic and web design [ GO ]
- Content creation [ GO ]
- E-commerce store functionality [ GO ]
- Accepting payments [ GO ]
- Shipping [ GO ]
- CRM integration with HubSpot, Salesforce, and Others [ GO ]
- Customisation (i.e., overriding the way a template or theme behaves or looks) [ GO ]
- SEO (search engine optimization) [ GO ]
- Choosing the right help [ GO ]
We’ve broken these parts down into bite-sized, digestible portions below, each of which is independent of the others, so you can be confident you’re not missing anything if you go to a specific area of interest.
1. complex terminology
key takeaway: as your requirements get more complex, so will the expertise you NEED!
If you’ve never built a website before, you’ll have to traverse a vast ocean of complex terminology, understand it, and then accumulate the expertise to apply that new understanding effectively. Just as no two humans are the same, no two websites are the same. They are unique, may speak different languages, and always have different objectives. Those differences can make it difficult to build a successful website using a “one size fits all” tool, which is why Cosmient [ Labs ] and many other website developers exist.Let Us Help!
key takeaway: take the time to ensure you build your website on solid infrastructure!
Your website needs a place to live with an address so that people can find it. Think of it this way:
- A plot of land = hosting
- House = website
- Address = domain name
- Internet = roads connecting all the houses
Over 330,000 hosting providers worldwide offer a variety of service levels, add-ons, issue response times, features, and other promises that are open to interpretation. To make hosting provider selection easier, they offer packages in simplified terminology. These packages can be oversimplified, convincing you that you can quickly develop a website that expresses your vision accurately.
Some very important aspects of selecting a hosting provider are often overlooked but can significantly impact the experience you provide to your visitors. Using the house analogy, they include:
- Bandwidth: How many lanes of traffic does the road leading to your home (website) have? If lots of people want to visit your home at the same time, they are less likely to experience traffic jams and delays if the road (bandwidth) has wider, free-flowing lanes.
- Uptime/Availability: How often will unanticipated roadworks block the road to your home (website), preventing visitors from entering? The answer should be no more than 2%, meaning you’ll be accessible 98% of the time.
- Response Times: If your home (website) is on fire, how quickly can the emergency services (the hosting provider) respond to extinguish the flames, and when specifically can you call on them for help?
- Competence: When they do arrive to save your home and you, do they have the right tools, training, and attitude to accomplish the job promptly without loss of life (data)? You never truly know the answer to this until your hour of need has arrived and you discover whether the reviews and promises are living up to reality.
key takeaway: don’t rush. Any mistakes made here could significantly cost you later!
Branding is more than just your company name, brand name, domain name, logo, slogan, colour scheme, or font choice. Don’t underestimate the time and effort it will take to get this right. It may be tempting to rush when developing your brand identity, but missteps here can have long-term consequences for your website and business.
Some of the most common issues are:
- A poor user interface: If your users struggle to use your site, you will struggle to retain visitors on your site because it is unpleasant to use or look at.
- Trademark infringement: Accidentally falling foul of this could mean that you may have to change your domain name after you’ve already established your business.
- Low search engine rankings: This means you will consistently fail to appear on page 1 of search engine results because your brand name is either a common phrase or closely matches another established brand or intellectual property, with many web pages already occupying the top positions against those pre-existing search phrases.
4. graphic & web design
KEY takeaway: graphic designers are not web designers and web designers are not graphic designers!
Design, whether graphic or web, is difficult if you are not professionally trained in these areas. While it is possible to find someone who provides both web design and graphic design, it is more common to find designers who just cover one of the two areas. They employ a number of techniques, design principles, and industry tools that have been tried and tested on consumers to guarantee that the images and user interface are consistent with your brand and optimised for the optimal user experience.
To provide ideal mobile and desktop user experiences, the correct fonts (type, size, and weight), colour palettes, and speed-optimised images are just a few of the hurdles that must be overcome. If you don’t address these issues successfully, search engines like Google will penalise your site’s visibility.Let Us Help!
5. content creation
KEY takeaway: the design drives the content and the content is drives the design. compromise is inevitable!
When generating written content for your website, consider its appeal to the persona of your target audience, its capacity to effectively explain what you’re offering them, whether it will physically fit inside your website’s visual design elements, and whether it is optimised for search engine rankings.
There is a typical dilemma with content in that it should actually lead the design of your website; nevertheless, it can be difficult to come up with content without first having eyes on the design, producing the predicament of which to develop first.
Whichever approach you take, there will be a trade-off between visual design and content. If writing isn’t one of your strongest skills, there are AI-assisted writing tools like Quillbot that can shorten your content without losing meaning while also making it easier to read.Let Us Help!
6. e-commerce store functionality
KEY takeaway: there’s much more to consider besides cart, checkout and pay!
If you intend to sell things through your website, it must include the most basic characteristics of a store, such as product pages, a shopping cart or basket, checkout, and payment methods. However, there is much more to consider, both for you as the business owner and for your customers, in order to successfully create an excellent shopping experience.
Other aspects to consider are listed below, in no particular order:
- User-friendly navigation: To convert a sale, you need to retain a customer’s attention and keep them engaged, so you must enable them to quickly browse products by category, search for specific products, and see what deals you have on offer. Having a user-friendly website can also increase customer loyalty and make search engines rank you higher than your competitors.
- Page footer: A web page footer is an important part of a website’s design and structure. It provides additional and easily accessible information and links, improves the website’s navigation and SEO, and helps provide a consistent user experience across the website.
- Product Videos: Product videos can provide valuable information, improve the user experience, and improve the visibility and ranking of your e-commerce store. By including product videos on your site, you can help customers make more informed purchasing decisions and enhance their user experience, which helps your business grow.
- Product reviews: Product reviews are helpful to your business because they provide social proof (a psychological phenomenon meaning that if others are using it, I should be using it too!), highlight the benefits of a product, and provide valuable feedback and insights. By encouraging customers to leave reviews and using that information to improve their products and services, you can grow your e-commerce store and attract more customers.
- Appealing return policy: A good return policy is important because it can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, build trust and credibility, and reduce the costs and risks associated with returns. By having a clear and fair return policy, you can provide a better customer experience and grow your business.
- Per-product FAQ: An FAQ for each product is important for an e-commerce store because it helps customers make informed purchasing decisions, enhances the user experience, and reduces the number of customer inquiries and support tickets you have to deal with.
- Store FAQ: A general FAQ pulls together typical answers to general questions about your site, such as privacy, returns, payment, shipping, and security, meaning they don’t need to go and find the answers from many different areas on the site.
- Order tracking: This improves the customer experience, enhances transparency and trust, improves customer support, increases sales and revenue, and improves logistics and fulfillment. Overall, it enhances the customer experience and grows your business.
- Email opt-in: This enables you to build a list of customers who consent to promotional email correspondence. Sending promotional offers or newsletters to this list can increase website traffic and sales. Secondly, it keeps you in touch with customers and fosters loyalty and repeat purchases. Finally, it can help ensure that your business is compliant with data protection by ensuring customers only receive communications they have consented to.
- Push notifications: Spam filters are very effective at filtering out your e-commerce emails. One way to bypass this is to implement browser push notifications. Once the user agrees to these notifications, you can push instant desktop notifications to them, even if they don’t have your website open in the browser. This increases website engagement and sales. You can alert shoppers to new products, promotions, discounts, and special offers. This helps to keep shoppers engaged with your store and build brand awareness. Additionally, it can also be used to inform shoppers of order tracking updates or to alert them to abandoned cart items, helping to increase conversion rates.
- Chatbots: Chatbots can provide your customers with a faster and more personalised shopping experience by quickly answering questions, providing product recommendations, and processing orders more quickly and efficiently than a human customer service representative. This increases overall customer engagement and reduces the cost of customer service by automating basic customer service tasks. There are some very advanced AI chatbots developed by Cosmient [ Labs ] that can turn your products into their own interactive sales representatives that behave just like real humans, without you even having to write any code or carry out any configuration.
- Discount codes: Discount codes are a great way to increase revenue with both first-time and existing customers. They increase sales, customer loyalty, brand recognition, the number of site visitors, and the customer experience. There are even some popular coupon aggregation sites that can list your coupons and drive traffic to your site.
- Personal data policy: This is important for a number of reasons. First, it helps to ensure that your customers’ personal data is protected and secure. This includes ensuring that the data is collected, stored, and used in a secure manner, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, having a personal data policy helps to build trust with your customers, as they know that their information is being handled responsibly. Finally, a personal data policy will help to provide clarity on how their data is being used, which can foster a more positive customer experience.
7. accepting payments
KEY takeaway: payments are easy to implement but you will need a web developer to customise the process!
You cannot accept payments for goods and services on your website unless you use a payment gateway, and each one of them takes a cut that you cannot avoid! Platforms such as Wordpress (via WooCommerce), Shopify, Wix, and SquareSpace, fortunately, abstract away the complexities of integrating a payment gateway, making it incredibly simple to enable payments on your site.
However, customising the checkout process to support more complex commercial models can complicate it. For example, if your business rents equipment that requires security deposits, which are pre-authorised but not deducted unless there’s an issue, you’ll probably have to bypass the simple built-in payment gateway and implement your own integration using something like the Stripe API, which requires software development knowledge.
You’ll need to work with a Shopify developer, a WordPress developer, or an experienced general web development agency for enterprise-level platforms such as BigCommerce and Magento to implement a customised payment experience, and even in these rarer cases, payment gateways are at the mercy of each bank card issuer’s unique payment processing rules, making it difficult to guarantee a consistent user experience.Let Us Help!
KEY takeaway: it’s easy to implement basic shipping but cost and complexity can easily increase!
Shipping can range from simple to highly complex, which is why it is an industry in and of itself. There are several crucial variables to consider that you will need to factor in, alongside how you expect your requirements may change as you expand into the future.
- Packaging: Will you use regular, customised, or environmentally friendly packaging?
- Shipping Charges: Will you charge shipping based on size, weight, origin, and destination, or will you give a flat rate? What about paying a premium for express shipping? What about free shipping for orders that exceed a certain threshold?
- Management: As you fill orders, you’ll need to track inventories to ensure error minimization, stock replenishment, and timely delivery. Using an order management system can provide data driven insights that enable you to increase the performance of your business over time.
- Tracking: Although it may appear to be extra work and expense during the implementation stage, the benefits of providing shipment tracking and proactive updates are endless. It significantly reduces inbound inquiries for the duration of your business, allowing you to focus on other important areas. Will you provide tracking? Will you issue a tracking number? Will you proactively update customers via email? Will you notify customers via SMS in advance?
- Returns: At the very least, your website should have a clearly articulated return policy. Returns are unavoidable, and customers frequently complain about having to pay to ship products back to you, the inconvenience of physically dropping packages off at out-of-the-way places, and time-consuming, complicated exchange processes.
Once you’ve selected how you want to address the areas above, you’ll need to analyse whether your chosen platform, if not custom, is up to the job!Let Us Help!
9. crm integration with hubspot, salesforce, and others
KEY takeaway: not using a crm is like choosing to run a race with your legs tied together!
A customer relationship management (CRM) system is a software tool that helps businesses manage and organise their interactions with customers. The main benefits of a CRM system include:
- Improved customer experience: By integrating a CRM with an e-commerce store, businesses can provide personalised recommendations and offers to customers based on their past purchases and interactions with the store. This can enhance the overall customer experience and increase customer satisfaction.
- Enhanced marketing and sales: A CRM integration can provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, allowing businesses to create more targeted and effective marketing and sales campaigns.
- Better data analysis and reporting: An integrated CRM system can collect data on customer interactions and purchases, providing businesses with a comprehensive view of their customers and allowing them to track key metrics and performance indicators more easily.
- Streamlined operations: By integrating a CRM with an e-commerce store, businesses can automate and streamline many of their operations, such as managing customer information, tracking orders, and processing payments. This can help businesses save time and improve efficiency.
- Improved customer retention: An integrated CRM system can help businesses build stronger relationships with their customers by providing personalised and timely responses to customer inquiries and requests. This can lead to improved customer loyalty and retention.
When you’re starting out, a CRM system can be as simple as a spreadsheet or Mailchimp service. However, as your business evolves, you will want to gather more intelligence to guide your direction, and you’re unlikely to receive the benefits outlined above without a dedicated CRM, such as Hubspot or Salesforce, that has been integrated with your website.
Hubspot integration and Salesforce integration are facilitated via an API, which enables website developers to tie everything together and keep information automatically flowing between your website and CRM system.Let Us Help!
KEY takeaway: customisation is what sets your website apart, but you’ll need web developer!
When you construct a site with a platform like Wix or Squarespace, you get a library of themes that are designed to get you up and running quickly with something that looks good while being simple to configure.
Then there’s Shopify and Wordpress, both of which include theme libraries; however, they all have varied features and are built by different developers, resulting in varying fees that you may not have considered when planning your project. Some offer free trials so you can see how easy it is to use the theme before purchasing, but many do not. Most, on the other hand, do feature demo sites where you may see a preset theme in action.
It’s uncommon for someone to use an off-the-shelf theme to construct a finished website without having to disappointingly leave out desired elements since the theme didn’t quite achieve what they needed it to. Shopify developers, Wordpress developers, and other web developers can all help with this. They employ a variety of coding languages and tools to customise the theme and override its default behaviour in order to achieve features that non-developers cannot achieve.
BigCommerce and Magento are better for large, complex online stores, whereas Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify are better for small enterprises and personal websites. Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform that is more customisable. Its large developer and user communities support the platform, making it a fantastic alternative for businesses that need a lot of control over their online stores. It may require more technical expertise to set up and administer than other platforms.Let Us Help!
11. seo (search engine optimisation)
KEY takeaway: a critical, but mysterious and never ending task to ensure your website stays relevant!
What happens now that you’ve created your website? Do customers just show up and begin purchasing your goods and services? Certainly not!
When you create a website, search engines like Google analyse its structure, page content, and ease of use and then compare those characteristics to a constantly evolving set of rules sprinkled with magic dust to determine your place in their search results. These rules are intended to ensure that easy-to-use, informative, and relevant sites appear at the top of their search results.
As a business owner, you want your website to be as visible to potential clients as possible. SEO (search engine optimization) is a critical component of achieving that visibility. You may increase your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract more organic (i.e., unpaid) visitors to your site by employing effective SEO methods. This can result in enhanced website visibility, a better user experience, greater brand awareness, and more prospective customers.
Furthermore, SEO is a competitive field, and many of your competitors will use it to boost their online visibility. Implementing good SEO techniques can help you obtain a competitive advantage over your competitors and attract more clients, making it a worthwhile investment.
By applying efficient SEO methods, you will improve your website’s ranking in the SERPs, generate organic traffic, and grow your business.
SEO should be considered before building the site, as it can have an impact on both the design and the content. One effective strategy to boost your search engine rankings over time is to write fresh blog entries on a regular basis that cover the themes you want to be connected with. Blogs allow you to discuss what you provide in long-form writing, allowing you to thoroughly cover your areas of expertise, services, and goods while also being a genuinely valuable resource to search engine users.
Although this post was written with the intention of assisting those who are building their first website, it is also critical to our own SEO approach. Here, we can describe in greater detail how our services and products solve the problems you experience, which is detected and prioritised by search engines based on perceived relevance and usefulness, which is why some of the services we offer are mentioned throughout.
Another SEO strategy is to insert references to what you offer as “meta keywords” in the hidden code of your web pages. There’s a lot more to it than this, and meta keywords aren’t as crucial to Google as they previously were because of websites manipulating the algorithm through a tactic known as “keyword stuffing.” Instead, you should concentrate on meta descriptions and title tags, although we won’t go into detail about them here, or else this section will never end.Let Us Help!
12. choosing the right help
KEY takeaway: it’s easy to choose the wrong help, it’s hard to choose the right help. Ask the right questions!
Remember how we started with the challenge of complex terminology? If you didn’t master that terminology before investing your time and money in outside help, you may have already experienced disappointment.
Each of the topics described here is an area of industry expertise that many providers choose to primarily focus on, and if you don’t grasp the distinctions, you may seek the wrong type of assistance. Even if they are both simply “surgeons,” you would not ask a brain surgeon to fix your heart or a heart surgeon to fix your brain.Let Us Help!
KEY takeaway: we are experts in wordpress development, shopify development and any custom web development! If you need bigcommerce development and magento development, We have you covered! we complement those services with graphic designers, web designers and professional content writers!
With the resources available, creating a simple website is straightforward. If you are not a web developer, it is difficult to customise it exactly to your liking or to add levels of complexity. If you’ve already tried it and aren’t satisfied with the results, let us assist you.
If you’ve already had someone else design a website for you and aren’t satisfied with it, or if you’ve been informed that some of what you wanted is impossible, let us help you!
We have expertise in Shopify development, WordPress development, BigCommerce development, Magento development, and general custom web development, and to complement those services, we also have in-house graphic designers, web designers, and professional content writers, which enables us to provide you with a one-stop shop for your website project and take away the strain of having to manage it yourself so you can focus on running your business.Let Us Help!