Are You Making Any of These 10 Website Launch Mistakes?

Website Launch Mistakes

You should consider your company website the essential bridge connecting your clients to your business. It’s the go-to platform where potential customers can find all the relevant company info, your products and services, and a way to get them. And while many businesses have now grasped the fundamental importance of investing in a proper website, there are still 10 common pitfalls that can hinder your website’s performance and success.

Vital security measures

1. Missing vital security measures

Online security has become a key factor users look out for when accessing new websites. Think of features like SSL, providing a safe, encrypted link between browser and server, or a CAPTCHA, stopping unwanted bots. Not investing in them can mean unknown sources interfering with your business website performance. In turn, poor performance will very likely result in scaring away potential clients.

Update WordPress plugins

2. Forgetting WordPress plugin updates

As with any system, the different features that make up WordPress require regular maintenance. Failing to do so can slow your website way down and even make certain functions not work properly for their users. So it’s vital for your business to find a tool to update these plugins regularly, such as the popular WordPress Toolkit. Because this lets you mass-manage instances, plugins and themes instantly and from one place. Among many WordPress Toolkit benefits, you also get a staging environment to test new features before they go live.

No scalability

3. Not planning for scalability

Any online business aims to get the biggest customer base possible. So naturally, it’s important for your website to be built in such a way that you can later scale. For example, having enough server power to handle a surge in traffic. And having efficient data backup to manage mass information flow. Note that it’s always better to account for this from the start because it will become very difficult to upgrade a website at the last minute.

Plesk’s control panel works as a scaling tool, allowing businesses to grow over time. Hosting providers can manage their clients and servers across different infrastructure setups, even tailoring it to their business needs.

Accessibility

4. Failing to account for accessibility

In an age where users can access a website from any OS, browser, or device – we all need to make sure we’re available everywhere and to everyone. It would be quite damaging if a business website is designed in such a way that it loses compatibility with, say, iOS devices. Because this essentially eliminates an entire section of potential customers interested in your services. So make sure any device, OS and browser can access your website.

Website Audit

5. Forgetting to undertake a website audit

Website audits are a full analysis of all the different issues that may impact your website’s visibility in a search engine. This is especially important when considering marketing campaigns, because a website audit can help your business uncover weak factors that impact performance.

SEO

6. Skipping SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process where one optimizes their websites so as to receive higher natural rankings in search engine results. And with the online market becoming increasingly more competitive, SEO is a key tool for business to stand out.

Not implementing SEO on a website relegates it to lower position on a search results page, meaning that business can miss out on a considerable number of potential customers. Since SEO can be quite extensive, we recommend that beginners install the SEO Toolkit on Plesk to get started and get found online.

Sitemap

7. Ditching the sitemap

A site map is essentially a list of pages that make up a website and is considered a tool for search engine bots to crawl your website and index it. When a page gets indexed, it makes it more easily searchable in a search engine, thereby increasing its visibility. Therefore, if you don’t submit a sitemap to a search engine, you’re effectively limiting your website’s visibility.

Marketing strategy

8. Not having a marketing strategy

Choose your content carefully as it sets the tone for your brand, but make sure it ties in well with your marketing strategy. No marketing strategy makes sales attempts messy. If your mission doesn’t make sense to your potential customers, they’ll find it difficult to engage with your brand. Meaning that ultimately, they won’t convert.

Ignoring analytics- 10 Website Launch Mistakes - Plesk

9. Ignoring Analytics

Website analytics give businesses valuable insights about their audience, like age, location, and preferences. They can also reveal visitor behaviour, like each website session’s duration, which pages are the most popular and how a visitor arrives at your site. Use this to build a complete profile of your target customer so you can cater to their needs better with your product, service and content.

Social proof

10. Forgetting your social proof

When it comes to online businesses, everyone looks for proof of its legitimacy before engaging further. These include client testimonials, means of contact, including physical addresses and actual phone numbers, and most importantly active social profiles. Businesses who focus so hard on the actual product that they forget their social community, end up losing customers to competitors. Perhaps competitors who were more engaged.

As you can see, launching a business website isn’t as simple as plugging in and hitting the ‘on’ switch. You need to plan for all of the above and more well in advance. Since they all have the potential to increase customer traffic and your overall business success.

Do you agree with all the points we mentioned above? Have we missed anything? Your opinion counts. Let us know in the comments below!

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Growing Your Web Development Business from Scratch to Success

Grow Your Web Development Business

1. Check your skills: Technical and sales

Web Development Business

To win in the web development business, you need two different types of skills. If you are reading this, you probably already have some or all of the technical skills. You know WordPress and the fundamentals of web design. If you have never set up a website before, you will need to develop those skills first. As a web developer, you can practice your skills by creating your website before you land clients.

But what else do you need? Sales and marketing skills. If sales are unfamiliar to you, keep this in mind. As Chris Gillespie writes, “Real sales is about matchmaking – about putting relevant products in front of people.”

Now that you know your way around the fundamentals let’s dive into how to get your first few clients.

2. Get your clients: Network and outreach

When you are starting a web development business from scratch, finding clients is tough. You do not have a long track record. You probably do not have a portfolio of websites either. How do you get started then?

2.1 Ask your network

Ever heard the saying “your network is your net worth”? It is entirely right when it comes to landing web development clients. We recommend reaching out to people who already know and trust you to ask if they know anybody who needs a website. Ideally, you are looking for businesses who need websites rather than individuals.

For the best results, send individual emails to people in your network rather than just posting an update on Facebook. If you have many contacts, start with the people who have seen you at work first.

2.2 Reach out with an email

Web Development Business - reach out with e-mails

Many web designers have mixed feelings about job sites. On the one hand, job sites like Upwork.com and Freelancer.com have a constant stream of new opportunities for clients who WANT to hire web developers. On the other hand, it can be challenging to stand out from the competition on these platforms especially when you are new.

To maximize your success on job sites, you need two practices. First, you need a list of job sites to check regularly. Second, you need to learn the art of writing a pitch to grab the client’s attention. Take a look at the Art of Emails’ resource “5 Cold Email Templates to Land High Paying Gigs” for tips on cold email. If you are interested in Upwork specifically, check out Freelance To Win’s resources like Top 10 Upwork proposal tips: How to win Upwork jobs in 2018.

After you land a few clients, it is time to invest in improving your marketing, so you can attract better clients and stay productive.

3. Invest in marketing and systems to keep growing

Web development business - Invest in marketing and systems to keep growing

While they are great to start with, there is a major limitation to relying on the strategies outlined above to grow your business. Unless you focus significant effort on growing and nurturing your network, you cannot expect new leads from your friends each month.

With job sites like Upwork, you face a different challenge. Winning clients at premium fee levels is rare. It is also difficult to stand out because you are in direct competition with many other web developers. To continue growing, you will need to invest in your company’s marketing and systems.

Depending on your budget and skills, there are different options available to invest in marketing. You might investigate marketing partnerships with companies that have a similar audience as yours. Adding your company to agency directories like Clutch.co and Digital Agency Network is another option. You might also experiment using SEO and online advertising.

Once you fine-tune these marketing systems, your agency will start to grow rapidly. Rapid growth creates different problems. Instead of scrambling to pay your bills, you have to fight to stay on top of your client relationships. Keeping all of your client relationships straight when you have 10, 20 or more clients is too much to keep in your head.

4. Improve client retention and efficiency with the Plesk Control Panel

Web Development Business - Improve client retention and efficiency with the Plesk Control Panel

At first, you might be able to manage your web development business with Google Docs and your memory. Eventually, you are going to forget critical information. It could be forgetting to test a new plugin before pushing it out to a client. Alternatively, merely forgetting to monitor the backend processes for all of your client websites.

What if you could have all of your client website information in one place? That is what you get with the control panel by Plesk. Whether you build websites in WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, you can track all of those web projects from a single place. To avoid disasters, the control plan also has staging and user provisioning, so you do not have to worry about these administrative tasks.

Why does the Plesk Control Panel matter for your web development business? It helps you to provide a more consistent experience. It means you do not have to worry about WordPress security and multiple servers. No more forgotten configuration or testing mistakes. You focus on keeping your clients happy and growing your business.

Systems and sales: You need both for a thriving web development business

Web Development Business - the role of systems and sales

As your web development business grows, keep your eyes on a few critical points. Job one: keep your clients happy. Next, keep up your sales efforts even when you are busy to avoid feast and famine syndrome. Finally, invest in systems and software to automate your business so you can focus on growth rather than tracking issues manually.