Importance Of Web Design In Digital Marketing
When it comes to online marketing, your website is your mobile office. That is why when you are designing your website, you have to pay a lot of attention to the look and the graphics of your website. You need to make sure that you engage your users and other stakeholders in designing your website. In this article, I want to look at some of the components of web design in digital marketing.
The four key components of website design in digital marketing are:
The steps involved in building your website:
- Choose a hosting provider, CMS, and domain name: where the website is built, what platform it’s built on, and it’s address (URL)
- Install CMS and required plugins/features: the backend features of the site that add functionality, like search forms or animated elements, as well as how content is added and organized. We will go through this in more detail in later slides.
- Build or install design/theme: the look, layout, and feel of the site.
- Add graphic elements, text, and SEO: additional add-ons to the design and content
- Test: testing the site before it goes live on its URL
- Launch: putting the finished site on its URL so it’s public and can be accessed by users.
- Monitor for bugs as needed: looking for errors that need to be fixed once the site is live.
The steps involved in designing your website:
- Create mockup/wireframe of website layout: the map of each website page and its main elements
- Get feedback on mockup from marketing and developers
- Implement changes and get the design approved by supervisors and other team members
- Work with developer to get design placed onto the website.
- Work with team to finish components to launch site
The steps involved in deciding what copy to include on your website:
- Create a list of needed pages for the website, which is added into the wireframe
- Write website content for each page, which will be added to the pages once they are built
- Copy edit content for grammar, flow, and spelling
- Add content onto the built website once the design has been uploaded. Make sure the layout is correct.
The steps involved in organizing a website’s information so that it is best presented to users:
- Set up SEO best practices for your website (this includes analytics, search console, meta and description tags and proper internal linking).
- Set up metrics reports in Google Analytics based on goals that need to be tracked (this is dependent on your own site and industry).
- Ask colleagues or outside users for website feedback, using a tool like UserTesting.com. Ideally, you will want the current or target customers to test your site.
Identify types of hosting setups and providers:
- Shared Hosting: this is where your website shares a server with many other users. These websites and users don’t share information, but they are physically stored in the same server. This is usually the most affordable solution.
- Dedicated Server: this is the opposite of shared hosting. Your website is hosted on a private server. This allows for more server options and also can help the server (and therefore, the website) handle more traffic.
- Cloud Hosting: instead of resting on one server only, the website is hosted in the “cloud,” which means it is spread across several different servers. This is ideal for large sites or to decrease website downtime. Even if one server goes down, because there are copies of the website across different servers, it is likely to never crash or not load.
- CMS-Specific Hosting: some hosting providers offer shared hosting, but groups the websites into clusters based on the CMS they are using. This can ensure the server caters to that CMS’ needs, leading to better scaling, security and up times.
Benefits of some hosting options:
- More security: dedicated servers and CMS-specific hosting are usually more secure
- Affordability: shared hosting is usually the most affordable
- More support: dedicated and CMS-specific hosting usually get the most support
- Less downtime: all but shared hosting usually have less downtime
- Cost: Any hosting option, other than simple shared hosting, is usually more expensive. Cloud and dedicated hosting are the most expensive.
- Specific requirements: the hosting provider may require a specific CMS, website size, monthly traffic, or other requirements for a specific hosting plan.
There are roughly two types of CMS: cloud-hosted platforms like wordpress.com, and self-hosted platforms like wordpress.org.
The differences between wordpress.com and wordpress.org websites include:
- org websites use the WordPress.org CMS, which is installed onto a website that is self-hosted on its own domain. Users need to buy and set up their own hosting and domain. This is better for professional sites that want to have their own domain that isn’t hosted on WordPress.com.
- com websites are free and run on WordPress servers, and their domains are usually something like: websitename.wordpress.com. Users can pay to have their own domain (e.g. website.com), but free hosting will still require ads on their site. This is easier to set up for beginners.
About 25% of all websites are built on WordPress.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Buy a domain and hosting plan from a provider like HostGator, Bluehost, or GoDaddy.
- Install WordPress onto the website using a service from the hosting provider (some will do it for free), or by downloading it from WordPress.org and upload it using FTP or a File Manager. It is free to download.
- Get your WordPress login, which you will get during the setup process through your hosting provider and WordPress. Make sure you keep a written record of it somewhere.
- You can now use WordPress in the backend of the site by logging in at yourwebsite.com/wp-admin.
- Install the desired theme (website layout/design), using one of the free ones in the Appearance section of WordPress. You can also buy a theme at a marketplace like ThemeForest. This gives you a zip file, which you then upload in its entirety into the WordPress under Appearance: Themes: Install Theme.
- Add plugins. You can search under Plugins to find applicable plugins, but some recommended ones are Yoast SEO for basic SEO, a Google Analytics one, social bookmarking (e.g. AddtoAny), and a contact form plugin.
- Format plugins and themes as needed for your website.
- Write the website content and modify any settings as needed, such as the desired URL slugs.
- Set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console for website tracking. Verify by adding a line of code in WordPress or by logging into a hosting provider, if applicable, during the setup process.
- Tweak and test the website as you go!
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