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Beyond design and colours: other things to think about when building your website

Your website is one of the most important things you need for your business. It’s your home on the internet, and the hub of everything you do, whether posting on your own site, guest blogging on someone else’s or sharing on social media.

It’s where people will come to find out more about you, your products and your services, where they can sign up for your newsletter and, hopefully, where they will hire you and pay you money!

There are a lot of elements that make up your website and you want all of them to work properly, both individually and together.

1. Speed

Users have a very short attention span these days and, if your website takes too long to load, they won’t wait around and may disappear off to the competition, so choose a reliable and fast host, with a good reputation and high uptime.

Either keep images to a minimum or use a plugin such as WP-Smush.it to reduce the size of image files. If you have a lot of images on your site, you could also use lazy loading, with the Lazy Load plugin where images are only loaded ‘above the fold’ on your site, with further images loaded as your visitor scrolls down.

2. Navigation

Keep your menus clear, simple and easy. Make it obvious what you want your visitors to do, with clear calls to action and perhaps a Start Here page if it’s a large site.

3. Content

Write excellent content. Make it relevant to your audience and give them a reason to stick around. Make sure you use good grammar and, particularly if English is not your first language, use a proofreader.

4. Newsletter

Why have a newsletter? It’s a way to capture leads who aren’t necessarily ready to buy now but who might in the future. If you don’t have a newsletter, your visitor may get distracted and leave, with no way for you to contact them. On the other hand, if you pop up in their inbox on a regular basis with great, helpful content and well-timed offers, your chances of turning a lead into a future sale increase greatly.

Don’t hide your newsletter sign-up box at the bottom of your site. Put it at the top and give it a contrasting colour to the rest of your site so it stands out.

5. Taking payments

Consider giving people a couple of payment options so they can choose what they prefer to use.

PayPal (https://paypal.com) and Stripe (https://stripe.com) are both good options for taking payments. They take online security very seriously and are easy for your customers to use, with easy integration into your website.

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