Author: Clear Cut

Things to consider when planning a website

 

Planning to build a website for your business, campaign, or personal use? there are many factors to consider. This post breaks the process in to 5 questions, that when answered properly, will help direct your project.

How many times how important a website is for your business, campaign, brand, and even career? But researching “how to build a website” can lead to a healthy dose of information overload. This breakdown helps you organize all that information into questions that serve you and your project team.

A little bit of research, will reveal the pros of having your own website, which include;

  • giving your brand online credibility
  • making your service or product easy to find
  • helping you engage better with customers
  • automating your marketing
  • and many more.

 

This is a simple approach to planning your next website project. It is a broad overview but a great starting point if you are stuck. These are the questions that I have found need to be answered when building a website. The answers can be very different depending on the size and complexity of your project.

Whether you plan to build your website from scratch, use a web builder, or hire a professional, answering these 5 questions will make the entire process easier.

What’s my domain name and where should I host?

Your domain name is an easy and readable digital address. Having one is an important and strategic step to improving your online presence. When choosing a domain name, the main rule to follow is it should not be long and complex. Your host sets up a web server for you, think of this as a computer on the internet that stores all the information used by your website. Your host also provides the resources you will need to use and manage the server. These resources include storage space, email servers to direct your email traffic, backup and security tools and configuration access. It is the infrastructure that supports your website. Hosting services usually provide you with options for getting your domain name also. You can find a list of good hosting services in this review: https://www.hostingadvice.com/reviews/. Things to consider;

  1. Domain names with a unique end AKA top level domain (i.e. www.myname.live, www.sun.guru, www.beesknees.tech) may not be supported by a service you plan to use.
  2. Some hosting services are optimized for certain technologies (e.g Bluehost & WordPress). Mixing and matching these improve your chances of having a great web building experience.
  3. If you are already using an email service like GSuite or Zoho mail, make sure your host supports integration.
  4. If you plan to get paid through your website, include an SSL certificate in your hosting package.

What kind of content will I produce?

Think about the information you want provide to visitors. Is it mainly text, are you planning a blog, will it be images or videos? This information varies depending on the purpose of the website. If you plan to market a product/service or compel your visitor to do something, consider hiring a copy writer. If you need to sell or rent properties, hire a professional photographer or videographer.

What information do I need to collect?

Think about all the information you require from your users. This could be their contact information, their project information and budget or as simple as answers to a survey. Whenever you collect information of any sort from your users, you will require a privacy policy. This explains to your visitors, what information you collect, how you use it, how you secure it and how you share it (if you do).

What tasks do I need it to perform?

A website is a tool and like all tools is best when it is designed to perform specific tasks. Determine the core purpose for your website. This helps to control the process and channel your resources when building your web project. In this step you want to consider all the ways your visitors might use your site and how it should help you serve them. Will they register for a service, book and appointment or just buy a product? More complicated functions include things like geolocation and cart tracking.

What is my brand identity?

Is your online identity going to be professional, simple, bold or colourful? Your design works with your content to send a message about your brand. Your website design is influenced by your industry, target audience and your content. Decide what the colours, styles, fonts and backgrounds should be. This could be determined by details like your industry, audience or personal preference.

Conclusion

There are many services online that will help you build and manage a professional website. Not all services that handle these different aspects of a website work well together. That is why I encourage consultation with a web professional as much as possible when beginning. Remember, a website once built can always be improved and refined to serve your needs more efficiently and drive the metric that matters most. If you have questions about planning your website project, contact me by any of the following means.

Twitter: @niyi_adewole

LinkedIn: Matthew Adewole

Email: niyi_adewole@clearcutcomms.ca

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Introducing Melanie Ferris, our Director of Communications

 

Melanie Ferris headshot
Melanie Ferris, Director of Communications Photo credit: Steve Salnikowski

Hello. My name is Melanie Ferris. I’m pleased to be working with Clear Cut Communications as their first Director of Communications. I’m a proud First Nations woman who is passionate about social media, plain language, clear communications, Indigenous health, and food security. I have 17+ years of communications and project management experience. I have 10+ years of health promotion experience. In 2012 I was appointed as an expert advisor on the topic of Indigenous child health to Ontario’s (then) Minister of Health. My life goal is to use my skills to improve the well-being of people in Canada. I’m always looking to learn more about social media and how to use it to improve people’s lives.

I manage social media platforms for a variety of non-profit organizations as well as a First Nation. I also provide plain language editing to non-profit organizations and governments to help them communicate more effectively with Indigenous and other audiences. I develop curriculum and deliver interactive workshops for adult learners. I have extensive experience developing and executing communications strategies as well as media relations for projects and events.

Over the years I’ve been building up a strong network of contacts in the world of communications services. By working with Clear Cut Communications, I plan on bringing everyone to the table so we can easily help you achieve your communication goals.

I’m excited to share what we can do for you. Like our founder Matthew, I was also raised partly by an entrepreneur. My father was always starting businesses and working hard when he was finished his day job. I saw the care he gave to his clients and now I carry on that legacy.

It’s important to know that we choose our clients carefully. We only work with organizations and leaders that will be a good fit with the services we offer. We do want to help organizations that share the vision of helping Canadians achieve better health, whether it’s emotional, mental, spiritual, or physical.

Please follow me on social media or contact us by email if you want to discuss how we can help you achieve your own visions.

 

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Secure your websites

I recently worked to secure our website, https://clearcutcomms.ca and for the first time since 2010 looked for the ROI of this simple process to a small business or organization.

I have always been around teachers and mentors who insisted I secure websites and this became a habit. I am excited to share a simple process to organizations that need it.

These are the three major benefits you currently stand to gain by securing your website.

SSL labs test report
Test your SSL configuration at https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest

 Three benefits of HTTPS

  1. Sell with confidence online.

Protect your client’s sensitive information. Using HTTPS, sensitive information like credit card details are encrypted. Furthermore, it prevents third party interference and ensures visitors to your site are communicating with your server.

  1. Be easier to find.

It improves google rankings. Google has been pushing for a more secure web, at least since 2014. They announced that HTTPS would be used as a ranking signal. This means they want to provide searchers using their engine a list of secure websites first. You can get more details in this article https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal.html

  1. Improve your user’s experience.

Improve your website speed. HTTPS is a faster protocol than HTTP. But wait, if we are adding security to HTTP is that not going to slow it down?. Sam Rueby does a great job of explaining this in technical detail here.

 

The backstory

A secure website is one that provides an exchange of information between the user and web server that is inaccessible by unauthorized parties. Reports by www.netmarketshare.com, indicate Google’s search engine holds 74.52% of the market share while its browser holds 59.23% as of February 2018. Google Chrome V62 released in October 2017 began marking HTTP sites as non-secure. These statement support

Chrome marked as insecure
Not SSL certificate
Serving SSL certificate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Author: Olaniyi Adewole

Twitter: @niyi_adewole

LinkedIn

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Clear Cut Communications: Our first post

Hello. Thank you for reading. Our names are Olaniyi Adewole and Melanie Ferris (I’m the one writing this). We are starting a new business called Clear Cut Communications to help share some of the expertise we have in the areas of social media, communications, community engagement, plain language editing, and more!

Olaniyi Adewole
I’ve been working with Olaniyi Adewole to start Clear Cut Communications over the past few weeks. You’ll get to know us better through upcoming blog posts.

We both have different backgrounds. Olaniyi is our graphic designer, web designer, administrator, leader, and visionary. I am our editor, communications expert, social media guru, and an Indigenous woman who has 16+ years experience of working to communicate with diverse communities. We are both committed to building a team that brings a wide range of expertise and skills to the table when it comes to providing communications services to clients in Manitoba and throughout Canada.

We are excited to share more about how we can help you in your work in government or within non-profit organizations. We are here to make a difference and we look forward to working with you.

Filed under: Updates