When it comes to the development of a website, sometimes it can feel a bit like a jungle for the uninitiated. However, the web has become an integral part of our lives, and understanding how your company can benefit from its use is incredibly valuable.

Your website is your digital shop front and you only get one chance to make a first impression. You need to make sure that it really stands out, looks professional and describes the values and ethos of your company, all in the first 15–20 seconds. No mean feat! It must not only look amazing but display content that will have people coming back time after time. All this will create a revenue stream that, if maintained and updated regularly, will boost any business.

Before any potential client approaches you, one of the first things they will check is your website. We all do it. You hear about a product from someone, go on their website and judge their services and product based on your first experience of their digital persona. With this in mind, it is imperative that your site is well designed, well supported and well preserved.

If you are thinking of getting your company onto the digital highway, and want the best start possible, check out these five must-know tips from our team…

Responsive is required

Mobile and tablet browsing now accounts for well over 50%. Why is this important? Because if your website doesn’t automatically recalibrate to fit on a smartphone screen you are losing out on a huge chunk of potential business. The majority of web sites built in the last few years will be responsive, but it only recently became Google’s policy to actively penalise sites that are not. If you are having anything bespoke built always make sure to ask for it to be responsive, and then check this on your phone as a test.

Content is king

It is and always will be. You need to put up thought-provoking and engaging content to get people coming back to your website. The trick on the web is to choose interesting, vibrant imagery and videos and to complement this with clear, concise wording, making sure to not simply fill your pages with reams and reams of text.

Professional is paramount

There have been many times, I’m sure, when you have seen something that looks great on social media, clicked a link, gone through with the intent of purchasing it and been completely put off by a terrible website – form or function. You wouldn’t eat food from a dirty, ugly restaurant and the same applies to the web. Make sure you use professional images and a clean layout that isn’t too muddled.

Simplicity is sacred

Whilst you do want your website to dazzle any potential customers, you also want to make your website easy to read and for customers to understand its goals immediately. Choosing the right typography, colour scheme and navigation are all factors you should really consider before even starting on the practical design process.

Functionality is fundamental

Making your website easy for people to use is crucial to its success. Are there loading issues or broken links? Are the site’s security features adequate for your business’s needs? Always take a bit of time and look at your website from your users’