“A web strategy is a long-term strategic business plan indicating how to create and develop a company’s online presence adhering to the business development strategy.”
— Wikipedia, “Web Strategy”
Today, we’ll be going through a quick summary of some elements of web strategy. Each element will have details linked—in their titles—and be accompanied by a brief description. We’ll be looking at:
- Web Design
- Website Development
- eCommerce Development
- Enterprise Solutions
- Web App Development
- Responsive Design
- Mobile Friendly
- User Experience & User Interface
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- WordPress, Drupal, Joomla
- Magento, Shopify, Opencart
Web design is a very broad term that covers many aspects of making and maintaining websites. The areas of web design include web graphic design; interface design (UI); authoring, including standardised code and proprietary software; user experience design (UX); and search engine optimization (SEO).
Web development is another broad term. It can be thought of as being web design’s twin sibling. They’re both different, but equally as important.
Web development is usually thought of as the non-design side of building a website, like writing markup and coding.
eCommerce (electronic commerce), simply put, is allowing or doing business with the use of computer networks (like the Internet).
eCommerce has made the buying and selling of goods and services exceedingly easier for everyone.
Another broad term, but this essentially refers to software built with the needs of organizations in mind. You’ll usually find both ‘Individual’ and ‘Business’/‘Enterprise’ versions of desktop, mobile, and web apps because the needs of individuals and enterprises tend to be different.
For example, enterprise solutions may have increased security; will be vastly more scalable, meaning they will continue to meet your needs as your organization grows or client base; and may even have priority customer service in case something goes wrong.
It’s in the name—it’s the process and practice of developing web apps. Again, this tends to be thought of as separate from—but equal in importance to—web app design.
Responsive design is about making sure users have the best experience across devices of varying sizes. This means making it so websites “respond” to the size of the device/window/screen and adjust the size and layout of elements so that users don’t have to pan, zoom, scroll, etc., to be able to effortlessly see and interact with them.
Making your site mobile friendly boils down to making sure your site is built to give your users a great experience when they visit it on their mobile devices. How you go about accomplishing this will depend on various things.
User experience covers everything that has to do with your users’ emotions and attitudes when using your products, systems or services.
User interface will affect your users’ experience, but it’s only one part of the experience. The interface is, simply put, the means through which your users interact with your site.
The conversion rate is basically the percentage of people who visit your site that actually do something you want them to (e.g. Buy something; sign up for a newsletter; share a post; etc.). Optimizing the conversion rate is about taking steps to improve that conversion rate. That might seem daunting but simple things like changes to the colours and wording used can greatly increase conversion.
These are all examples of content management systems (CMS).
Basically, CMS allow you to easily build and manage websites, even if you have little-to-no technical knowledge. Different CMS specialize, or excel, in different things. When selecting a CMS, it’s important to consider many things—a few of which include:
- what you want your site to do,
- who’ll be using your website,
- how easy the CMS will be to install,
- how extensible/flexible you’d like your site to be.
These are all examples of eCommerce platforms. They allow you to conduct business through your website. Just like choosing a CMS, there’s a lot to consider when deciding which eCommerce platform(s) to go with.
We hope this run-through was useful to you in helping with building your web strategy. It’s always a good idea to read articles on many sites, so that you get many perspectives; don’t forget to check the comments—other readers may have unique insights and/or updated information.
If you ever need more help with planning your web strategy, feel free to contact WebVolt or leave a comment; we’re more than happy to help.