If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to "finish and forget" when it comes to web development. Once a website is live and the boss or client is happy, we close the project, kick off our shoes and crack a beer.
Part of the problem with this approach is the ever changing landscape online. Something that converts visitors today, might not be working two months from now (in some cases, it may not be working in the first place, but no one took the time to test it).
Unarguably one of the most important aspects of any design is its colors. Designers create the style of a site, as well as the movement it makes, the emotion it creates, and its purpose based largely upon the color choices they make. Colors are powerful tools and an important thing all designers should understand when creating websites.
Last month, Packt Publishing set out to give away five copies of my book, MooTools 1.2 Beginner’s Guide. Over 200 Six Revisions readers participated to win a copy of the book by leaving a comment on why they would like a copy.
The winners are:
What does it take to increase a website’s traffic and online presence? Here are the things I consider to be the essential components of website growth.
Unyielding passion for your work
Growing a web project takes time and dedication. It involves many days with little or no sleep. Building a website necessitates a schedule that would make anyone but those who are truly passionate and dedicated to their idea give up.
A strong knowledge about your subject
Whether you’re building an email app that will revolutionize the way people do emails or a web publication about baking cookies, you have to know your subject inside and out.
When you’re not well informed, it clearly shows. Being knowledgeable about your subject is about creating trust: Internet users are wary about the things they consume on the Web. If you can’t prove to them that you can be trusted, they have thousands of other sites to choose from.
The foundation of any web startup is the people that have built it. Discovering people with the same passion and belief is rare.
An open ear to your audience
Your users have a lot to say. They have a vested interest in your growth and have entrusted you with the responsibility of constantly improving yourself to meet their needs. Oftentimes, when we believe in something so steadfastly, we tend to shut these voices of alternative thoughts out.
Critics are a penny a dozen on the Web. However, there are also many people with ideas and suggestions that can make your site better. Take advantage of the collective nature of the Internet by listening to your users’ opinions, suggestions, and ideas. They have taken the time to share these ideas at no cost to you but your time to listen to them.
Relationships with people in your industry
The Web has the ability to connect us with people that we might not be in close proximity to. It’s important to foster and create relationships with people in your industry, regardless of whether you consider them competition or not. When we are working together rather than against each other, we can drive innovation and grow together instead of creating a counterproductive environment.
Make it a habit to reach out and contact the people in your industry. Participate on discussions in their website (you can, for example, frequently find me in the trenches of Smashing Magazine and Envato comment sections), see if there are opportunities to team up and build something together, trade war stories, and just get yourself on their radar.
Staying informed about the happenings in your industry
Keeping up with the events happening around you is critical. It’s part of being knowledgeable about your subject and is something your audience expects you to be doing. Especially on the Web, when things change so rapidly and interests are fickle, it’s imperative to maintain your information current.
Effective time management skills
Having a good time and task management habit ensures that you can keep up with the growth of your web project. Time is the primary limiting factor to your growth, and thus, you have to treat it as a resource, just like your budget and your technology infrastructure.
What stuns advancement of any project is the fear of change. Fear of change leads to lack of innovation. On the Web, being afraid to take risks isn’t a good trait to have. In a realm where things move quickly, being a stick in the mud will only make sure that the people around you that are taking all the risks will be reaping the rewards.
Looking out for opportunities to grow
The reason I personally respond to every email (I get hundreds a week) and carve out blocks of my time to partake in interviews, participate in discussions, write on other web publications, join panels, write books, and other activities that may not have a direct impact on Six Revisions is because I never want to end up saying, "I wish I’d done that."
Being receptive to possibilities outside of the websites that I run, without a doubt, has contributed to the growth of my own web projects.
- How to Design for Your Worst Client: You.
- How to Stay Ahead of the Curve as a Designer
- 6 Things You Need for Your Web Project to Succeed
- Related categories: Project Management and Web Development
About the Author
WordPress, the ubiquitous open source publishing platform that powers many of your favorite blogs and web publications, also powers Design Instruct and Six Revisions. By using WordPress plugins, site owners can extend and tailor their WordPress installation to meet their needs. However, using many plugins can affect a website’s performance, and thus, you must be highly selective in choosing the plugins you install.
Design Instruct and Six Revisions only uses six WordPress plugins. We’ve kept our plugins to the bare essentials—any other features we add to our WordPress installation, we develop ourselves specifically for our sites.
"Why are you here?"
I was asked this question a couple of years ago. It is a question that is meant to have an easy answer and yet I found myself at a loss for words when I tried to answer it. The concept is simple enough. However, as I started thinking about what the question actually meant and what it was actually asking, it started to take on a life of its own.
The process of launching a website can be a daunting endeavor. There are many things you want to do, but not enough time and resources to do them. However, even though it might seem like a herculean task, as long as you keep some fundamental things in mind, you can ensure a hassle-free website launch.
In this article, I’ll share with you some tips for launching a website based on the experience of our own launch of Design Instruct.