No doubt about it, building your first website is a big deal. There was a time when only geniuses with a deep understanding of computer science, and access to expensive and complicated software could even consider such a thing. Now, with template-based site builders, crafting your home on the web has almost become too easy.
There really is a such thing as “too easy”. People start to believe that just because a platform has become accessible, they are automatically good at it. If you remember the days when desktop publishing became simple and mainstream, we got a lot of really bad publications. This happens whenever an exclusive tool becomes mainstream.
There is a good reason why the experts are experts. It is not just that they have expensive tools. It is that they know how to use them. So just because website creation has gotten as easy as creating a new document in a word processor, don’t mistake yourself for an expert.
That doesn’t mean that you cannot create a very serviceable product. You most certainly can. Just make sure you include these three things that will give your site the finishing polish it deserves:
Security is Job One
In the early days of our naïveté, we could be forgiven for focusing on the positives as a matter of first importance. What we failed to do was consider all of the ways that people of ill-intent could break in, vandalize, destroy, steal, and misuse our new creation. We were like children with no idea what the real world was like.
Today, we can no longer be forgiven for such an oversight. If security is not at the heart, not to mention the top and bottom of every aspect of your new site, you’re doing it wrong.
Great security requires real expertise. If you don’t have it, you need to acquire it through security software made by those who do. VMware NSX is a secure cloud environment provided by Trend Micro that is compatible with the following features:
•Anti-Malware with Web Reputation
•Intrusion Detection and Prevention
•Advanced Host Firewall
These are not lightweight applications that can be handed off to off-the-shelf software, or some free application you found on the web. Your entire endeavor rests on this part being done right: no excuses, no compromises. If security is not job one for your site, don’t build it.
Log-ins that Don’t Suck
Almost every site you visit has some kind of log-in scheme that enables you to have full access to the services on offer. Everyone from your bank to your broker demands that you put in a user name and password to see your account data. Even Facebook requires this just for reading your newsfeed.
What’s worse is that the required log-ins have gotten so complicated, there is no way to remember them all. The tightest security in the world is hardly useful if you are the one locked out of your own information.
Some information should have the maximum level of security. While some things require very little. Don’t make the customer jump through hoops to brows the catalog. Tighten the screws when it is time to pay. Make logging in less painful, and more people will log in.
Don’t Use Flash
It was a good battle. Both sides were heard and evaluated. Now, the war is over. Flash is awful on every system. It is the gateway to 90% of whatever is wrong with your computer. It provides no customer advantage. And it is unusable on mobile for the most part. No matter how much you may hate Steve Jobs, his war on Flash was probably the best thing that happened to mobile computing in the last decade. Flash lost. Don’t use flash if you care about the user experience of your site on the broadest range of devices.
In the end, all of this advice amounts to just one thing: Put the needs of your users first. The benefits to you flow from that.