Thinking of building a new website?
7 questions to ask that will help you choose the right partner
Even if you redesigned your site within the last few years, things have changed drastically since then. If your agency can’t competently answer these questions you’re putting your online booking revenue in jeopardy.
Tell me how your development process solves for mobile users?
Your new site should be designed for mobile FIRST and desktop second (more than 50% of people access your site from their phone). The web designer you interview should make it clear that mobile design is now more important than desktop.
Here are the questions to ask your web development agency and the answers to expect in return
What does your company do to ensure your sites load quickly and perform fast on both desktop and mobile? What is your standard for load time speed?
Here you need to listen for the “2 second rule.” They should also talk about compressing images and code to achieve a faster load time. You only have 2 seconds to make an impression on site visitors. If your website loads too slowly you’re losing people right away and the chances of them coming back are slim to none.
What steps do you take to ensure my new site is secure?
Your web design agency should be well versed in SSL certificates and their importance. You should also listen for their approach to both security and load testing. There are various tests that every new website should undergo and you should understand and be comfortable with their process.
How secure, flexible and easy to use is the Content Management System (CMS)?
You’ll be using the CMS frequently to make website updates and if it’s hard to use or little training is provided, you’ll waste many frustrated hours troubleshooting. You also need to consider the flexibility of the system they offer. Many of our competitors use proprietary content management systems that lock people into their technology and make it hard to leave or take your site. By using Wordpress, a free and open source technology, you’ll own your entire site and have the flexibility to manage the site yourself.
What does your company do to ensure our website will be ADA compliant?
Compliance - specifically ADA Compliance - is a critical topic in our industry and there are guidelines that all websites should follow in order to limit legal exposure. Your website vendor needs to follow WCAG guidelines that dictate HTML code be validated, that images should use alt text, and that website navigation should be intuitive and usable. Make sure your web design agency understands how to make this happen.
Should we implement videos on our site? Can you help us create videos if necessary?
Video is a critical component to any modern website and your agency should understand their importance and the the types of videos that will increase engagement and bookings for your resort. For instance, adding a simple hotel walk-through video can give visitors a better sense of the hotel and increase their likelihood of booking a stay.
How will my social capital be leveraged on the site?
You have great reviews on Tripadvisor, Facebook and Yelp so why not take advantage of them! This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many properties don’t repost positive reviews on their own websites. Posting these throughout the site will add credibility, social proof and help increase your bookings.
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