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Smart way to invest in a website

Apnest blog- Smart way to invest in a website
Online shopping in Kenya has been catching on with thousands of Kenyas using it as the preferred shopping approach. Most individuals who have embraced online shopping as their primary shopping are from the main cities in the country, namely Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, and Eldoret. The ongoing pandemic has accelerated the growth and adoption of online shopping, and that makes this the best time to launch an e-commerce platform. It is also the best time to start utility cloud software & SAAS to help people manage their businesses from any part of the world. In this guide, we will analyze the e-commerce industry and the best practices or guidelines you follow to make smart investments on any online platform that you choose. We will borrow some lessons from the existing E-commerce platforms, like Jumia, JiJi, drink delivery apps like Dial a Delivery, among others. Having been in the e-commerce industry for over 5 years, and having built over 20 e-commerce websites in the country and outside the country. Everything I tell you in this article is either something I have experienced, researched, and came up with a solution. I will try to keep it short and stick to the facts that can impact the results of your online investment. Let's travel back in time to 2016 when I became a full-time full-stack developer and digital marketer. This was the best times to launch your website due to minimal or lack of competition, at this time, Jumia was only three years old, Google search engine ranking was very forgiving, and the cost of developing a fully functional website was lower compared to 2020. The only downside was the low number of people willing to purchase products online, and when they did, they were not sure whether they were getting legit products or counterfeit products. I launched my first e-commerce in 2016, and it got indexed quickly, and about a year later, it was among the top results on Google, and that meant it was time to get some serious business going. Since then, I have made tons of mistakes, from site design, SEO, choosing web design framework, and much more. Here are some lessons I have learned along the way since then.

The developer

The web designer you choose contributes about 60% with regard to whether your project will be successful or worse, whether it will ever see the light of the day. It is at this point that I will let you know that more than 40% of web design projects fail before they are launched.
The developer must understand your goals, must be experienced in the same field if you can choose a developer who has created a successful similar platform or a platform with similar features, then you are safe. Most developers will take your project even when they don't understand the requirements and, at times, even when they are not in a position to handle the nature of your project. They may use the wrong technology, which might ruin your project's foundation, and even if you pour more cash to have the project fixed, it will cost you heavily down the line. Over the years, I have worked with clients who have paid the full amount for the project and received a website that can't work or one that is in complete ruins. Once you start with the wrong developer, there is no fixing that. You should always the designer's track record, check at their previous works, and customer ratings.

Front end technology stack & platform

This refers to the front end framework, platform, or library that will be used to create the user interface of the website. This is the other major determinant as to whether your project will be a success or end up in the bin. The end results or the site you get have to be built using one of the many existing technologies, may it be JQuery, WordPress, React, Vue, or Angular, among others. Let me try and clarify this and hope I will not end up confusing you even more. When creating a website, there are two phases, and one is the that you as the clients sees and uses when interacting with the site (UI) and it is called the front end, the other one is the one that processes your order, processes payment and where all the website data is stored, and this is called server-side. Mostly the problem is not with the server-side framework; it lies with the front end framework.
The reason I have brought this up is because many developers are using frameworks that can't be indexed by search engines, leaving the website with almost zero traffic. Without organic traffic, it means the only other way to get users to your site is if only you pay ads. If your site is not indexable, it means that your website will live somewhere in the third or fourth page of search results. As I write this, there are tons of projects out there struggling to get traffic because they are making this mistake. These websites are slowly dying since it is next to impossible for new clients to discover them unless the owners use paid ads, and even then, they will still be missing out on most of the business. To sum it up, if you are not on the first page and your website is not crawable, it might not be a worthy investment.

User experienced & SEO

User experience is the other factor that determines the fate of your website. Slow websites with poor designs will be dead on arrival unless the website is a monopoly. Your site should be simple, SEO friendly, fast, and well designs. Bad designs are associated with less serious businesses or, at worst, scams. At least 90% of your traffic will come from search engines, and Search engine optimization is an area you should put a lot of emphasis on.

Budget

This is an area we can discuss the whole day, but the one thing I want to clarify is the one simple fact that good, solid websites are expensive. If I can give you an analogy with cars, you can get a car at Ksh 800,000 or Ksh 5 million, but you don't expect the same features in the 5 million car to be available in the Ksh 800,000 car, and the same goes for websites. Today without a doubt, I will tell you a good custom website will range from Ksh 80,000 to Ksh 500 000.
These are the few points that you should consider when investing online. Other factors like competition should be considered; for example, when investing in an area like alcohol delivery, you should expect crazy competition, and in other areas like a grocery delivery platform, you find that the competition is lower, and this increases the chances of your project success.
Published on Wed 8-6-2020
Article Writen By - Robert wach
Robert Wachira is a Web designer and digital marketer at Apnest. He has vast knowledge in the fields of web design and digital marketing.