• Design

    You might have a good understanding about your target audience, but you can’t know know how a real user will view respond to your website unless you’ve had one test it out. Even if you’ve agonized over every detail, perfecting the layout and choosing your images carefully, there will always be some unexpected issues.

    Stepping back and watching somebody else look over your website can give you incredible insights into the potential usability problems or confusing information on your site. This kind of testing is addicting- once you realize how quickly you can gather valuable feedback this way, you won’t want to stop testing. The website testing plan example available for download above makes it easy and fast to gather information that will be of immediate value to your business.

    If you’ve been working on your website for a decent amount of time, everything on the site may seem obvious and easy to use from your perspective. The only way to see it from the point of view of a new user is to get someone who hasn’t seen it before to take a look. You’ll be surprised at what you’ve missed that can easily be fixed or improved.

    how to user test your website


    Ideally the person who looks at your website should have no connection to your project as this may influence their opinions and thoughts about the design and user experience. If the person has no vested interest in your project, you will likely get more real and honest feedback. Your friends may be hesitant to nitpick through your project.

    Someone who has no knowledge or understanding of your project will give you clear insights into how a normal user will feel when coming across your site. A person who is completely unfamiliar with what you do should be able to tell by looking at your website what your company does without any additional explanation.

    ux test your target market

    Do user testing with people in your target market, making sure to include a range of ages and backgrounds so that your feedback is more complete. You can experiment with a few testers from outside your target market as well. These people will likely add further insights about your website user experience.


    Keep in mind that your friends might sugarcoat their experience with your website so as not to offend you. It’s better to find a neutral party who can analyze your site from a real user’s perspective. Conducting user testing doesn’t need to be expensive. Using the SOP provided above, you can ask anyone in your target market without any special skills to conduct this test. You can find freelancers on websites like Fiverr (non-affiliate) or Upwork (non-affiliate) to do this test for you.

    Using third party platforms like Fiverr or Upwork can also be beneficial because the users testing your site may have backgrounds in design or user experience themselves. These freelancers have probably worked on a multitude of other websites and are aware of what does and doesn’t work, especially when it comes to design.

    how to choose your color palette

    If you tend to favor a certain color palette in your personal taste, it may help you to see those colors through the eyes of another person. You might find that some color schemes distract the reader from the actual content or make it more difficult for the reader to use the website.

    You may not have considered that some of your users might have some kind of color blindness which would make it difficult for them to distinguish between different shades of certain colors. You want to make sure that your colors don’t ultimately make it more difficult for someone to use your website properly. At the end of the day, you want to deliver your message clearly and with as few obstacles as possible.

    Take time throughout your development process to periodically do user testing. This will help guide your user experience as well as help you to avoid wasting time on unnecessary features and designs. Use the SOP at the top of this blog post to get started with some basic user testing.

  • SOP Library
  • Set Up a Personalised Email Address for Your Niche Site

    If you’ve decided to create your own niche website and have purchased your domain, you’ll almost certainly want to create a personalised email address that includes the name of your website.

    There are some domain name registrars such as godaddy.com who offer email as part of their web hosting packages, but Google Apps offers lots of great additional tools that you will find extremely useful for your business.

    When we were setting up SOP Templates, we looked at quite a few different services, even some free ones (and who doesn’t like a freebie?!). But, we both agreed that Google Apps was the best option, because frankly we can’t live without all the apps, integrations and features that have become essential to us in our business.

    Although Google offers a free email service, Gmail, a personalised email address such as  ‘email@yourdomain.com’ is far more professional and helps build trust between you and your customers.

    Even though I used it myself many moons ago, I would stay away from the other well known free email service providers like hotmail and yahoo (sorry!) if you’re going to use your email address to communicate with your customers. I also recommend keeping the first half of the email simple by using a first name or a noun.

    Google allows for a lot of versatility and functionality in its business tools. Whether you are using Google Analytics to track website data, or are using Google Draw to create graphs and diagrams for your business, the Google suite is definitely made to integrate well across its Apps.


    While creating a business account with Google does have a small fee, it is incredibly affordable considering all the benefits you get that is useful for any business, including storage and access to Google sites where you can create and share company information.

    Some of the great functions of Google Apps include being able to sync across all your devices. Not only can you access your Gmail account and Google Apps on your desktop computer but also on your mobile devices. With Google Apps, you get 30GB of storage to store your emails plus Google Drive documents, spreadsheets and slides that you need for your business.

    Since I started to use Gmail and Google Drive, I save all my files as a Google document or a spreadsheet. That way, if I ever need to pass on an SOP to a freelancer, or just check a file on my phone, they’re always accessible.

    If you’re going to be working with other team members, you’ll almost certainly be taking advantage of Google Drive. The permission settings in Google Apps are highly flexible and allows you to set very specific sharing settings between you and your co-workers or freelancers. You can give people full access to your documents and folders and allow them to edit files. Alternatively, if you only want to share a single folder, you can give ‘read only’ access to certain people in your team. Another setting allows your team members to leave comments on your work, without changing the actual document.

    Luckily, Google keeps a record of every change you make on a document, so if you accidentally makes changes to a file (I’m talking from experience here), you can revert back to a previous version (phew!).

    If you’re using Google Apps for Work on your site you’ll probably want to create email addresses such as ‘support@yourdomain.com’ or ‘info@yourdomain.com’ that you can add in the initial setup of Google Apps, or go back and create them later.

    Setting up Google Apps for Work can easily be outsourced by passing this SOP on to your freelancer.

  • Content Creation


    A pre-launch site is a single web page that can easily be set up on your purchased domain  before your website is complete. Although this may seem like additional work, there are several good reasons why you might want to create a pre-launch landing page.

    If you’re creating a niche site, presumably you have already done some keyword research to find your specific keyword. In which case there’s a good chance that your keyword has high-level of traffic. This means that many people are already searching for the specific content you will deliver once your site is live.

    If, like many of us, you’re creating a niche site in your spare time as an additional form of revenue to your day job, then it might take you some time to set up your site in the way that you would like it to be, not to mention creating your valuable content. Having a pre-launch landing page will allow your customers to see that your site will be up and running soon.


    Once you have chosen your domain name, you might already start talking to your friends and colleagues about your project. Having the pre-launch page available shows that you are actively working on your site, and this allows you to start spreading the word about your site, instead of sending people to a blank page.

    You may also have used keyword research to select your domain name, in which case, the sooner you get your domain indexed in Google the better. Google tends to put a lot of emphasis on the age of a site in order to create trust, so you don’t want to waste this time, while you’re working on the final version of your website.

    If you begin to get traffic at your site during this time, you can create an email capture in order to start forming your email list for the future. This is a good indicator that your site, and the content on it, is what people are looking for and are interested in your niche subject. If you really want to entice your customers, you can always offer them a PDF, or short eBook to provide them a glimpse into your future products and content.

    Don’t panic if you don’t receive a lot of traffic during this time, without content and time, it will take time for your website to rank in Google, highly or otherwise.

    You might be surprised that people stumble across your site organically. You can start checking Google Analytics and see which keywords people are using to find you in Google. To see keywords in Google Analytics, you first need to connect your site with Google Webmaster Tools. Viewing your search keywords can help you create your final site and content, by giving you insights into what your audience is looking for that they are unable to find elsewhere.

    While it’s not the end of the world if you don’t create a pre-launch landing page while you work on your final content and the structure and design of your site, you may be wasting a good opportunity, especially when setting up a landing page will only take a few minutes.
    By following our SOP to setup your pre-launch page on your WordPress site, you can create a clean and simple pre-launch page to get your customers excited about your products and your site.