30 Mar The Website Design Blueprint
Are you thinking about obtaining a website? Need something catchy, creative yet simple and also communicates your message to the viewer? Building a website requires background legwork in gathering content literature, selecting relevant images and having a presentation strategy to reach your target audience. Before you go out and procure the services of a web design business, consider the following points of discussion and consider it part of doing your homework.
Here’s the blueprint:
Sit down and put your thinking cap on. Brainstorm and let the creative juices guide your ideas onto a sheet of paper. Identify the type of website you have in mind and establish a timeline of when you want to launch it.
Pinpoint your target audience and have an idea of what type of content you want to attract them with as well as what you want them to take away from your site. Ask yourself; what am I hoping to achieve? What category or demographic does my site reside within? What message am I trying to communicate? What image am I trying to portray?
Obtain a domain name for your site – preferably one that has to with your services or has a viral name. The more unique the better! It will help potential visitors to remember your site and pass it on to others.
Procure a webhost or consult with your potential web design company if they provide webhosting services. Oftentimes web design businesses have an affiliate partner that will provide these services.
Imagine the flow of your website and think about how you want your content laid out and where you want users to find specific things. By this I mean the services and products you are advertising, blogs, pictures and content literature you want viewers to see and read. Map your vision on the paper, you can always go back and rearrange things later. Just remember that users should easily navigate your site and not feel lost or confused in the process.
Identify the colors and fonts you want to use on your web pages. Don’t flood your webpage with ostentatious images and content that depicts something you are not. Select a theme and stick with it. Your branding will always be associated with it and people will remember your swag. Remember, the look and feel of your site gives off a first and lasting impression! Your website will be exposed to the world and has potential to impress people or disappoint them, which inherently results in loss of interest and negative reviews about your site.
Provide a brief introduction on the home page to catch the attention of viewers and give them an idea of what your business is about. This will make them want to continue browsing your site to see what you have to offer.
Ensure that your content has a smooth flow and is categorized logically. Be clear and concise when incorporating content literature onto your website. Avoid text-only pages; as you don’t want to overwhelm the viewer or make them feel like they have a class reading assignment. Display important information up front and save the accouterments for later. Don’t make the viewer have to search for pertinent information, put it front where it can be easily recognized.
Ensure that your website is responsive and displays on desktops, mobile phones, tablets and can be accessed from Mac and Windows platform devices. This is key! You want the ability to reach users on all platforms, whether using Safari, Chrome, or Firefox.
Check your finished web product. Ask some friends to help you by visiting your site on different devices and navigating the various pages. How do you like the site? Is the content overwhelming? Do the pictures display as you envisioned? Is the text easily readable and organized logically? Is the site user friendly and easy to navigate? Is my contact information easily recognizable to viewers? Make your list of discrepancies & changes, address them with your web designer and confirm the updates before going live on the web.
Last but not least, establish a maintenance plan. Ask yourself, who will maintain my site and how often will it be updated with content? Consider the demographic of people you cater to and plan your maintenance intervals to keep up with industry standard and market competitors.
Having trouble finding affordable solutions for your website development? Are you losing potential business because you are not reaching your target audience or advertising correctly on the web? Quality web design does not have to be expensive. Doing it yourself can be overwhelming if you don’t understand how it works, or just don’t have the time in your busy schedule. There are reputable and also very affordable web design firms available. Just remember to be very careful and thorough when vetting your web design agency.