Your website is your company image online for all the world to see. Most persons would not consider building a home without a good set of plans - the same is true of a quality website. A little planning up front will help you get the best result.
Before you begin the website design process we suggest you review the following basic guide to help you consider how your website will become an integral part of your business.
Issues to Consider BEFORE Designing Your Website
- Domain Name - Do you have a domain name? If not, what domain names are you hoping to use?
- Purpose - What is the purpose of your web site? What business need will the web site fulfill? Will the web site contribute to the profitability of your business - if so, how?
- Goals - What are the goals of your business and how will the web site help fulfill these?
- Audience - Define your target audience - is it B2B, consumer or other? What are the visitors needs and how do you plan to fulfill these needs using the web site?
- Size - How many pages will your website have? A good way to start the development is to draw up a map of all the sections your web site will have (AKA a sitemap) and approximate how many pages will be required in each section.
- Maintenance - Who will be responsible for maintaining the website? Do you have a person (or persons) assigned to keep the content fresh and up to date? How frequently will you have to add, edit or archive content? Such information will help you determine whether a static or dynamic design will work best for your business.
- Interactivity - Can visitors request information, order a product or interact in some way with your team via he web site? How will you get feedback from your clients using the website?
- Usability - Mentally walk through a typical user experience on your site, from the moment they land on any page to the time they complete their visit. What actions do you want your visitors to take during their visit and how will you impel them to take those actions?
- Hosting - Where do you plan to host your website? What server platform is the best for your needs? Will you require a secure server (for example to accept payments on line)? Will your site have heavy or light traffic? Will your host be able to flex with your needs as your website grows in popularity?
- Branding - How will your website compliment your company image and reputation? What color scheme will you choose? What type of look and feel is appropriate?
Note: The best web domains are short and memorable. If you can get major keywords in the domain that is a plus but easy to remember names are the best.
Note: Before you discuss graphics with your web development company it is always a good idea to visit a lot of web sites and bookmark the ones that have characteristics you prefer. Take into consideration the site colors, fonts and how other websites enable interaction with site visitors. Having these as references will help us to get the designs right sooner rather than later.