General Web Design for Dummies
I was just wondering what would be a good topic to talk about today, I thought maybe people would like to learn a little about, or discuss file types, programming and the like, but then I decided on the general concept of web design.
First the website concept
Its a huge field and can be simple or extremely complicated so where to start. First the website concept. Most internet surfers at some time have found a site that has caught there eye and probably made them stay and look for longer than they really wanted. I’m like motorcycles and the designs I have seen have been pretty ordinary and when I have found a well designed and implemented website I tend to stay around until my wife says ‘when are you going to bed’, its at that point I look at the watch and find how long have I been on a given website.
I suppose the point I am trying to make is that you probably have an idea in your head as to what makes a good website. Its, therefore, the web designers job to get that information from you and come up with a concept that will make you excited about the potential. This all leads to the need for planning.
Clients without objectives
I’m sure that some of my clients think I am a bit boring but there is something that just needs to be done, to ensure that what is achieved meets all the objectives that the client has set. and that’s planning. Clients without objectives, and I have had a few, are less likely to follow through with great images and great copy to the detriment of their own business. It, therefore means for the web designer, a lot more work and communications with peripheral employees to find out what sort of website may help the business. Those that do plan and have clear objectives are normally rewarded with an effective marketing tool and far more positive outcome connected to the websites activation.
Once a plan is in place the focus then shifts to the domain and hosting. A designer generally will look after the hosting but there’s a lot to talk about in relation to a domain name. New names may be available that suit your business substantially but if you already have a name that is aged and been listed on Google in the past then that is much more suitable and even more likely to get great listings on the search engines.
Content is King
Now we are ready to start putting the website together this is assuming some excellent original pictures and content is forthcoming. Remember that ‘Content is King’ and the more original articles about your business the better. Brochures are a good start but 15,000 words about you and your business are ideal, 8,000 would be very good, 4000 words probably ok and anything less would leave the designer very little to work with. If this all sounds too hard then you have a couple of options that may work for you, depending on circumstances. You can give up and go with offline forms of marketing, use Facebook which is a very acceptable form of generating leads and chat about your business or simply ask the designer to provide the copy for you. The last option is going to cost money as most designers would outsource this feature or if they are lucky enough to have a journalist on their team they would still need to allow for their labour in the total price.
Once a draft website is available to expect the designer to get in contact with you to discuss the progress. Some may even provide you with a web address so you can watch every part of the process from start to finish. Try not to comment on every single thing as sometimes parts of the website evolve into something a little different from what you originally viewed. Even so, if you think they are heading down the wrong path as opposed to your original plan please say something so no one wastes time and money. Remember that ‘Content is King’ and very very very good communications are the key to successful outcomes.
I forgot to mention at the start, or at least in the planning stage, that it is important to have a contract so both the designer and yourself have no doubt about what is expected. Good designers almost always insist on a project contract for theirs and the client’s protection.
In Summary, there it can be a very time-consuming thing to put your website together, but the more you put in the more you will get out of it. Thanks for reading our blog. Find out more