Before Web Design, Decide What to Build

What kind of Website do you want?

The website purpose is key:

Primarily provide information:

Decide upon logical groupings. How you group or organize information helps or hurts how visitors use your website. Categories or tags might help organizing the topics and subtopics for your website. This applies especially if you blog.

WordPress or Other Blog formats:

Blogs are a great way to have a designer help you set up and personalize a Theme design to your website. Then, you can add articles in the form of blog posts, receive comments and reply without either spending a large budget on the interactivity coding or the further intervention of a web designer.

Caution: Themes from free to paid or premium are available. Before you decide what to use, important to have support for that theme (from the originating source). We are happy to assist clients through this process – just ask.

E-commerce:

Websites that need secure transactions need a well-established, trusted e-commerce vendor. E-commerce may be as simple as setting up a PayPal account (for example) and making a button or two – or having the ability to send invoices by email. Esty, Square and Shopify are examples of e-commerce that also have the feel of a website.

More complicated shopping carts may involve combining the services of a shopping cart vendor and a processing vendor – ask lots of questions and read the terms before you commit to any e-commerce solution.

Read very carefully what services you are buying and what you will be paying per transaction and any additional fees.

Options usually carry a monthly fee, whether you have transactions or not, others involve initial setup fees, others only cost when you actually process a transaction. Be aware of what you are buying and ask if shopping carts are customizable to look like your website…

Marketing:

Websites allow your business to be open 24/7 to help visitors locate products and services that you offer. You may want to provide tips or solutions to customer problems but not offer e-commerce.

Additional tools like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or other similar web content and connecting extras are great – if you will maintain them. You will want to mention those things to your designer/planner so that those costs – if they need to be developed or the existing links to those web assets.

Before you seek quotes on a website:

  • Know your website’s purpose
  • KNOW your audience and their internet use?
  • Begin preparation and development of content for your website.
      • Understand that there are levels of quality, quantity and options – Okay, Good, Better, Best
      • Base your budget on what you are wanting in your website
      • FREE or DIY opens you to more potential hazards for your content, branding, owning what you are creating…
  • Plan how often you will add fresh content and whether you want to include social networking in the design (Facebook or Twitter posts or a Blog, …).

Timeframe

Your preparation will make designer’s task easier and most likely save you money and time.
Know your timetable – if you need a website immediately, you may pay a premium or not get a design that has much customization. Do you have branding? Logos and taglines should carry into your website.

Be ready to answer questions about your business, products and services that you offer.  Your willingness to answer promptly will also determine timeframe. Design and completion time relates to how much preparation you have made on gathering your content and asking good questions before signing a contract.

If you already have print marketing materials, you have a start on the content for your website. Decide if you want the print media and website to have a similar look or not.

Plan to keep the content of your website current and interesting.

Know if you want interactivity:

Contact forms, subscriptions for freebies or resources, product quote requests, or  mailing lists, and so on take additional prep.

As you add interactivity, your website gets more complicated and the price to create it also tends to increase. If budget is a genuine concern for your website project, have an idea of what you really need to have – like a phased growth format. Then, what kinds of features you would like in the future. You may ask for a quote that indicates the option (extra features) pricing.

Request a quote from Neal Resources:

email with your intial inquiry: robin@nealresources.com