Planning for your website
Planning your site should be an easy process. Most businesses already have an introductionary letter, and/or a brochure which describes your services and products. This is an excellent starting point for me to build on. It normally contains your color scheme, your business tone via your fonts and images (professional, relaxed, color scheme, logo). If you have a brochure or introductionary letter, than your work is more than halfway completed!
If you already have a web site and are looking to enhance, upgrade or project a different image, then your job is more than 75% complete! Contact me to view some of my clients original and present web sites, or current clients still in the design phases.
Below are some of the questions you should ask yourself. If you have any specific requests for the questions below, then we can discuss and incorporate them into your web-site. If you do not have any preferences, and would like me to design the layout, that is where I become very creative for you. I will create a professional, clean yet colorful web site to enhance your current (or new) business. Even if you are a home-based business, your web site will present the image of a fortune 500 company, so you can compete with your competition. If you don't believe me, contact me and I will point out which of my clients in my portfolio are home-based businesses. More importantly, they are competing and succeeding successfully.
1. What do you want to name your site?
The name of your site should be unique, produce a desired image in the mind of the potential client, and be memorable. If you already have a business name, then you should try to register the same name as soon as possible. The approximate costs of registering your site name would cost $10 for a one year.
2. How much information will you present on your website?
This will determine how many pages your site will need, and the structure of your site. Will you be selling your products via credit card orders? Will you be presenting pictures of your products?
This is the most important task you will have in helping me design your website. After all, this is your business and you are in a better position in describing it to your potential customers. Are you going to have a customized form for feedback or requesting information, or just use a simple email link? Are you going to provide your history, point to other sites that will help your customers? Once I know your business, I will be able to help/advise you on what I think would be advantageous, but ultimately, this is your business and you will have the final say in all content/wording and pictures on your website.
3. Do you envision a specific background color or design of your site?
If you are displaying pictures, they should compliment your site as well.
Remember that loud colors and busy designs tend to reduce the readability of the text. Pictures will be converted to "jpg" or "gif" formats. If you already have a brochure, business card or stationary you should try to compliment these colors, if you don't want to stick with them. If you already have a logo, it should reflect the same design and colors
4. Do you want to have any external links in your site?
Examples of external links would be the local chamber of commerce and the city's web site. Directions if you have a business/store location.
5. Have you thought about the descriptive words and phrases that people would use when searching for your site on the internet?
The search words and phrases are called "meta tags". For example, if you are selling candles in New Jersey from your home, some search words/phrases that people might use would be: "Candles for sale, Candles in New Jersey, Vanilla, Blackberry, etc.” These descriptive words and phrases also allow the search engines (such as Yahoo, Google, Hotbot, AltaVista, Excite, etc.) that use robots or spiders to find and index your site.
6. Have you thought about methods to promote your site?
Will you be submitting your site to the search engines manually or will you be using one of the many websites that will automate the process for you. If you are hosted with us we provide this service as part of your hosting fee. The beginning of each month your site will be modified (behind the code) and resubmitted to all major search engines.Will you be adding it to your business cards, your telephone outgoing message, all your email signatures?