So you’re a successful entrepreneur,… at least you’re working on it. Or maybe you have an idea that you want to share with the world. Either way you want to be able to get your idea in front of as many people, and the best way to do that is by getting a website. After all, half of online purchases come from new customers according to the Small Business Administration.
The fun domain extensions are great, who wouldn’t want “YourBusiness.Rocks”? But seriously, please do yourself a favor and get a .com as your primary domain. You can always use the specialty domain in advertising and have it forward to your primary domain (which is great later on when you want to see if your advertising is effective).
We highly suggest gathering your content before starting with the design. As a web designer, having a client’s content allows us to focus on making it look good, rather than guessing what to expect from your content .
You can look at sites similar to yours to see what kind of content they have, but don’t copy it word for word. Duplicate content is looked down upon professionally, and will harm your ranking on search engines. When it comes to written content, you don’t have to write a novel, just about 150 words per page. If that seems daunting, or you just can’t find the time for it you can always consider hiring someone to write your content.
People like visuals, they especially like visuals on websites. Do not – pay attention, this is important!– DO NOT take photos from other websites, if you don’t have the rights to the images that you are using it can become a costly legal issue. This includes Google Image search. Stock photography sites exist for this exact purpose, you can purchase high quality professional photos for your site
Now comes the fun part, it’s time to find someone to bring your vision to life.
Whether you decide to go with a web design company or independent web designer is up to you. There are pros and cons to both routes. This is something we will cover in another blog post.
When looking for a web designer it is important that you look for established designers with a portfolio of their work. The reason for this is simple, if you want a professional looking site, go to a professional. It may be tempting to hire someone who is just starting out to save money, but in the long run you will get what you pay for.
An established web designer:
Get referrals from local business owners, search online for companies, get quotes and know what each quote includes. From there you can pick which designer will suit your particular needs.
It’s important to let your web designer know your brand’s style early on. Providing samples of websites which you like the look of is a great way to convey your needs. A little bit of proper planning could save you time and money.
Next step: Defining your website’s primary goal.
What are you trying to do with your website?
A page’s layout is designed to guide the visitor to your primary goal. Some examples include:
Some examples include:
Now that you’ve given your web designer your content and an idea of what you are looking for, it’s time to step back and wait.