So you know who your customers are, why they’re coming to you, and what you would like them to do when they get there! (if not click here!).
In order to achieve this you now need to a website and a means of directing these precious potential customers to it.
Don’t worry. You don’t need to know the technical details of website design, but you should get to grips with the important features of a good website.
Top 5 features EVERY site needs
- Clear structure – so visitors can see where the information is and how to get to it.
- Quality content – (the info on your pages) to engage, inform, and build trust in your visitors.
- Fast operation – so visitors don’t get frustrated waiting for pages to load – they will leave!
- The ability to edit the website yourself.
- More quality content!
What about design?
The graphic design of your site is a very important feature but it doesn’t make it on to the top five list. Your design will match the look and feel of your company and this can get very personal. But the overriding constraint on the design is that it doesn’t interfere with the top five list. Your design should enhance every aspect of this list.
Unclear design or using weird features confuses people and makes it hard for them to navigate through your site. Clever design can make your website intuitive. People will just know what to do.
You can’t replace quality content with pretty pictures. Poor content is poor content no matter what it looks like. Good design will make your good content more memorable though.
Loads of high resolution images will slow down your site, especially on mobile devices. Clever use of colours and layout can still create an appealing site but keep your page speeds high.
Putting it all together
For most website owners the nuts and bolts of building a website are irrelevant. That’s what I’m here for. I will make sure that your site can deliver the essential features.
There are really two routes to take.
- Using ‘off the shelf’ software such as WordPress or Drupal to build your site.
- Using bespoke software.
‘Off the shelf’ packages speed up the build process by using ready made blocks of code. They can be extended easily to add new features by simply uploading new blocks of code. This works well for many sites.
If you want something more bespoke, with special features and functions then that’s fine. I can build to your specific requirements. Bespoke takes a little longer and the costs are greater but you will get exactly what you want.
What else do you need to make a website work?
You’ll need a domain name. This is the web address your site will live at e.g. get.uk.com for my site. Usually you’ll buy this yourself, or I can buy it for you. However I will make sure that YOU are the registered owner.
You’ll also need somewhere to host your website. This is space you rent on a professionally kept, dedicated, web server computer. Your website is simply a collection of computer files and they need to live somewhere where people can access them. I will sort this out for you.
You’ll want to use your domain name to receive email at your own company email address. Again I will usually sort this out for you. I tend to advise my clients to use one of the cloud based systems such as Google Apps or Microsoft Outlook.com. Contact me if you want to know more about this.
What about Apps?
Mobile apps can be very powerful but there’s a whole other level of planning and research needed to make a successful app. Click here if you’re heading down this path.