Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Web Design – the Dummies Version

August 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Website Design

Building a website can be as simple as one page or more complex with many pages including a shopping cart to enable people to sell product online.  Of course the more complex the website the more money and time you will require. 

Take a person who is a wedding planner and wants to be able to sell product online, sell her time and perhaps provide other services such as massage, makeup and wedding planning.  An ideal situation here is to have prepaid services so when the service is being provided there is no changing of money.  The service has been pre-paid.

Planning

However let us not get ahead of ourselves.  The most important aspect of website design is planning the site.  In some ways designing a website is like building a house.  Firstly we need to look at location, then we choose the actual layout of the house and from there we work up.

Domain Name

The first thing we need to look at is the website name, so we need to choose the domain name.  These can be purchased for around $10 from organization such as Namecheap.com, Godaddy.com etc.  It is preferable to chose the company or business name as this is what your customers will recognize.  This may not be available but it is worth checking that first before looking at another name.  While you name may be taken with the .com extension there are other extensions you could use such as .net, .org etc.  If you have an Australian business then you could buy the .com.au extension although this is a bit more expensive and requires more information about your operation.  These can be purchased from Melbourneit.com, Netregistry.com etc.

Hosting

Once you have the domain name then you need to look at where you are going to host your domain name.  You can use the same company you bought the domain name from however it is probably a good idea to use a different provider such as Hostgator.com. 

Other sites for Comparison

So now we have the basics under control.  The next and probably the most important thing is to look around at other websites.  Look at their layout and the links that take you to different areas of their site. How long does the site take to load.  Did you know that in the past if a person doesn’t see what they are looking for or it is too slow to load the click out of the site within 8 seconds.    Today it is 4 seconds.  So it is important that the site is going to answer a question for the viewer.  Here are a few things to be aware of when looking at sites – How much time passes before you see something; what is the first thing I see on the site and does it interest me; how much time passes before I can see any text; how long does it take you to discover what the site is about.

Graphics

The next thing to consider is what graphics or pictures would you like to use on this site.  For example if you are a landscape gardener you would like to share the photos of completed projects as this will be important for your existing and future clients.  They need to know they can trust you with their landscaping and most importantly their money.  It is a good idea to have a before and after photo but they must be clear and display the project at its worst and at its best.  One of the most important photos is one of you, as people like to do business with people.  Another idea is if you employ staff, then show them working on a site. 

Content

Most businesses have some document or marketing material and this can be used on the website.  Look at what you have and if you feel this isn’t quite up to standard then start writing what you would like to say.  To get some good ideas look at other websites in your market area and see what they have to say.  So again look at landscape gardening.  Do a search on landscape gardening and check out the sites on the front page.  They are on the front page because they have information that is bringing in customers.

Pages

Some of the pages you will put on your site will be the Home page, Company, Projects, Services, Contact Us and possibly an Archives page.  Some sites have pages  under these main pages with the policies, insurances, employment opportunities etc, however these are not essential.

Blogs

Nowadays your site may include a blog which allows people to make comments on articles or posts that are added to you site.  This is a great way to communicate with your customers with posts or articles written by you.  You can choose the option to read the comment before it goes on the site.  In fact most sites these days are actual blogs written in a user friendly program such as WordPress or Joomla.  There are many tools available for this purpose such as fully functional templates.  A very popular one is StudioPress which has been used to develop this site.  It is a good idea to have your site developed as a blog as it is so much easier to add information and make changes.  This allows you to take control of your website in the future and in turn this will save you money.

Comments

3 Responses to “Web Design – the Dummies Version”
  1. efocus says:

    nice post, few interesting things to know and knowledge gainer. keep doing good

  2. Maureen says:

    Thanks for your feedback. Cheers!

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