Like the masters of old, a
mastery of media, raw talent and refined skills is still required to
create masterpieces on canvas or on the Internet. Thankfully, oils are
not required for the digital Internet... while Photoshop is.
It will be tough to describe yourself or your business and design your website to best reflect your brand. I suggest you ask others what they think about your products or services and use their comments to help mold your site's content.
Things to Consider:
Select the type of website you desire:
An Infosite - a website dedicated to providing the public with topical information.
A NPO site - a non-profit website that supports a community with cost-free products or services for the benefit of those in need.
A Personal Website - a website focused on topics that are of interest to the site's owners and published to share its gathered content to the public... i.e., a family history site or a site that promotes a hobby.
An eCommerce Website - a business website that provides goods and services that are for sale to the public. This type of site often requires an online store that catalogs products and/or services that are available for purchase by the public. The process of online transactions will add complexity to the website, thus increasing the cost of its build. Online stores need to address a method for confirmation of orders, tracking shipments; collection of funds (e.g., PayPal, major credit cards -which require numerous legal requirements be met); handling of customer inquiries, complaints, and returns; and a host of federal, state and local tax collecton and reporting. The website builder is not reponsible for complying with many of these legal requirements but probably has enough experience to refer you to the proper authorities.
Perhaps offer a survey to get outside opinions
Make notes of your clients' comments at points of sale.
Keep your content short and to the point - bullets work well since they encourage readership, unlike long paragraphs.
Be sure to double-check grammar and spelling
Re-read your text to make sure what you're saying is accurate
Think about how you want your readers to navigate through your site
Make an outline of THE MOST IMPORTANT topics you want to relay to your customers
Site navigation is the most critical thought process to assure your site fullfills yours and your clients' needs.
Graphic Design & Layout
Equally important to the success of your site is the choice of fonts, colors and its overall layout. I will make suggestions to help things flow smoothly. I usually try to make several 'drafts' of designs to present to you before building the entire site - but it really expidites the design process if you can let me know websites you've found that you really like. So do some surfing and make some notes.
Things to consider:
The layout should avoid clutter - I'm sure you've visited sites that try to have the entire content of the Internet on their homepage.
There are an infinite number of ways to design your website and when you set upon a design you like, keep its look and feel throughout your site - this assures continuity of your brand and helps the reader navigate through your site.
I often 'coral' text within color blocks to make the text area stand out and to minimize harsh white backgrounds that may make reading hard on the eyes - especially with the brilliant displays most modern computers now offer. This paragraph is an example of what I'm describing. This is optional - - you can let me know your preference.
Since nearly 50% of all Internet visitors now use mobile devises (cell phones and iPads) it is important to include 'responsive design' in building your site. This is a technique that allows the display to shrink and expand relative to the device's screen width without losing key design/layout elements or create confusing navigation. Click
HERE for a short video that demonstrates this.
Choice of fonting is also important. Keep the 'character' of the font family in line with your site's theme.
The color theme should promote the 'mood' you're trying to create. For example: