Friday, August 21, 2009

Avoid Web Design Disasters

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 15:  (L-R)  Winners of ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The information you send to the person designing your website can be a great step towards learning more about creating your and your company brand online.

Your designer may have a few questions answered so that they can fine tune a cost and action plan for the design and development of your website; you should secure your
website design with a least a single page Web Development Agreement after you have answered any questions.

First, if we agree that most people you may have spoken to about website design and development, generally say it's the number of pages that determines the cost of a website. This is really a novice way of looking at the Internet. 5-7 years ago technology was different and the learning curve or those hesitant to learn has enabled this way of thinking to linger. It's changing as I type this website article to be honest.

Today's technology allows users to have incredible control over website content, thus allowing for interactivity and personalization - ownership of brands they believe in and trust with minimal investment. Today a web site can give you more bang for the buck. What's the big deal today? Today, a website can be 1 page. If your product was an apple, you would use various avenues to get customers to buy. The apples need to be worth the trip. This could include affordable,tasty/appealing, nearby, social chatter, fresh and clean, something for you to share or a great experience. With this in mind, a web designer can usually design and develop your website using a combination of today's most desired features that express your vision of excellence in XZY and show you ways of drawing/pushing traffic to your XYZ website in 1 page or many pages. We all know despite the size of a restaurant, it's the food, the service and the price that determines who returns - on the Internet nobody drives and rarely do we return to a disorganized restaurant, with lousy communication, around people we'd rather stay clear. The same is true for an Internet businesses.

Your custom website today should include website design/development, hosting, email and Google alignment somewhere between $650.00 and $1100.00 at the date of this article and dependent on your timeline, number of topics on your website, the website features and visitor interactivity requirements. The lower amount may include a contact form, bio or about us, services or products, and maybe XYZ No-no's or XYZ Bloopers similar to a FAQ. In old Internet days I would say the website would have 5 pages. The higher cost would include more pages, more user interaction and overall dynamics.

Think about vs., both have incredible depth and entirely different packaging. Make sure your custom design website is not use a template. Make sure web designer is offering a custom design for the best branding. How often do you like waking into a fine place to eat and somebody has the same top you are wearing, the one it took you 20 minutes to decide to wear? You don't and nobody like waking into a McDoniells when they are looking for a Big Mac. The production time could be 2 weeks for a small micro website or 45-60 days for the high end site. This would allow you time to share the layout and design with your business partners or peers during the whole Internet business experience.

If you have defined the number of topics you feel your website should cover and how you want visitors to communicate with you from the website, please explain this in detail to your web designer. In fact, this is really the person you want to convey your deepest aspirations and visions of your website. Sometimes with too many people involved details get lost or skewed. Also, knowing your target date for completion will help the web design firm define their production timeline which should include benchmarks. Make certain you receive a copy. One of my strategic marketing friends Vincent Jackson ( with whom I've partnered on several project calls it a Brief. I relish in my close network of marketeers for insight and feedback and bounce ideas. Oy Vey!

If you need any question answered or comments explained in more detail, please call me or comment on this article. It's normal that you allow a design agency or marketing firm like 1 or 2 days to produce your Web Development Agreement which should be easy to understand and in language you truly understand. Keep a signed a copy with your design company's signature to help secure your investment and avoid a disaster.

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