Friday, August 21, 2009

Avoid Web Design Disasters

The information you send to the person designing your website is your first step toward learning more about creating your company's brand. Your designer will need you to answer questions so that they can fine-tune a cost and action plan for the website design and development; you can start your website design with a single page.

Web design companies you may have asked 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. Not long ago technology was different and the learning curve for those hesitant to learn has enabled this way of thinking to linger. It's changing as I type this article, to be honest. 

Creating high-quality website content is paramount

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.  If your product was an apple, you would use various avenues to get customers to buy.  Your apples must be worth the bite – this could include affordable, tasty/appealing, nearby, fresh, and offer consumers a great experience for the bite. With this in mind, a web designer can usually design and develop your website using a combination of the most desired features that express your vision of excellence and show you ways of drawing/pushing traffic to your website on one page or many pages. 

We all know despite the size of a restaurant, it's the food, the service, and the price – experience that determines who returns.  Rarely do we return to a disorganized business with lousy communication, and concerns about safety.  The same is true for your website. Your website design/development should include discussions about hosting, email, branding, photography, copy, alignment with search engine protocols, and analytics features that tell you details about website visitors and their interactivity, and the website traffic flow.  A basic website often includes a homepage aka landing page, contact page/form, photography/videos, an about us page, information about services or products, and FAQs. 

Website production time could be 2 weeks for a small micro website or 45-60 days for a high-end website with advanced user experience or eCommerce.  The web design firm should allow time for you to share the layout and website design concept with your business partners or peers.  Often the more bells and whistles or third-party integrations (widgets, plugins, e-commerce, etc.), and overall dynamics will determine your ultimate cost.  At you can scale your website dynamics over time with a custom marketing membership which allows you a low startup expense with a monthly payment. 

Using Website Templates

Think about vs., both have incredible depth and entirely different packaging. In the same way, try to avoid template websites if possible.  How do feel when you walk into a business and see someone wearing the same thing you are wearing?  The outfit that took you nearly an hour to decide to put together because you wanted to wear something unique to your personality?  Not good.  Who's wearing it best?  Template websites are the same way.  What makes your website unique if the last website your prospect visited looks just like yours?  There are online DIY website builders that are easy to use and allow you to use your own creativity if you have the time and patience.

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 for your website. Sometimes with too many people involved details get lost or skewed.

Knowing your target date for completion will help the web design firm define its production timeline which should include benchmarks. Make certain you receive proofs prior to the programming so the development phase of your website sets sail in the right direction.  One of my strategic marketing friends Vincent Jackson with whom I've partnered on several projects calls this a "Brief" outline of your website goal and descriptions of necessary content. 

If you need any questions answered or information explained in greater detail, please call Oevae or comment on this article. It's normal that you allow a design agency or marketing firms like one or two days to produce your Web Development Agreement which should be easy to understand and in a language you truly understand on a single page. Keep a signed copy with your design company's signature to help secure your investment and avoid web design disasters.

Make a brand difference.™