The web can be an extremely exciting but confusing place. It’s hard to run an organization or business without having some kind of presence on the web, and we’re able to harness the power of technology to make our lives easier and businesses run smoother. Below are some questions to consider when thinking about a new or updated website.
Goals & Audience
This are definitely the first questions to ask yourself about a potential web project. Whether this is a first-time website or a re-launch, the goals and target audience are of utmost importance in shaping the design and functionality of the project. Are you a tradesperson looking to make it easier for customers to make appointments online? A storeowner looking to promote monthly specials and increase your online following? A larger company looking to improve your online presence and connect via social media? What types of information will you want people to access: images, video, news updates, products, contact information? Take a few minutes to consider you main goals and your primary target audience, and the benefit you will increase the benefit you see from the end result.
Static or Dynamic?
You’ve probably already heard these terms in regards to web design if you’ve been talking to other designers. What we’re referring to here is the management of your content. With a static website, you give us the content you want to see, we insert it into the code, and it stays that way until someone edits the actual code. With a dynamic website, there is an interface for you to manage your own content. To make this happen, we use a CMS, or Content Management System. It is user-friendly, and allows you to change text, pictures, and anything else we determine needs to be changed when we’re building the site. Normally, we will use WordPress, which is a free, open-source CMS and blogging platform. Depending on your needs, we may opt to build something custom for you instead. The trade-off for going with a dynamic system vs a static one is cost over useability. It will cost you more to develop a dynamic system up front, but this should save you money in the long run by being able to do your own updates and keep your content fresh and relevant.
Content, content content – without any, your website won’t do you much good. It doesn’t matter if you’ve decided to go with a static website that you update every few months, or a blog. Your content needs to be relevant and pertinent.
Make sure your text emphasizes the message you want to get out there, and that it contains the kind of information that people will want. Your photos or artwork are equally important. They need to be of good quality, and high enough resolution that they don’t look all blurry and pix-elated.
Normally you as the client will be providing this content, or you can work something out with us to help you with content. It may even be worth your while to find someone who specializes in content generation like a copywriter or professional photographer, so that your investment in your new website is maximized by having the best possible content.
Domain Names & Hosting
How will people find you on the internet? When you go to search for something on Google, you go to their domain name which is http://google.com. You’ll also need a domain name to let people find you online. This happens by registering a name at any number of online domain registrars – something you are able to do yourself, or something we can help you with. A good domain name tells people who you are and what you do, while being easy to remember. Johnsusedcarsincharlottetownpei.com is very inclusive of what you do, but something like Johnsautopei.com is much easier to use and remember.
Hosting is the storage and distribution of your website to the world. This is also something you can look after yourself, or something we can do for you. Most web hosts will offer the necessary services needed to run a modern website, but we can help you with suggestions. Once you have a domain name and hosting, you’ll have access to email and other services related to web hosting.
Hopefully this helps to answer some of your questions and ease your mind about a web design project. Follow the link below to see the full questionnaire we like to get our clients to fill out when we talk to them about a new project.