Creating your first website is both exciting and challenging. You are about to embark on an adventure that has the potential to make or break you as a business professional. Before you give your web designer the go-ahead to design your website, it may be helpful to read the following information. Below you will find five things you should know before creating your website.
1. Know the Goal of Your Website
In the internet-savvy world of today, many people choose to have a website simply because “it’s what everyone else does.” While it is true that a website can make your business or organization appear more legitimate, not knowing your goals for the website can be detrimental to the message of your business.
Some businesses choose to opt out of the standard website platform and choose to have a simpler web presence similar to an online brochure. Choosing a simple design for your website may be a good idea if your company is just starting out or if you lack the resources to invest in a more elaborate design. You can always upgrade and expand on the website as time goes on.
Keep in mind at each point along the way the intention of your website. What is its purpose? Are you trying to advertise/sell a product? Are you trying to teach visitors to your site about a particular topic? Do you hope to gain new clients with the website? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you make good decisions regarding web content and design.
2. Who Are You?
A website should answer the question of your reason for operating as a business or organization. You’ll want to spend some time thinking about what makes you unique. What is your mission statement? What is the overarching goal of your business or organization? How would you like people to recognize you and remember you? If you already have these questions answered via a “how we began” story or a vision statement, be sure that your web designer has access to this information so that he or she can incorporate it into the final product.
3. Who Do You Expect to View Your Website?
Your website should be targeted toward the group of people you want to influence. One of the worst things you can do when planning a website is to attempt to make it appeal to everyone. If you try this approach, you will water down your message and possibly lose potential clients who would respond to a stronger message.
Determining the profile of your ideal site visitor should involve the following criteria of age range, gender, profession, interests, nationality and lifestyle. Don’t let anything stand in the way of unique website creation. When you’re planning a website, design it to appeal to your ideal customer. In this way, you will draw in those who are best prepared to work with you while avoiding those who are not a good fit.
4. How Do You Want the Website to Appear?
Understanding your preferences can go a long way toward a successful website creation. There are few things more frustrating than to realize that the finished product contains your least favorite color as the background, a font you always hated and a writing style that sounds almost exactly like that of your worst rival. Take some time to decide on the overall theme with which you’d like to characterize your website and communicate it to your web designer. While you can make adjustments during the design process, it can help speed things along if you and your web designer have the same vision.
5. Have a Plan to Promote Your New Website
Website creation is not the only step you need to take to get your name out there. There are over 1.8 million websites in existence today. Without the proper advertising, your website will become lost in the vast ocean of domain names. Your web designer should incorporate the most advanced SEO technologies and other techniques to ensure high rankings among search engines, but these alone are not enough to ensure the effectiveness and success of your website. Keep in mind that a website will not solve all of your business visibility problems on its own. Talk to your web designer about tactics you can use to help improve the visibility of your website once it’s completed.
A Creativity Booster: If you need a relatively quick and simple way to jumpstart your creative juices, you may find the following information helpful.
Choose five to six websites from a competitor in your field. Take notes on your likes and dislikes for each site. This method is one of the best ways to determine your preferences, especially if you are starting your very first website completely from scratch. Evaluate the following:
Background: Is it textured? Is it a solid color? Is it a photograph? Determine whether the background is busy or subtle and decide which design you like best.
Writing: How do you like the fonts and font sizes used on the sites you selected? Do you prefer one site over another? Do you have a favorite color or font? Do you like titles to be capitalized, italicized or bold? What “feel” are you trying to achieve with your site?
Overall Color Scheme: Keep in mind that color is a powerful advertising tool, with different colors representing different things. For example, blue is used to represent integrity and intelligence, red represents passion and strength, and white represents innocence and purity. What gets your attention about the color schemes you see on the websites you’re analyzing? What emotions do they evoke in you? How do they help to portray the mission of the company?
Designing a profitable website is indeed challenging, but when it’s complete, you will feel richly rewarded. Don’t be stingy when it comes to your website design. Using the proper color schemes and design techniques are the tools that will help give your website a competitive edge in the business world.