The most important thing to remember – you know you and you know your business. You understand what works for your business and whilst a good consultant will be able to come up with new ideas and suggestions taking you on to the next level of development, this advice has to be based on your foundation stones of what you have achieved so far.
I always suggest approaching your website project in the following way:
1. You need to assess your favourite websites to ascertain which ones inspire you taking into consideration –
· visual appeal
· usability, navigation, and function
· content and information
· value to your customers and potential customers
2. Then I would suggest that you assess your competitors websites evaluating –
· visual components
· content and information
· site optimization – I can go through this for you
· potential target audience
· user features
3. You and your web designers can then begin to plan your site(s) including
· purpose and functions
· keyword and content themes
4. After this your website can be constructed – for which you might like to consider doing in stages
· create home page which can be uploaded immediately with basic functions
· create remainder of site as a ‘sketch’ to test how you feel about functionality etc – once tested you can then
· construct rest of site adding content
· optimise and promote
Depending on how quickly you and your web designer to each other and the ideas discussed it is possible to set up a basic site within a matter of a couple of weeks. As soon as the plan has been discussed then a basic home page can be up and running within a few days maybe even within a day depending on the web designers work load. However, it is vital that you have worked out your overall internet marketing strategy before you get too absorbed into commissioning vast amounts of content to go on the site.
Website design for me is an organic and very creative process. It is a great way to design something new and fresh by first wiping out all expectations, beliefs about limitations and thoughts on what should be included. With a clean slate you can brainstorm for ideas and then see how these can be incorporated into a structure using the simplest of technology available. Getting your website right is an on going process. Each part needs to be tested and re-tested measuring the effectiveness of the components, content, and the way in which you promote it. Essentially however, once you have decided what you want the website to do for you – much of the process of how to achieve it will fall into place.