Getting Ready For a New Website
by Alex Morgan
Vision. Clarity. Communication.
Designing a website for a business is a beautiful dance between the designer and the business owner. Each has their own skills and knowledge and they need to work in perfect harmony to create a perfect end product.
No one knows their business better than its owner. No one in the dance knows the business’ industry or sector better than the business’ owner. Meanwhile, no one understands the science behind web designer better than a web designer – knowing what can be achieved and how.
It’s important that the vision of the business, both current and future, is reflected in the website. Such perfection can only be achieved through cooperation and coordination.
Building a website is not just about finding the best web designer or agency, it’s about communicating your vision. The business owner has a key role in the design and implementation of a new website.
Visual appeal & layout.
Every web designer or agency has experience of building websites that are all unique and have different features. Whatever you require, your new website will be unique. It’s important, therefore, that you know exactly what you want from your new website.
At the start of the process, I always say to new clients to go away and create a list of websites they like. This might be the overall look, the colours, the interactivity or just the buttons.
If a client can say they like the layout of website A, the colours on website B and the buttons and other features from website C, it’s really helpful. Creating a common design language is important. I, the designer, need to understand what you, the business owner, see as being a great website or just simply a great button.
Generating that shared language about design is the first and most important step.
Key features & functions.
As part of that research, the business owner needs to decide what they want within their website.
Look at other websites in your business sector, look at websites in your local area. Look at large corporations’ websites. What features do they have that you wish you had on your website.
Do you need a booking form? An e-commerce shop? A blog?
Ensure you have come to a clear conclusion before any building or formal designing has happened. Never leave it too late to get across your vision.
Text content - for SEO & beyond.
With websites, there are two ways that the text content can be written. Either the business owner writes it themselves or they task someone else with writing it.
For the purpose of SEO and sometimes simply just good grammar, it’s often a good idea to get someone else to write it. But what is the it that they’re writing?
Whether you intend to ask the web designer or employ a copywriter to write the content, you need to know what the text content will be about.
As part of that research, you do you need to think about the sort of text content other great websites have. Then consider how you want to explain your business to other people on your website.
It goes back to my much earlier point – no one knows your website better than you. You need to think about what makes your business special, different and better than the rest.
Whether or not you are going to write the text content yourself you need to have a clear idea of how you want your business represented in the text content on your website.
Images - stock or not stock?
The visual impression is the first and most important impression people will make about your business via your website. You need to wow them from the first milliseconds.
Whatever your business does it will need to have photos included on the website. While you can fall back on stock photos or graphics to add content and some context about your business, it’s always best to include real-life photos.
Once again, you can do them yourselves or employ a professional to do them for you. Whatever you choose you must ensure you have a clear idea in your head of how you want your business visually represented.
Don’t take photos of dirty toilets or the bins, of course. Do ensure you have light, colourful and positive photos to showcase your business.
Speedy service leads to speedy service.
Whether you choose to do the photos and/or text content yourself or employ an expert, you must start these tasks yourself as soon as possible.
A web designer or agency can only take minimal steps with your website without the content. It’s imperative you get all of the content you want on your website completed and handed over as soon as possible.
Once a designer has your content and vision your website will appear rapidly.
Designing and building a website is a seemless, beautiful piece of art. A dance of shared movements. A task born out of great communication and togetherness.
Once a business owner decides it’s time for a new website they must ensure they get the best designer and then supply them with a clear vision and clear content so the beautiful dance can begin!
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