It’s been a busy week, with two of our clients implementing new websites for their businesses, which were each build in a day. Many small business owners find the prospect of building a new site daunting because most are unused to dealing with web design professionals, but, if planned and implemented efficiently, it needn’t be. The key to our success this week for both clients has been though planning and preparation. Here are our tips for making the process as smooth as possible.
Planning – write a brief for the website designer. The brief needs to help them fully understand the nature of your business, its ethos and values, as well as designed to achieve your overall marketing objectives.It may include
Background information about your business
Your point of differentiation from competitors
What do you want the readers to do as a result of visiting the site? (Behaviours) Do you need to generate clicks and online sales, and, if so, how will you help them navigate this? (See also last week’s blog post , ‘Pretty or Powerful?’)
What do you want reader to know about your business after looking at the sight? (Beliefs) is the main aim of the website to educate and explain a concept or do you need to showcase something visual?
If you’ll be paying for SEO to get your website found by more people, consult an SEO specialist before you build the site, a good SEO process starts with the right domain name, page structure content.
Include any branding rules – colours, fonts, logos
Include the technical features that are essential or desirable .Your technical specification should help you decide what platform(s) are suitable for your site
Include a full map of the pages
Aagree your budget and make sure you allow for purchase of domain names, creative work, site building and ongoing hosting or support from the website company
Include the dates and timings for the new site to launch
Think about how you are going to measure the success of your website, will it help attract new customers or get more from your existing ones.
Prepare as much as possible in advance. Many websites builds ‘stall’ after the initial enthusiasm for designing the front page has evaporated and managers are left with the task of producing all the actual page content. Don’t start building the site until each page has the text to be added approved and ready, together with the images you’d like to include.
The designer can now build your new site and you can make make any editing adjustments when you can see it ‘live’ on screen. Make sure you get the training you need to make changes to the website into the future if you have a content management system.
Most businesses change their over time, so a website is rarely fully up to date with all the content you’d ideally like to include. If you can get the essentials up and ready to go live, additional content can be added gradually later, so make sure you do a regular review of the content and keep it refreshed.