Do you need a website?
6th February 2015
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Why is a website so important?

The first thing anyone will do when researching a new business is to look for them online. Also, your existing customers are most likely to quickly Google you if they want to find something out. They will want to easy access to your information, find out more about your business and view any upcoming news or events. If you don't have an online presence, the likelihood is that potential customers will give their business to someone who does.

What has the website got to do?

When people come to your brand new website what do you want them to do? Do you expect them to read something and then call to book an appointment or do you want people to be able to buy products online. Maybe you expect people to come to your site to get the latest information about something. Having the sites purpose clear in your mind at the beginning will help your website designer structure the build process to meet your requirements. 

Who is your audience?

Who you are targeting will help determine the style and feel of your new website.

Building a website

When it comes to designing and building a business website, you basically have three options. Either you can do it yourself from scratch (complicated and not recommended unless you are a technical genius!), you can buy a DIY template builder, or you can get someone else to do it for you. 

Probably the quickest and most cost effective solution is to employ a website designer to create your website for you. The best way to find a web designer is to look at other people’s websites that you like and see which company created them. 

The things you need to ask your website designer:

Even if aren't the technical type, be sure to ask about the following things, and get your web designer to talk through what they mean if you aren't sure:

  • Site navigation and site functionality requirements, timeline and pricing
  • Site design – this is the look and feel of the site
  • Installation of a content management system on the server
  • Development of site – the layout and content, including text, photos, videos or other media 
  • Site testing (checking the site on various browsers/platforms)
  • Site maintenance plan – this should include training on site updates and site maintenance.

Additional items to consider in a website package include:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plan and analytics integration
  • Web hosting and email services setup
  • e-newsletter design and setup
  • Social media design and setup
  • On-going maintenance and development 

P.S. Website uptime and email deliverability are the responsibility of your web hosting provider, not your web designer.

Who is your audience?

Who you are targeting will help determine the style and feel of your new website. 

What other websites do you like?

This is a great opportunity to check out what your competitors are doing. Have a look at their sites and note down what you like about them. But don’t just stick to your business sector, check out the web for other things that interest you. An hour here could save loads of time later. 

Design

It can be difficult to put into words the style and feel you want your site to portray, so collate all your logos, company colours and marketing literature and send them over in an email. Also, send links to any websites you like the look of. 

Content & Images

Don’t leave the content until your website is finished. The content is extremely important and you will need to spend a great deal of time considering what you want to say and putting it down in words for your web designer to upload onto your new site.

Web Hosting

If you already have a website then it must be hosted somewhere. So it is a good idea at the beginning of the design process to find out who is hosting your site and what your account login details are. Your website designer will tell you what is required if you are unsure. 

In conclusion

Web designers can create the most fantastic websites but you can really help them out with a good design brief. A good design brief is key to getting the website you want takes time but with the right website designer the results can be amazing for your business. 

If you need a website, we recommend contacting Forest of Dean based ilateral who will provide a high level of service and total commitment to designingfor you the right website for your business. Find outmore about ilateral here http://www.thebestof.co.uk/local/forest-of-dean/business-guide/feature/ilateral

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About the Author

Lesley B

Member since: 20th November 2012

I have lived in Abergavenny for 6 years and love the town. I never get tired of walking up Nevill Street and seeing those dramatic hills loom up in front of me! Abergavenny has a friendly atmosphere and...

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