Many people will consider contacting their nearest web designer right away, right? Wrong!
So then wise guy, you may think, what do I need to do? I thought you as the web designer new everything!
It simply does not work like that if you want a website that need to reflect your business and speak to your target audience. Although it is not an exhaustive list the following guidelines may assist you to prepare for your meeting with your web designer:
1) Domain name registration:
First and foremost you need a name for your website. This is referred to as your planned website’s domain name. There are several websites that can assist you in finding out whether your domain name such as “www.mywebsitename.co.za” is available or maybe as a .com extension. A good place to see whether your planned website domain is available is http://www.domaincheck.co.za A good domain name is very important and should either be your business’ name or a very descriptive name.
2) What is the purpose of your website?
You must decide what you want your website to do. Will its primary goal be to serve as an online business card? This refers to websites that furnish your visitor with basic information such as your products, service, contact details etc. Maybe you want to sell products online. Knowing exactly what you want from your website may save you money in the long run as this will avoid having to add or change certain functionalities on your website later on.
3) Maintenance of your website:
Your website will have to be maintained over time. This may include small adaptations, new content or even a total overhaul. E-commerce websites need to be updated very regularly. Knowing the extent of the expected maintenance of your website will assist you and the web designer on the specific technology to be used to design and develop your website. With a bit of training from your web designer your website can be designed and developed on a so-called Content Management System (CMS) where you can regularly update the content yourself. A non-CMS website will however require your website designer to do the updating for you.
4) Finding your website on the big bad internet!
Finding your website amongst millions of other websites on the ever expanding World Wide Web can be a daunting prospect. Yes, of course you are going to print your website’s address on your business cards and other marketing material. In today’s digital world people are however searching for products and services online. Although your website designer will introduce you to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) practices which will assist your website to be found during online searches it is extremely important for you to consider other approaches as well. Here you can consider integrating social media, email marketing etc. to give your website an even better chance to be discovered. It will assist your website designer if you have already considered these approaches and you are able to indicate exactly what you want.
5) Know your target market:
Who will be your target market/audience? This will assist the web designer immensely in the actual design and layout of your website. Visitors browsing for a specific product need a specific experience on a website. Website designers refer to this as user experience (UX). If your product is the latest in video gaming technology you will most likely have a younger target audience than you will have if you sell houses. The expected user experience on a video gaming website will without a doubt differ from the experience needed on a website selling houses.
Armed with the above knowledge you are now ready to schedule that meeting with the web designer of your choice and to get that website made!