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Planning Your New Website

In order to launch a new website or a redesign of your current effort then you need to know what information your potential customers will be expecting to see on your shop window to the World Wide Web (www). The concept is to give the potential customer the wow factor from the moment they start browsing your website.

Your site design should be clean and well structured, each element on the home page should link to relative pages within your website, for instance you may want to mention a product or service but ensure that you link to the relative page and do not overload them from the home page.

Do not overload the website user with technical jargon and remember they will not necessarily have researched your product in depth so layman’s terms first and provide a link to the technical specifications from within your text, you may also want to provide a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section or even a Wiki to explain your products and services to the potential customer.

So what information do we need to collate for the design and content of our new website?

Firstly we need to come up with a structure or a site map.

What is a site map?

A site map is a hierarchical structure of your website, for example:-

In this example we are using a site that may sell windows and doors.

  • Home
  • About Us
  • Windows
    • Casements
    • Vertical Sliders
  • Doors
    • Wooden
    • UPVC
    • Composite
    • French
    • Patio
    • Bi-fold
  • Services
  • Contact Us

After we have established the structure we are now in a position to start drafting the pages and content.

Every page apart from the Home Page needs the following elements:-

  • Page Title
  • Content
  • Great Imagery

If your website does not look professional then neither does your business, fact!

Do not fall into the pitfall that a friends cousin does websites very cheap as this will reflect on your business, is your product cheap and nasty? Then do not portray it in your window to the web.

If your product is bespoke or manufactured by your company then draft in a professional photographer as the money spent will pay dividends and give added value to your product, remember a picture speaks a thousand words.

If you buy in your product then ask the manufacturer for professional imagery.

For any other images for non product or company purposes then you can buy in stock photography from an number of high quality retailers at competitive prices.

TIP

Do not Steal images from the internet, always ask companies / vendors if you can use them on your website, if you don’t you may well end up in court.

Once you have the site map, images and content then it is time to contact a designer.

The designer will give you a couple of concepts to choose from, you will need to communicate your ideas at this point and get it right from the start, otherwise it will cost you more to change things later down the line.

Once you are happy with your design then the designer will then pass on all of their information and plans to a developer who will then craft and code the website and create your business logic and make sure it works across browsers and devices alike so that you have maximum exposure.

Before you launch your new website to the public eye you should ensure you test the website thoroughly, even ask friends and family to test the new website, or maybe someone who knows nothing about your products and services so that you get constructive feedback, this way if you need to change things then now is the time to do it as after you launch it is too late.

After a month or so of launching your new website you may want to meet with your designer and developer to see if anything needs to be refined to better serve your business, this way you will ensure that the customer has the best experience and will purchase goods from you.

There are some other factors that we will explore in future posts that are related to this entry such as :-

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Google Analytics
  • A/B Testing

Good luck with your development and be sure to subscribe to our blog to give you a fighting chance in your conquest of the web.

 

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