10 Points Checklist To Help You Plan Your Website Design Project
Once you acknowledged that your business website needs a face lift or a thorough re-structuring, you might be inclined to rush in and hire the first web development company you stumble upon. However, before the correct estimates can be issued you need to have clearly identified and fixed some pre-designing details that will influence the end result and the project’s overall cost.
This article will guide you through the preliminary project evaluation so that you come equipped with a clear picture of your future website layout and functionality:
Decide upon your business model.
Many online marketing rookies trust the success of their online business to web development firms, assuming that great sites are guaranteed income streams. In fact, the business model you have chosen for your business is the foundation for your site’s selling point. Be clear on the expectations you want for your business and afterward design the means for their attaining. In most cases web designers are technological savvy individuals with no marketing experience to assist you mould your marketing strategy as the designing project takes its course.
Decide upon a business name and slogan.
Don’t invest in marketing materials referring to prospective business names. You’re putting the budget in danger by fantasying on potential domain names and description tags and not working with available options. So, before even sketching a logo, go buy yourself a brandable domain name.
Decide upon the products/services you’ll be selling online.
It’s important to give your web designer such details because there are tens of features and designs to choose from in order to give your merchandise the best display possible. Determine whether these are digital or physical products, services you offer and whether there’s a viable possibility of expanding the market reach in the near future.
Clearly define your brand.
We don’t imply that you have to begin working on the preliminary sketches of your logo or other offline marketing materials. Still the designing team needs a marketing message to work with when designing your business’s visuals. This requires a deep understanding of your market and it’s far from being an hour’s work process. Having some ideas to extrapolate from would make a great difference for the resulting logo.
Of course when working with seasoned web designers you’ll enjoy competent assistance in the brand definition process especially when having to choose effective shapes, colors and sizes. Doing it exclusively by yourself or benefiting from an over delivering designing service, preliminary brand definition is essential for the message of transmit in the marketplace.
Determine the exact purpose of your website.
A website without a clearily defined marketing goal will deliver mediocre results for ANY goals you might have considered as it’s reason for being. What do you want your site visitors to do once on site? Is it taking a survey, joining amailing list, making a quick purchase? The only way to fullfil that need is by tailoring your website on that desideratum.
How you’ll be building a mailing list on an ongoing basis?
Let’s face it – even though the most cost effective, online businesses have lower conversion rates than traditional business models. In order to overstep this downfall you need to identify means to build a mailing list to market to on a regular basis. Just think out the plan and incline the technical aspects to your designing service.
Decide upon the website type.
Basically you have two alternatives – going with a set and forget 5-page static website or an interactive platform with web 2.0. features like blogs, community forums membership and shopping cart systems, etc.
Decide upon your development budget.
This will set the limits of what the designing service will accomplish for your site. Even though this tends to be the most sensible issue with many web marketers, know that your website is the most important marketing weapon you have at your disposal mainly because it’s ready to meet buyers 24/7. You could argue that there are cheaper alternatives like ready made templates and WYSIWYG designing packages. These might work to get you online or for businesses dependent on referral traffic, however making a site competitive in the search engines requires more than short fixes that cheap alternatives offer.
Consider the maintenance factor.
Maintaining a website is totally dependent on your expertise of working with a content management system or CMS. A CMS is basically a template where you log in each time you need to make updates or adjustments to your content. Even though this might seem facile at first there are some questions your geeky ego must be asked before knowing whether or not you’re truly capable of maintaining your own platform:
- Are you an experienced webmaster that knows enough about content layout and written advertising?
- Do you know how to search engine optimize content?
- Do you have at your disposal sufficient time for making updates and handling technical issue that might affect your site’s performance?
The piece of advice we’re trying to pass on here is to not waste time learning to be a web developer, instead spend your days marketing and supplying your business with quality fresh prospects and outsource the administrative tasks to dedicated professionals.
Based on all the requirements covered so far draw the web designer’s profile. Once you have it, research on community forums and look for the services that enjoy the best reviews. Also be mindful to those that claim to be web developers when in reality they only know how to use WYSIWYG or do it yourself software packages like Ms FrontPage.
It’s fairly easy to find programmers online. The difficult part is find those that will manifest a proactive approach in your project, namely coming with constructive ideas and suggestions off of their working experience and not do always exactly what you tell them to do. Because the end product might not measure up to your expectations.