What should you consider when designing your website?

How important is graphic design in your business?
October 17, 2016

Are you designing your website but do not know how to begin?  Here are some tips:

  1. Know your target market. Clarify this early on as it will affect your theme, design, content, search engine optimization, usability and your networking efforts. In short, everything revolves around your target market. Don't just build a website without keeping it in mind.
  1. What is the purpose of the site? If it is to generate sales, your site will be different than if the goal is to position your company as experts in your field. The more information you can give your web designer, the better your site will be in the first revision.
  1. Pick the right domain name. Think long and hard about the domain name you will use. It should be short, easy to remember and tell people what to expect from your website. You cannot change this easily afterwards, so spend a considerable amount of time choosing the right domain name.
  1. Make a logo: Even a small business needs a logo. A logo conveys your brand values, tradition, and your very business identity. If you’re not sure what your brand values are, think. Is your business all about fresh, modern, innovative products? Is it about offering the cheapest prices for services in your field? Maybe it’s all about tradition, privacy and confidentiality? Whatever your line of business is, make sure your logo represents you right.
  1. Find the right web host. In basic terms, the web host is where your site will “live” online. A good website hosting company will be able to provide your customers with fast and reliable website views and downloads. Research carefully as there are a lot of web hosting companies to choose from. Consider the bandwidth/space they’ll provide for you, what programming tools you’ll need, and the host’s security, price and level of customer support.
  1. Who will manage and maintain the site, and how? A few years ago, everyone had a web geek on retainer to anxiously await site updates from your firm. Now, more and more companies are taking back control of their site. If your designer isn’t building your site with content management in mind, it may be time to find a new designer. Content management is very user-friendly now and a variety of low-cost options exist. If you are familiar with editing and writing in programs such as Microsoft Word, you will have no trouble adapting to content management for your site. True liberation = control over your site.
  1. Monitor your site’s performance. There are some paid analytics as well as free ones such as Google Analytics, that will help you monitor how your website visitors behave once inside their website. These statistics tell you how many times pages are visited, where visitors come from, keywords used, how long they stayed, etc. The information is very helpful in determining which of your current practices are working and which should be changed for the better. Plan early on who will monitor your site metrics.
  1. Graphic Design. A business website requires different photos, photos of your products, a portrait photo for the ‘about’ or ‘bio’ section, an introductory photo for your home page, etc. Since we’re living in the age of images, you need to choose your images carefully and make sure they’re high-resolution and of top quality.

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