Before website construction begins – the planning starts: Part I
I spoke with two business owners this week about building new websites. Where do we start? Both know that they need a website, and have plans to design one for 2008. I explained that there is a fair amount of pre-planning involved in website design BEFORE construction begins.
A good pre-plan will not only speed up the website building process, but will also focus the business owner on the important elements of a business website.
So, where do you start? I asked Cordelia Blake, owner of Cordelia Blake Web Design, for some input. “Before contacting a web designer, it is important to think about what you want your website to accomplish and what your competitors websites are like,” said Blake. “People frequently think about how many “pages” are in a site – to me that is not really relevant. You really want to think about functionality-do you want people to buy products or services from the site directly, read it to verify a company’s legitimacy or be an information resource? How does it fit in with your marketing plan and what do you want it to do for your business? These things will help you choose the right site and designer for you.”
“Also, the more actual content for the site that you develop ahead of time will shorten the amount of time needed to get your site up and running,” Blake continued. “I’ve also put together a list of things to keep in mind to help you choose the right designer/developer for you.” This information is posted in Blake’s blog.
If you’re still struggling about where to start, Google a couple of words in your industry, and check out their websites. Note your likes and dislikes, and write down the URLs. This will be helpful in showing your web designer your preferences.
NEXT: What to do Before Construction begins on your website – Part II – A checklist
Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency that plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. He is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.