If you're not leveraging the power of the Web to help run your business, you're not keeping up with your competitors.

 

What you need to know about website design before we help develop your project.

  • An effective website design requires several stages of development with a whole lot of thoughtful planning. 
  • In order to save time and money you should understand the entire process before we begin your project. 
  • Website design can range from a small inexpensive few pages to one with hundreds of complex pages with sophisticated features. 
  • Whatever the site design the development process remains similar. 

   Click here to see examples of some page layout designs.

 

          There are six basic stages:

Planning Who is your target audience? Etc.
Content Development Company Profile and Customer Q&A
Graphic Design Helps create a good impression
Programming and Tech Help We convert content to HTML coding
Marketing and Promotion Gets you seen by your target audience
Maintenance We can teach website control to you

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Planning

Who is your target audience? This is critical, because many design and content decisions depend on this. Is the site for children or adults? Does your target audience log on to the Net from school, work or home? How fast is their Internet connection? Do they want to be informed or entertained? Make sure you know the answers to these kinds of questions from the beginning.

Your site should be organized for the benefit of your visitors as well as for easier maintenance. Our designers will need pertinent information about  your company . It would help for you or one of your staff to present your thoughts and ideas to our design team.  The idea is to give us a basic tour of your company, it's  goals, products, etc. We will produce a basic layout of your site in some form of storyboard or schematic fashion prior to time given to the actual construction. 

Spend as much time as you can surfing the Web looking at the websites you like. Fancy is not always the way to go with website design. Keeping it simple and to the point is the best way to start out. We can add extras such as animation, graphics, etc. as needed after the basic layout is planned. Keep in mind that a website is a perpetual work-in-progress.

Most websites change fairly often because the technology makes electronic publishing rapid and relatively inexpensive. A well planned site simplifies this process. New content and features can be easily added without having to redesign the site. 

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Content Development

The content of your site will most likely consist of information that you currently have and other information that must be created. At this point you may want to hire a creative writer, or in the case of businesses, a Web-savvy public relations professional. Putting into writing some of the concepts inherent in your company and products is almost a must.

One kind of content is customer service information. What questions do people ask most often?

Question & Answer

 

The idea here is to give your customers the answers from your site... It means less time someone has to spend answering those same questions on the phone. And, the customer can refer to the answers as often as needed.

If you don't have a list of frequently asked questions and answers, sit down alone, or with your staff and write one. Then your website designer can post this information on your website.  

You may want to assign someone in your office the task of working with the website designer for supplying text, pre-prepared logo art, photographs and any other materials that will be needed as website content. This kind of help can be hired on a temporary project basis if you don't have the expertise on staff.

Note: We are a "one-stop" website development company and can provide layout and design with custom graphics, original photography, art illustration and professional creative writing. In addition, we help provide ideas for site design development and program construction and offer professional marketing for the Internet. Click on Price Tag at the bottom of this page for examples of inexpensive pricing and simple website designs.

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Graphic Design

No matter how well-organized and interesting your content, graphics play an important part in drawing the customer to further investigate your site. You can create a good impression with some well-designed graphics on the main page. Design elements throughout the site often create a sense of continuity. A good designer can be of enormous help in creating appealing pages.

The Web has a set of unique requirements for the designer to understand. Just because someone knows how to design a company flyer or brochure does not give them the knowledge needed to design a website. It is important that you understand this. The technical limitations (and opportunities) of web pages are foreign to most graphic designers trained in other media. One of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing us as graphic designers is that we are professionals who understand the unique requirements of the Web. File size requirements, color limitations, and screen resolutions are much different from those in print. Even if you have an in-house graphics department, you may want to consider us as Web-savvy graphic designers bringing your people up to speed on the demands of online design.

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Programming and Technical Help

Once your site is planned and index card or storyboard ready the content information including graphics and photographs can be converted into a web-readable form.

e-programmer!  

The programmer is the individual who works with computer code and the conversion of the materials provided to Internet website presentation form. There are various programs that programmers use to provide the proper type of website construction. Once all the elements are in place and the presentation ideas expressed and understood the programmer can pick the best program or programs for the job.

When all of your material is ready and the programmer ready to roll, you will need a place to host your site. A web hosting service is essential to your site being published to and seen on the Web. It is just as important to the operation as your site having a  World Wide Web domain name.

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Marketing and Promotion

Creating a brilliant website is fruitless if no one knows about it. One perspective client said that he could have someone design a website for half the price of someone else. Then came the question "Was the price quote including some marketing help or was the finished website going to just sit there and do nothing?".  The now client said "What do you mean?".  

Most people donít realize that nobody will see the finished site unless it is properly marketed on the Internet. You might get a few visitors from business cards with your domain name printed on them when you pass them out. However, is this what you are looking for? 

Most businesses want to be seen on the Web. As with other parts of the process, web marketing is a whole lot different than what most people think of marketing as being. With millions of sites all clamoring for attention if not marketed properly you will get nowhere fast. 

Capturing attention can be a challenge. Some developers including us, offer marketing and promotional help as part of their package for Building a Successful Website. This is often timeís part of the professional price quote. That is to say, most website developers who donít offer this type of marketing are less than professional. Some marketing is actually part of the programming and should be built into your finished site. The conclusion is that "half price" can spell a real problem and a waste of money.

Professional Internet marketing can really help spread the word of your site fast. Working with a professional marketer offering creative ideas that bring more people to your site (everything from advertising on the Web to zippy contests), is almost a must.

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Maintenance

Like a house, a website needs regular upkeep. Don't make the mistake of assuming that once it's online, it's done. If you want people to return to your site, someone will have to add new content and update existing material; there's e-mail to answer, links to check, and perhaps usage statistics to track. For a small site, this can take as little as two or three hours a month. With some time spent learning HTML coding, you could manage this yourself. 

As a side note, we initially began our website design business because of a need for control over publishing and maintaining our website in a timely fashion.  After having some difficult encounters with a few web gurus we decided to learn HTML and gain control for ourselves.

When finished with your website project we will give you the option of helping you or someone on your staff understand how to maintain your site in-house. This will give you complete control over your site, content and timely posting of updates! 

Maintenance on a large site can be a full-time job, so build the costs of continuing maintenance into your budget. As part of working with a website developer your company may want a maintenance agreement as part of the contract. Ask about such an agreement at the beginning of the project. Working with the same people throughout will ensure consistency; a new person or company won't have the same working knowledge of your site.

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Can't we all just get along?

These guys are the great-grand-children of puppets and their strings are thought to be controlled by the telephone company and the Internet. However, we know that the real control is in the hands of the computer programmer/operator... or, do we? 

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