Preparing for Professional Website Design
As the importance of professional website design becomes increasingly evident to those offering any form of practices, services, business, or information - the implied question is how to go about obtaining a custom website design that is professionally developed and promoted to best meet your goals?
The first step in preparing for the creation of a website, no matter who designs it or what it's for, is determining the site's basic functions and purposes.
Common functions that websites serve are:
- Improving trust and image of practices or business - Not having a website these days or having one that portrays an unprofessional or otherwise negative image is not a good sign to prospective customers or clients.
- Bringing people in from the internet - No matter what you sell or offer, there are many people already searching for it on the internet. Lacking an internet presence means web searchers won't be finding or hearing about you or your business.
- Attracting more offline customers - Many people will not make purchases from a person or company that they are unable to learn about or research on their own, or without dealing with representatives.
- Providing a 24/7 storefront to inform, build confidence and sell - While your business or storefront is closed - your website is always available to persuade and convince, allow transactions or submissions of forms, or simply provide information.
Websites serve various functions depending on their purposes and goals. Specific to your practices, business, or services, you will want to create a website that offers your target audience what they want to see, and that is presented in a manner that persuades them to buy your products, contact you for information, or whichever goals you may have for your site.
A professional website designer generally consults with you regarding your goals and desires and inform you of the possibilities. However, as the quality and skill of web professionals greatly varies, I strongly suggest getting numerous opinions—especially if you don't like the responses you are getting from one, or are told something simply is not possible.
Planning your website and understanding your goals and desires helps you best prepare your project and put it to life with your preferred web designer and developer.
Planning your Website - Understanding your goals and desires
Certain aspects of your website should be carefully planned in order to best establish a professional website design that meets and exceeds your goals, and most website designers will therefore want to work with you to determine the proper solutions for your project.
It will be better for both you and your designer if you have thought about certain aspects of the project in advance, including:
- How do you want your website to look? How flashy will it be?
- Who will be providing the design and any graphics or other media?
- What will the website say - which categories and pages do you want and how many?
- How will the website be structured?
- Who will be providing the informational content, including any text? Do you want help writing or developing content?
- Will your site require regular updates? Would you like to make changes or updates yourself later on?
- Will you be selling something online? If so, what? And how will you want your transactions to be made?
- Will you need a database to store or retrieve information?
- Will you want any form submissions or other functions?
- Will you want users to be able to or required to log in for certain or all aspects of your website?
- Will you want to take advantage of website promotion for increased traffic and business?
- What is your timeframe and budget?
- What are your desires and expectations for your internet presence?
Once you have planned the basics of your website you will want to find the right website consultant or professional website designer for your project.
Some consultants and companies specialize in most aspects of online presences, and will assist you with any or all of the above points to best establish and grow your website. Others work on just one or several areas of developing websites or online presences.
The right choice for your project will depend on your particular needs, the competition you will face, the market potential, your budget and timeframe, and various other factors.
Choosing a website developer and internet marketer can be quite an overwhelming process, as the only people who can spot a good web developer are usually good web site developers themselves. While a website appears to most people as simply presentation and function, the truth is that the elements most detrimental to any online presence's success are things that most people and even many website designers overlook or are simply unaware of.