People who contact me to design a web site for them quite often have never had a web site and have absolutely no idea where to start. Clients looking for a re-do on an existing site seem to be a little more familiar but still more lost than anything. The theme here is that pretty much nobody seems to know where to start.
In order to help you with this, here is a list of pages that will help you start the learning process.
- Preparing for Your Web Site
- How the Design Process Works
- Choosing Your Web Designer
- The Client’s Learning Curve
- Web Sites F.A.Q.
- Request an Estimate
- SEO 101
- SEO Reality Check
- SEO is Also YOUR Job
By going over these pages, you’ll gain a tremendous amount of information and insight about your pending web site adventure. In addition to reviewing the page links above, you should also:
It’s YOUR Site – Bring Us YOUR Ideas!
Surf the Internet, get some ideas! You don’t have to restrict yourself to surfing on your own site’s topic. With the abundance of web sites on the Internet you’ll find many a feature that you might like to have in your own site. It’s probably safe to say that any feature you see on another web site is able to be used on your own web site – but may have to be modified for functionality, customizing it’s look to coordinate for your site and also “no direct copying” for copyright reasons.
For example, let’s say your site topic is “dog grooming” but you find the absolute perfect navigation menu on a real estate web site. Well, we can put a version of the real estate navigation on the dog grooming site.
Do not expect us to develop a site for you that “looks just like this one.” Think about this … do you really want to have your web site look like someone else’s? There are many reasons why not to look like another site, including it not being good for your business – but because more importantly, it would also be in violation of copyright laws and could get you and the designer sued.
Make a List
Keep a list of web site links (also known as url’s) of sites that you find options on that you’d like to have used on your own site. Make notes and very important – give this list to your web designer early in your planning stages so that he or she can see exactly what you’re talking about. This is so much easier on both you and your designer than just explaining what you want. Designers are usually quite visual people and being able to see what you’re talking about is so much more help than verbal or written explanations and probably one of the best (and easiest!) things you can do to help your designer. This in turn, helps you keep your costs down. If a designer can see what you like, they can produce a similar sample for you (also known as a “demo” or “mockup”) following your example links. This is much quicker and easier than for a designer to work blind, guessing what you like. You save the designer hours of work and in turn – you save yourself paying for hours of work resulting in something you don’t like.
If you’re not willing to take these simple steps and make the effort to make your web site “your own,” you’re so totally not ready for a web site. Don’t be surprised if what you see when you view your demo for the first time is the farthest thing from what you’d hoped it would be. Don’t be surprised if your web site winds up costing you more than the original estimate. I repeat, we are web designers, not mind readers, we don’t use crystal balls. How can we know what you like and don’t like if you don’t tell us?