|Designing Your Dream Website
How do you go about finding the right developer for your website? If you do not already know a good developer, ask around and get some ideas from colleagues, friends, or family. They are always good places to start and you are sure to get honest feedback.
If that is not an option, go online to some of your favorite websites. If you like what you see, find out who designed it and contact that person. The best criterion for choosing a developer is looking at a portfolio of his or her work.
Before you make contact, put together an outline of what you want to accomplish. Your plan should include some or all of the following pieces:
There are six basic stages in website building:
Content development should encompass information you currently have and information you will need to create. You may want to enlist the services of a creative writer to put words into action. Something to consider including is frequently asked questions (FAQ) or inquiries. Take some time to think about these and write them down. The more information you can provide for your customers, the less time you will need to spend responding to their queries. Remember, your website is a natural extension of your company so your content will add value for your existing customers, as well as generate new business.
Regardless of how interesting your content is, your graphic design will set the tone of your website, as well as contribute to your company's image. You will create a good first impression with intriguing graphics on your home page. To ensure continuity, incorporate these design elements throughout your website. Do not go overboard with your design, though. The limitations for website pictures differ from print. Your graphics may be totally awesome, but if they take forever to download, they are no good.
Once you have your website mapped out and your content and graphics ready to roll, it is time to convert them to a web format. This means that your original documents need to be readable on the Internet. Programming your website can be as simple as adding HTML tags or writing client-side or server-side scripts for dynamic content.
Creating a brilliant website is wonderful, but it will be useless if nobody knows about it. Your developer will be able to assist you with this piece as well. One quick way to market your website is to register it with a search engine. This way, your company will come up when people type in keywords.
The final piece to your dream website is the maintenance. Like anything else, it needs proper care and feeding to keep it running. Simple updates on a regular basis will keep your website looking fresh and get your customers to return to your website. If your website is stagnant, it will not be as appealing as one that is dynamic.
Your website is your online vision for your company. The image it projects will attract or repel your target audience or customer base. By thinking things through, being organized, and talking with your developer about your goals, budget, and vision, your website will be one that customers will talk about for a long time.
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