Hey Ya’ll! SO I’ve finally decided to accept my “southern-ness” and start using the local colloquialisms. Anywho, Today we’re going to talk about Website design and what you need to have a successful relationship with your designer. Now Lately, I’ve been commissioned to do quite a few websites in the past few months and the most successful and compete sites had these 5 items in place before I got in on the job.
- Domain name
- Job & Function
- Brand identity
Lets talk about them shall we?
- The Domain name. In order for to design a website, you’ll need a domain name. the domain is the the url that points your current & potential customers to your website. It’s your “real estate” on the internet. The average domain name costs around $12 a year, and some can costs up to several thousand depending on the demand for it & who currently owns it. You can normally purchase a domain from Godaddy, Hostgator, Ipower, Namecheap, Comforthost, & several others. The trick is, you MUST have hosting WITH the domain name… it’s like buying a house but not having any land to put it on. It’s easier to purchase a domain AND the hosting at the same time, and sometimes your designer will have hosting already, they just need the domain to park it on.
- Content. I don’t know about many web designers, but i know that I am NOT a content writer. You know your business A LOT better than your designer would. Do us a favor & let’s remain friends. Have all your content together before the project starts or at least a solid idea. Otherwise, your designer will set the site up like a “standard” website & it will stay like that for MONTHS until you give the correct information to go on it. Once i have the content, I can make it look beautiful, but i can’t do much without your information.
- Your Audience. Everything AIN’T for Everybody. Your website has 3 Jobs 1. to increase sales, 2. to function how you want it to. 3. to Attract your Target Audience. Figure out who your ideal audience is, and make sure your website is what they would want to see or what they would think is “awesome”. If you’re trying to sell cosmetics or artisan soaps, you wouldn’t want your website to look like a bank’s website. SO, when having the creative brief with your designer, know who your audience is, so that your designer will know how to execute your website & you can get the most out of it.
- Job & Function. Like i said before, your site has 3 jobs: 1. to Increase Sales. 2. To Function how you want it to. and 3. to Attract your Target Audience. Well, What do you want your website to do?!?! is it supposed to be an online store? is it supposed to be informative? is it supposed to be a portal that leads people to your facebook page? is it supposed to be a networking site? What is it supposed to do?!? Know this when you’re having your creative brief. You may have this mystical unicorn of a website in your head, but unless your translate that to your web designer, we won’t get it. I promise.
- Brand Identity. You NEED a LOGO or SOME TYPE of BRAND IDENTITY. There’s got to be something consistent throughout the site. Be it your logo, favorite graphic, colors, font style, something. Honestly, ALL of these things translate to a well thought out and branded website, but if nothing else, something has to stand out as the Representation of your business or organization.
So let’s Recap. You Need a domain name AND hosting. You need to know who your audience is, and who you’re designing it for. You need to have Content for the site. Like seriously, once you have your content, You’ll know if you really need an entire site, or just a landing page (we’ll get into that next week). You need to have an idea of how you want to site to function and what you want visitors to do when they get there and last but certainly not least, you Need to have some type of brand identity. Something has to be consistently reminding your visitors that they are on YOUR website.
These Top 5 will change a 6 month project into a 2 week project. so instead of waiting for your “little cousin” or “friend’s sister” to put together a website for free, Hire a creative and have these 5 things in place. I design websites and would be more than happy to help you bring your business to the next level. Click the link below to schedule your creative brief!