Preparing For Your New Website

5 Tips & Tricks to get your website off to a FLYER…

So you’ve decided you want to get your business online. Should be fairly straightforward. Find a website designer, tell them what you want, pay them and you’re done. Sadly, it’s just not that simple. If you really want your website to stand out from the crowd, you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and prepare to put some elbow grease in.

1. What Do You Want The Website To Do For You?

This would seem like a simple one. A lot of budding businesses just want a website, but when asked what they want the website to do for them, they’re stumped! Before you take the first step of getting your website live, take some time to think about what you actually want it to do for your business.

For example, lets say you own a restaurant. Maybe your unique selling point is that you want to be completely transparent about the ingredients your dishes use. Maybe you want to give your customers the option to book tables online. You could use it to host your menu’s, and maybe you need to occasionally add seasonal menus.

There’s a lot of different angles which should be considered about what you want the website to do for you. Once you sit down and have a think about this topic and set a plan for what you need from the website, you’ll be able to set the foundations for your whole project.

2. What’s Your Budget?

The cost of a website can really come as a shock to people, but at the end of the day, you’re paying somebody who is an expert in the trade to do a job for you. Most don’t know the ins and outs of designing a website which can make it hard to understand why they’re being quoted such a price. It’s a worthwhile practice to shop around of course, but remember – if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. It’s sadly true. To make things worse, cutting corners and going for the cheap option can have a detrimental effect on the success of your online presence.

It’s easy for me to say from my perspective that it’s worth investing a few bob in, but as somebody who has experience in the field, the difference between the final product of a €199 website and a €599 website can be massive. There’s cowboys out there for sure.

That’s just one angle. You may have a list of things you want from your website, and all the bells & whistles add up. It takes a designer time to add different elements to your website, so the more you need, the higher the cost.

Its’s always a good idea to go into a project with a budget in mind, but do give yourself a little room to manoever – consider how much you’d like to pay as well as the maximum you’re willing to pay.

3. Content Content Content

Written Content

Another thing to consider is the written content of the website, you know, the stuff people actually come to see! If it’s within your budget, there’s plenty of copywriters out there who’ll gladly write up your website content. Either way, you’ll need to have some idea of the message you want to get across on each page.

Think of your about us page – what information do you want people to know about your business? Write it down. What services do you provide? Write them down. How much do your services cost? Write them down. Do you have certificates or qualifications in your field that you want to share? Write them down.

For some people this task can be daunting, but either way you’ll need to be able to explain and describe your business. In some instances, your web designer may be willing to assist in this regard, but you’ll need to have a reasonable overview of the message you’re trying to get out to your viewers.

Here’s a few useful links that may help you out – web content writing tips , writing great business website content

Visual Content

As once said by a man who lost his pen – a picture paints a thousand words. The first thing to grab your viewers eye is generally images. People make their assessments of websites in mere seconds with their subconscious. So without even realising why, your viewers mind may have been made up about your whole business in an instant based on the images you choose. They really can be that important.

Again, going back to the whole budget malarkey – if you can acquire the services of a professional photographer, you’re off to a flier. That cant always be the case but here’s a few tips if a pro is too pricey for you;

  • Ask a friend. You might know a student or a budding photographer who could help you out. Could make all the difference.
  • Stay consistent. If the above point isn’t an option and you intend to use your own imagery, try to keep your images consistent. If you’re selling products, make sure the product is set on the same background for each one. Make sure your image dimensions are consistent too. Different sized images are not great on the eye, and don’t lay out well on a website. This isn’t always the case but it’s a good general rule of thumb.
  • Ol’ Google. There’s plenty of resources online where you can find beautiful, free to use imagery which will help you. , & are great resources which may help you.

4. Be Prepared To Communicate

From time to time, us web designers will need to contact you over the course of the project. Being able to get back quickly and to generally be available to chat makes the whole process much smoother for both parties. We want the finished website to look and work fantastically for you, and of course to complete the project in a timely manner for you. A lack of communication can really bring a project to a standstill and nobody wants that to happen.

5. Build A Social Media Presence

Having Facebook, Twitter, Google + , Linkedin, Instagram etc. pages running in conjunction with your website can have a huge effect on the amount of traffic that actually comes to your website. Being socially active and linking these outlets together can lead to a great online presence. Being active on them is important too!

Being dormant on your social media outlets just indicates that the company is not well maintained online. Giving people updates about your business, sharing links to your website, running promotions etc all help feed your audience into your website – which is where the magic happens.