Graphics, Web Design, & more!

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So You Need
a Website?

Author

By Marcy DaLomba

Only you know
your business
like you do.

July 15, 2017

You've come to the conclusion that you need a website or perhaps a redesign of your existing website. What's next? Well, your website is only as good as the information you provide your graphics person and/or web developer. Only you know your business like you do. Of course, the person creating the website also affects the final outcome of your website, but information and planning is key.

I like to start out with blank sheets of paper and write down ideas for what I think the different pages should be. Perhaps you prefer to type it up in MS Word or something similar, but you will be happier with the final result if you plan the information that should go in your website and how pages should progress from one to the other. Once I have a general idea of what information should go in each page, I might search websites online and see how similar businesses tackle certain information and THEN I JUST SHUT DOWN MY COMPUTER.

Unless you specifically ask me to use a template, I'd rather start fresh and create a new layout. Usually I do rough sketches and then start doing a layout in Adobe InDesign. I then create a PDF which I can email you, so that you have a very good idea of what your finished website will look like in the end. This will save lots of time on the programming time and as well as you, the client, can make changes very easily at this stage. LombaDesign has come to this conclusion after some trial and error. Here are some questions which you might find useful as to the information you can provide me with:

• What makes you different than other businesses similar to yours? Why should clients come to you?
• What is your primary business? Can you list at least 5 services you provide?
• Can you provide information as to when or how your business started? Do you have a logo?
• What are your hours of operation? Days of the week open?
• Do you have testimonial text from clients or customers about your business? Make sure to get approval from the client.
• Do you have any photos that will make your website unique? If not, take a look at stock photo websites such as www.istockphoto.com and choose at least 5 photos you like. However, I still much prefer actual photos to stock photography, but you have to start somewhere.
• Are there forms that your client can download?
• Do you need an SSL certificate to keep your website secure? Per Godaddy, our hosting company, “securing your online forms, payment gateways and membership sites with an SSL certificate is a must for businesses online”.
• What other information can you provide to make your website exceptional?

I’ve seen webpages with only the business name, address and phone number. This is just not enough information if you expect people to return to your website. Then there is the other extreme where the website has over 20 pages of information, that is either not necessary or repeats itself. Unless you are a government agency and each page has very useful information, there is no need for so many webpages. Have a plan and you will be happier with the final outcome. But remember, a website is always changeable, almost like your job resume that is ever evolving.