Starting a new business is a very exciting time, but it can also be a very stressful time, with
everything that you as a business-owner need to learn and do. In addition to that you now need a website to help establish your brand and attract new customers. More things to learn and to reduce the number of hours you have in the day!
Luckily getting your website site up and running is quite a straight forward process once you know the basics. We hope to give you enough knowledge to make informed decisions when going about having your website built which will hopefully lead to a much smoother process.
Some of the main concepts you need to know are:
- Web Design
- Domain Names and its registration
So What is Web Design?
Basically this is the process whereby the look-and-feel of your website is designed by a web designer and yourself. This is akin to an architect creating blueprints for your dream home. At this point you should be able to make changes to how everything looks, from colours, to fonts to what content and images are included, to the number of pages and the general layout of your website. Once you are happy with the design, the web designer will put all the pages of the website together for you with all the changes and content you have discussed. This is similar to how a builder would use the architect’s blueprints to build your home.
It is important to note that this design is not available to the general public on the Internet yet, but only for private viewing by yourself. Putting your website on the Internet is part of hosting which we will discuss in a later article.
A good web designer will take the time to research your business and your industry and come up with several alternative designs for you to choose from to ensure you receive the best competitive advantage from your website. The web designer will also guide you through design choices that make the most sense for display on the Internet.
What You Need
How Many Pages?
Deciding on the number of pages to include on your website can be a hard one. It all depends on what you want to say and how you want to say it. Any basic website would have a home page (the first page you visit) at the very least. Some people have a separate contact page and a separate services page and separate pages for products etc. This can quickly spiral out of control, so it’s best to start small and add more pages only when you feel you need them. You could have your contact information at the bottom of every page for instance without having a separate contact page. It all depends on how you want to structure your information. Your web designer will guide you through your various options.
A Palette of Colours
Work with your web designer to select a palette of colours that will be congruent with your brand. These colours typically lend themselves to the logo as well and will work to make your website more cohesive. If you already have a logo, your colour palette will probably originate from there.
In most cases you may not have a logo to work with. If that is the case you will need to get a logo designed as well. Typically web designers don’t do this and you will need to seek out a graphic designer. There are also several good websites that create logos for you such as 99designs or designcrowd where you get a wide selection of choices.
Deciding on content for each section and page of your website might be one of the most challenging tasks of creating your website. Some web designers can help with copywriting or you might have to enlist the help of a copywriter if you find yourself with writer’s block.
In many cases images used on a website make or break a website and as such you may either need to hire a professional photographer or buy professional photographs from sites such as shuttershock or stockphoto. If you are lucky you may already have great photographs/pictures to use on your website.
Similar to logos, you may need several icons to make your website sing. Again your graphic designer should be able to help you out or you can have a look at sites like dryicons or mysitemyway. It’s also important to make sure the images and icons you use have the same look-and-feel all throughout.
Tip: Make sure you get receipts for all images and icons used on your website as you will be liable for misusing commercial images without the proper licenses.
How to Get Some Ideas
If you are not sure about what kind of website you’d like for your business, it’s best to have a look at websites of your competitors or think about websites that you generally like. This list of 50 beautiful websites is a great place to cultivate your inspiration. Your designer can incorporate features of these websites into your design to make it one that is personal as well as professional.
Some Beautiful Designs
Once You’re Done
Once the design process is complete the designer should provide you with copies of the website and all images or icons purchased (along with their licenses) on some media (CD or DVD or USB stick etc). You will need this when you decide to host your website.
We hope that this article gave you a better understanding of web design and the steps you will need to follow. At Unique Imprints, we can take care of all this and more, and let you focus on your business while we focus on getting your website Online. For more information about how to get started contact us on 07 3879 0145 or send us an email, tweet or check us out on youtube.
Stay tuned for next Website 101 where we explain what domain names are and how they are used.