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Step-by-step guide to what you need for a website
06/08/2013
Author: Victoria Jones

So you’re considering changing your website and need to know what you need to do next? While us web designers can take care of the creative visuals, design elements and complicated code to make sure you have a great website, there are certain things that we need you to take care of such as copywriting and domain access. They are often simple things that just get forgotten about, but very often end up slowing down projects.

Below is a simple step-by-step guide to work through, which will make the project go as fast as possible.

  1. Ensure your logo is fit for purpose.
    Your website should last you at least 3 to 5 years – will your current logo stand the test of time and still be in use half a decade from now? Your logo should also be a good quality and clear to make sure it works well on your website – contact us if you want to check your logo is fit for purpose, or if we need to tweak it. You could also consider redesigning it entirely to give you a fresh face, we’d be happy to give you a free review.
  2. Who is your audience?
    Who has your site been created for? Is it to attract potential business from new customers, give further information to existing customers, or be an information resource for the general public? Do you need e-commerce to sell online, or CMS so that you can manually update content at your end? Think about your website from a visitors point of view, and about what they will want to find out from your site (pricing, opening times, accreditations, address)
  3. Decide on how many pages and what page titles will be.
    Basic navigation is important to get right from the start – it is very time consuming to change once it has been created and may incur charges. Think about who will be visiting the site and what you want them to have access to – do you need a page for contact details, or will these be viewable throughout the site? What information will your audience need to know?
  4. Decide on your brand voice.
    Your brand is more than just a logo. Everything you do in your business, from the colours you use on paperwork to the way you use social media, makes an impact on your brand. Are you a starched-collar or ‘casual Friday’ kind of business? All of this will impact the type of language you use on your website, as well as in emails and printed material. Are you formal or chatty, or somewhere in between? Queen’s English or txt spk? I am sure that many of us would never use a legal team with casual language, but a new bar might seem a little stiff and boring if they wrote in a formal style. Think about what is right for your business in its marketplace. (More of our own branding guru Michelle’s views can be found in ‘At The Sharp End‘)
  5. Write content for each page.
    You probably already have this lying around from your brochures or promotional material – though we can create websites you know your business much better than us and are in the best position to write your content! Of course we can advise on how best to include keywords and links for SEO, but this is the most important thing you need to supply us with to allow us to create your site. The easiest way is to make a separate word document for each page, fill the document with your text (and pictures where applicable) and name it after the page title. This is the best way to make sure that everyone, both at your end and ours, knows exactly what lives where. And don’t forget to include a Call-to-Action (call now! Get in touch!) and some testimonials – these are key to getting your audience to engage.
  6. Get pictures for headers, content, galleries etc
    We’re sure you already have stacks of photos of your business, premises, products etc (if not then we can help with that too!). You need to sort out the best ones you’d like to include on the site, where they will go in the text (just dropping them into your text documents is the easiest way to show us), and if you are using a photo for the header or background then ensure it is a high enough resolution. The other important thing to ensure is that you have the legal right to use your photo – if it one you have taken then fine, if it is pulled from an image search then probably not!
  7. Establish where domain will be/is hosted and get access details if we aren’t hosting
    Although we can also offer great value hosting, which makes it much easier to launch and update your site, we understand that people may want to stay with their current domain host for a range of reasons. If you choose to do so, please make sure you know how to access and log in to your server, so that we can launch your site as soon as it is finished. Many clients ask us to buy their domain, which makes the whole process smoother for everyone. We don’t mind either way.

To talk to one of the Creating Media team about your website, get in touch for a free consultation.

Article by Victoria, lover of lists!

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