Website Preparation

Getting Ready for Web Production

Icons11There are several things a company must do before they post anything on the Internet.  Every company must have a general idea of the goal they wish to accomplish.  For instance, is your company’s goal to make more money or provide a service for your customer?  Or is it to communicate ideas and enhance your brand identity?  Is it a repository for all your wisdom?  Is your site going to be a way for new customers to discover your business or is it a way for existing clients to contact your staff? Is it all of the above?

It is very easy to say “yes” but really consider it for a moment.

If you are going to sell products online you need to have a shopping cart, credit card merchant account, Pay Pal account, etc.  You need to decide if you will offer financing as well if you are selling big ticket items.  In addition to that you will need to have a commercial domain name or dot com.  Other extensions are available but dot com (.com) works the best.  In just a matter of two moments you may have added several items to the “wire frame” layout of your website.  Shopping area and check out area, plus a home page, legal disclaimer, terms of acceptance, and contact page.  And you haven’t begun to add products yet.

NOTE:  Coming soon to an Internet near you is Internet2 (linked to wiki) which will be for non-profit use. I remember them talking about this when I attended UMass in 1994, now it is coming soon after 25-years.

These are just a few of the things you must decide upon before you begin to design a commercial web page, sub pages, and content areas.  Our staff can walk you through the process but in the end the decision is yours so prepare carefully before approaching any company to make a website for you.

webdesignHere is what you need to consider and do:

  1. Decide the type of website your company needs and define its purpose by defining the end goal of the website.
  2. Work from the end result desired for this goal to the initial client entry point.
  3. Establish other possible positive results that are secondary to the main goal.
  4. Prepare a wire frame or mock up sketch of the first page.
  5. Prepare the layout of sub pages, contact pages, maps, etc.
  6. Ask as many people as possible their opinion of your design while getting suggestions.
  7. Ask your existing customers if they will help you test your design when it is first presented on the Internet.
  8. Get people who are in the demographic of your target audience to test your site (pay them).
  9. Establish the site.
  10. Make modifications as the need arises.

Once you have the above you have the very beginning of a website and only the beginning.  The good thing is digital media can be changed at will.  If you are our client and we prepared the initial content, you will be shown how to do that without hiring an outside engineer or subcontractor.  The idea is once the frame work is complete we go ahead with the usability of the website base on user experience (ux) and suggestions.  After which we will ensure all branding needs are met and “mood designs” are established for seasonal changes and holidays, shopping events, etc.

Of course there is much more to it than that.  There are type fonts to select, font weights to consider, backgrounds, images, shopping carts, branding, color schemes, search engine optimization, and mood themes to implement as your progress contiues to improve.  When done you have the beginning of value and the good news is this is enough to make a healthy profit so it doesn’t cost you, it pays you to have a website.