Your website design could be the most important communication tool for your business to reach, support and supply clients and potential prospects. It is also an investment, and depending on your needs you need to make sure you build it right. Website design is a critical piece of your branding, but don’t go blindly into the market. You have to be strategic about how you build your website and what needs your site needs to meet. Do you need a high-end custom designed websites, simple or complicated e-commerce site, a simple informational site or landing pages. Have a plan before you begin building your website.
Here is a handy checklist to have in place before you meet with your designer:
- Decide What Kind of Buyer You Are (solopreneur or small business or e-commerce)
- Determine Your Client Base (what kind of performance will they expect from a site, are they tech savvy, do they shop online)
- Map Out A List Of Performance Needs From Your Site
- Choose your Domain URL, Optimized if Possible
- Choose Your Host Server
- Open a WP account (biggest sites are built on this open source cms)
- Choose a Theme
- Choose Plug Ins
- Choose Widgets
- Choose Shopping cart, merchant provider, and hook up to your bank. What e-commerce cart to choose?
- Collect artwork and photo images you want to use, make sure they are vectorized. Label and tag
- Build a site map based on your needs
- Turn in to your designer and kick back
Two things are not negotiable:
You must have a mobile responsive site and it must be optimized.
Otherwise, you will have a pretty site no one will see.
Types of Website Design
As with anything, your website can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be. Partnering with CME Inc. will give you the ability to create a fluid brand image across all levels of communication from print collateral to e-commerce and beyond; enabling you to focus on what you do best.
Blogging Web Design
Everyone is blogging and if you aren’t, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Blogs (short for Web Logs) is a type of online journal or editorial. You can log on daily, weekly or whenever, and write about the activities going on in your business, comment on events in the community ,or give helpful information to your readers. This form of self-publishing is a great way to communicate on an intimate level with clients. More importantly, it allows you the ability to control the information and experience you want visitors to have with your brand.
Informational Web Design
If you have information to share or sell, this is the site for you. This type of site is perfect for community event sites as a hub for visitors to acquire all information about an event, such as location, times, cost etc. You might be selling something, for example hot tubs. You may want to include video or articles (blogs) about how to winterize your hot tub. You could also include e-commerce to sell your hot tubs and accessories. The possibilities of merging several different types of sites are endless.
Online Business Brochure/Catalog Website Design
Another type of informational site is an online brochure or catalog. With this site, you can showcase photos and descriptions of your products or services. Unlike an e-commerce site, many businesses provide products that are not sellable over the internet, such as a salon, manufacturer, or dentist.
E-commerce Web Design
Now more than ever, anyone can sell over the Internet with less overhead than a traditional brick and mortar store. With the growth of the national and world market on the web, if you aren’t selling online, you are missing a lot of sales!
An e-commerce site is a fairly inexpensive and flexible way to sell your products. However, it does require some savvy know-how to navigate current laws and best practices. Having a partner like Creative Media, with vast knowledge of e-commerce structure will make your online venture stress free.
Mechanics of an e-commerce site
1. Product or Service Introduction
2. Product or Service Descriptions
3. Check out Protocol
Learn more about the mechanics of an E-commerce website
Responsive Mobile Website Design
The widespread use of mobile devices has made standard websites difficult to view or take long download times due to small screens and wireless connections.
Responsive web design (RWD) is a design approach that provides an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices. With over 71% of all internet traffic being mobile, you cannot afford to have a site that in non-responsive. We can craft your site using RWD to adapt the layout to the viewing environment (mobile phones, desktop computer, tablets). A new google product is AMP or Amplified Mobile Pages. Pages with this markup are even faster and useful for your SEO.
Content Management System CMS
A content management system (Web CMS) is a bundled or stand-alone application to create, deploy, manage and store content on Web pages. In other words, it’s a self-managed system to update your site. Web CMS’s usually allow client control over HTML-based content, files, and documents. Once we create your initial site, you can log in and write a new blog, upload a video or photo with links to your social media by yourself. This gives you control over changes made to your site.
Of course some clients would like for us to continue to maintain and post for them, and we are happy to do that too.
A very important part of your branding maintenance is to keep your online presence fresh. Much like a car, your website needs regular maintenance. Perhaps you just need an oil change, or some light bodywork. Other times you may need to fix your alignment or even scrap it and buy a new car.
You might refresh monthly or yearly, but don’t let more than 2 years go by without a refresh. With technology and trends changing so rapidly, you will need to stay on top of it. We know how to navigate those changes so you can focus on your business.
Another area of your website that needs to be maintained is Search Engine Optimization. SEO is something that you need to consistently use to monitor your traffic, competitors and ad campaigns. If you have a website, you need to have it optimized and monitored regularly, which is one of the services we provide to our customers.