5 Steps to Designing a Great Company Website
What all goes into making a website great? Things like color, copy, images, videos and search engine optimization are important, but there has to be more to it right?
Below are the 5 steps we take when designing a new website for a client and a lot of the important elements to consider.
The first thing you need to decide when building a new website is what pages you want on it and how they will connect together for a quick and easy visitor experience. Will you have separate service pages or will you list all of your services on one page? It’s important you provide a clear, direct and an easy to use navigation system for the best visitor experience.
If you are designing a website that includes more than 15 pages, then it is useful to have a sitemap or website “Search” feature on your website to ensure your visitors can easily find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.
Having a site map is extremely important. If the sitemap is always updated, it helps in getting more traffic to your website. It enables the visitors to know that you have added new content to your website. A sitemap is also important for improvising on your website. When you see the sitemap, you get a complete insight about your website; this will help you to decide what additional content can be added to the website.
Design isn’t just the visual; it’s the personality beneath. For some reason, design has a stigma as solely being visual part of the website. This couldn’t be more misunderstood or false. Design is the entire experience from the instant users enter your site to well after they’ve left.
Visitors are paramount and should always be at the forefront of every decision about your site. Designs should enable your visitors to reach their goals with speed, effectiveness and, most importantly, pleasure.
Be sure to select and stick to a color scheme. If your company has a logo or branded colors on its stationary that’s a good start. Layout and design are a very subjective topic, but the important thing is to make sure that there is a layout…as opposed to just putting information up. Details are capable of making a ‘good’ design ‘great’.
White space seems to be the hardest concept for developers to grasp: the biggest benefit to having the proper amount of white space is giving the user a break. Breaks are important for processing information, especially when there’s a fair amount to process. It’s why we have paragraphs and sentences instead of just a single, long block of running text.
Don’t go overboard on special effects. While it’s ok to have one or more special effects, too many can distract you visitor from the content and may them click away. Make sure you have contact information on all pages.
Although we develop custom websites using Expression Engine software most of the sites we develop now are WordPress themes. WordPress themes have come a long way and now offer everything most small to medium sized businesses need in a site. By using already coded WordPress themes we can save our customers both time and money.
When setting up a WordPress theme we start by downloading the .zip file of the theme that our customer has chosen from a commercial theme provider. Next we login to your WordPress admin area and click on Appearance » Themes. Once your theme is installed, we will see a success message along with the link to activate and preview the theme. Finally we click on the activate button, and have then successfully installed and activated your WordPress theme.
When someone visits on your website, you want them to be able to find everything they need as quickly as possible. You want to make it easy. That means having a few basic pages that will help you help them quickly.
The home page is the landing page for your website so its important to have the right information front and center to grab visitors attention. Other important pages to consider setting up are an About page to discuss your company, a Contact page for visitors to connect with you and a Products or Services page to make it easy to see your offerings and as simple and quick as possible for users to find exactly what they’re looking for.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is vital to ensuring that your copy draws as much targeted traffic as possible. Some themes come with built-in SEO features, and while this is great, we prefer to use additional plugins so that settings are uniform across all of my websites, regardless of the theme.
Website content integration is the process of adding all of the copy, images and video to the formatted pages.
It is very important that you concentrate your efforts on creating useful and unique content that give your prospects only what they need to do business with you. Get to the point on the home page, or at least give people an idea of what your site is about. If people have to go hunting, they may move on.
Make pages only as long as they need to be. Think local & write global and make sure you spell everything correctly. Graphic quality can be a key factor in improving the appearance of you web site, but don’t make images any larger then they need to be so the site loads fast.
Avoid saying just “Click Here” and make sure your links work. It’s a good idea for external links to open to other websites (external) in a new window. That way visitors can easily return to your site when they are finished browsing the external links.
Training & Launch
After you have all of the copy and images loaded onto your website pages its time to train on how you can add your own blog post and copy and image changes.
WordPress themes come with a Content Management System (CMS) which is the WordPress admin area and it provides a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor – similar to a mini-version of Microsoft Word. For more advanced users there is a “code view” option where you can edit HTML code in a page, post or article, but it is not necessary for creating simple content.
Once you’re trained on how to use the CMS editor then its time to launch your new site to impress and convert prospective customers.
If you need your website revised or need a new website for you business. Please call 402-650-2917 or get in touch us today!