Planning Your Website
Planning your website can be a very daunting, tedious and a time consuming task. But, by doing the research and having a plan before you contact a web designer will be well worth the efforts and will save you money in the long run. This will eliminate additional costs for things like extra pages and changing of graphics and contents later on.
What is the purpose of the Site?
Determining the main purpose of your website is a key start. Write down the key elements that you want on your site. Think about why a visitor would want to come to your site? You have to offer something that your visitors want or need, for example you may want to sell products of interest to the public, or you may want to improve the reputation of the company or even make a product or price list available to potential customers or distributors. Once you have written down all the elements, rate the importance of each point by rating them highest to lowest.
What content do I want I my website?
List the specific graphics and content you would like on your site. Do you want to sell products directly by taking credit card information, or do you need a shopping cart website? Once you’ve determined what content you want on your website, it might be a good idea to draw your content on a sheet of paper. This may give you a clearer picture of your website goal.
Brand Identification ~ Logo
Do you have a current logo that you would like incorporated into your site or do you need a logo developed for you?
Do you have a particular color preference or do you currently have company colors that you currently use? Colors are very important because if you mix the wrong ones, it might be hard for the visitor to read your content. Remember, content is king, if the content is difficult to read, the visitor will leave your website because the users knows there are hundreds of website’s out there on the web. Please visit our colors section for a more in depth coverage of colors.
Does your company use a particular font, or do you have a particular font you would like to use?
Other Marketing and Materials
Do you have other marketing materials such as company business cards, brochures, and stationery. Would you like any of this material to help brand your website to your business? Are there any interactive forms required?
How many pages do you want on your website? Examples are a ‘Welcome’ or ‘Home’ page, contact pages, services page, about page etc. What kinds of navigation bars or menus are needed?
What sort of graphic ideas or appearances do you have of your website? How many graphics are needed? Are there any custom graphics needed. How design-intensive do you want your site to be?
Page elements are really important which appear on nearly every website. Consider the web page title that will appear on the tab of your browser, the graphic that should appear on the top of page, the branded logo, the email and contact information and the copyright and trademarks at the bottom of the page.
Do you need a database-driven application site? Is there an administrative area required? Is there any client training necessary?
Domain names are identification strings that serve as humanly-memorable names for the internet. The domain name is a component of a URL to access website’s. If you are looking to have your business name registered the same as your domain
name, it is a good idea to search for both the domain name and the business name to ensure that the business name or domain names are not already registered. Nothing is more frustrating or disappointing to discover, you have registered your business name, however, the domain name has already been taken or has been reserved for potential future use. If the .com domain name that you have chosen is taken, then there are other options available such as choosing a country specific Top Level Domain names such as ‘.ca’ for Canada, ‘.us’ for the United States and ‘.uk’ for United Kingdom and so on. Please view our registering your domain name section of our website for more details.
Hosting Your Website on the Internet
There are many things to consider when choosing a Hosting Company. There are several parts to being online and having a Web site such as an internet connection whether it’s personal or business. There are annual domain registration fees, Web site hosting fees, Web site development and maintenance fees.
You should always consider using a hosting company in the country that you are doing business with, otherwise you may run into problems with customer service, as foreign languages and time zones differ in other countries.
There are many cheap hosting companies available, however, you should consider a hosting company that offers the right
package for you for your current and future website needs. Things to consider when choosing a package should include disk space limitations, domains, domain name renewals, add-on domains, bandwidth, website tools, customer support, down time, plan features, email accounts, marketing, databases, programming and support, security, instant app’s and web building software, multimedia, e-commerce infrastructure and pricing. Be aware of ‘free hosting packages’ as they might not be suitable for the services you need.
Successful website’s will have at least one maintenance cost per year above the originally cost to develop. It is necessary for fresh content for repeat of business. Your budget should include at least one maintenance cost whether it’s by the hour or yearly. Examples of maintenance could be new content for the website, new products or even new locations of extended business. Check out our variety of website maintenance packages that we offer.