Building a website can be an exciting journey, especially if you’re getting one re-design. However, in order to build the best possible website without stretching your budget too far or spending over 6 months on development, there are things you have to keep in mind and things you need to steer clear from. I’m a designer for a Web Design company with hundreds of website under my belt and below are are the most common Do’s and Don’ts I’ve encountered in my years.
1. Answer the question “Why”:
As obvious as you may think this question is…try it on yourself. Ask yourself “Why do I need a new website?” More often than not, you’ll find it pretty challenging. Having a clear understanding of your “Why” early on will allow you to make better decisions on what to have on your website and ultimately have a finished product that’s align with your goal and also laser focused.
2. Steal From Competitors
Yes, I said it. Your competitors have spent the time and money to research and revise some pretty good websites that works well in your industry. Why not take a look at the battlefield and see who’s wielding the biggest guns and copy their design? Chances are you’ll like a few of their designs and it will give you a better idea of how you’ll want your website to be.
3. Develop Your Content Head of Time
The slowest and most painful part of designing a website is often putting your content INTO your website either during development or afterward (depending on how your web company handles content). In either scenarios, it will take you days…weeks…months to come up with content for your pages. And chances are your web company will ask you for some decent photography to put on the website. And if you’re anything like 99% of clients, you hardly know what we’re talking about and proceed to give us thumbnail images. While your website is being developed, take that time to create your content and find good photography.
1. Build It Yourself
Believe it or not, you’re probably NOT a graphic designer or a programmer (if you are…good for you). So chances are you’ll have absolutely no idea what a good website actually looks like. We have plenty of clients who played around with WIX or another website builder that uses Templates and suddenly believe they’re Web Design Magicians. You will experience an insurmountable level of frustrations when you can’t “get it to look right” or your design doesn’t look “cohesive” or “professional”. The time and energy you spent to do it yourself, you’re better off saving it and applying it to your business. Trust me, it will be worth it to hire a professional. You’ll thank yourself (and me) later.
2. Expect a World-Class Design Overnight
Often times our expectations are skewed when we hired professionals. The process of building a world-class design doesn’t happen over night, nor does it happen the first time. Your first re-design (if done professionally) will look 1000x better than your existing website, but that doesn’t mean it’s the Final design. Once you do some marketing, get some feedbacks, and your website gets traffic and visitors, you’ll eventually want to do more with it. Your website is a dynamic fixer-upper and it will constantly evolve with you. If your business is evolving and growing, your website will too with it. So expect your website to change and evolve over time into a World Class website.
3. Try to Please ALL of your Visitors
You need to have a specific target audience in mind and build your website round them. It’s tempting to think that our website will be attractive, usable, and acceptable to everyone. Unfortunately that’s rarely the case. If you’re building a website for folks 40+, I doubt millennials will it appealing. And if you’re building a cutting edge website with sophisticated animation and cool effects, I doubt it will run properly for a senior citizen who’s trying to load your website on his Windows 98. Create a customer profile, think as they would, and design it specifically for them and your website will become a grinding machine for converting visitors to leads/prospects.