Business Basics is aimed at business owners or bloggers who are about to begin building or redesigning a website. Whether you trust us to do the job or you plan to do the actual work yourself, learning to scope and brief what you need for your website will greatly help you produce winning results. It naturally leads you to more extended areas of online marketing. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s do some planning. This post gives you an outline of things you need to know before any web design and development.
Choosing a Domain
To make your business appear more legit, you need to have your own domain name and your own website personalized and tailored to your business. Yes, we are convinced that you have the best product in the world, but when the address of your website is just a gob of ramble letters and symbols, people will just forget it. You need a website name that is relevant and easy to hear for all users. Simpler and shorter is always better. If it is a brand or company, it is best to use that name in the domain address.
One thing I always recommend to my website clients is to search the web for competitor websites or even non-competitor websites to get an idea of what you would want your site to look like. Search the internet for 30 or more websites in your niche. The more searching, the better idea you get of what looks good and what doesn’t. Look at layouts, color schemes, use of white space and types of content they put on their website. Take note of your findings at the same time. As long as you aren’t copying their sites’ content, there is no harm in copying ideas from those sites.
Decide what pages to have on your website
Now that you have jotted down ideas, the next step is to plan how you want your website to be laid out. What topics or pages would you like to cover? What information are you trying to convey to your visitors? Once you have them, categorize them into pages for the website. You may want to have the following web pages:
- Home Page
- About Us PageHome Page
- Products and/or Services Page
- Gallery or Portfolio Page
- Contact Page
Optimize Your Images
The importance of alt tag. When adding images to your website, make sure you optimize the images by including the “alt” tag and description. The alt tag is there to let the visitor know what the image’s purpose and content is for. Too many people add JPGs or images to a website with a file name like “DSC00427.jpg” or something similar to this. What does that file name mean to anyone digging deep in the Internet hole? Absolutely nothing. But if we rename the file to “web-development-rules.jpg”, then both the internet and visitors know what they are going to be looking at. This is also extremely useful for users who are visually impaired.
Correct image sizing. When uploading images for your website, especially for a gallery, try to keep them the same size for the same purpose. If you have 20 pictures, make sure they are all the same size. It gives a cleaner look than having pictures of all different sizes. Also, try to crop the images too. If you have Photoshop or another photo editing tool, set the canvas size and make all the images the same size. Remember, however, that you don’t mean to do this for a header or for a random picture on your page, but make all the headers the same size and make all the before and after pictures the same size.
Content is king
We have had clients who hired us to build their websites. The successful websites were the websites where the clients gave us the information that they wanted on their site. Those who didn’t have any enough content, pictures or information to give us other than just their business name and address usually took longer to complete and launch. As the business owner, nobody should know more about your business than you. So shouldn’t it be right to say that nobody is able to write better content than you?
Lastly, bringing all of this together into a useful brief document will give you a greater chance to succeed in this increasingly web-oriented world.