The key to good website design is planning. Too many people launch into website design without the proper planning, and so their website doesn’t perform in the way they want. So the first phase of building a website is to plan.
The first job is to determine purpose – what do you want the website to do? Do you want your site to be primarily a web-based shop (e-commerce), a brochure to attract customers, a centre for a social media or a blog for communication? This determines the functionality and infrastructure of the site.
What software do we use?
There are many systems available for website design – at Websites Essex we mainly use WordPress, which is a free content management system (CMS) that powers about a third of all sites on the internet. It is simple to understand and can have its functionality changed by installing a plugin, of which there are many available. It is also simple to use for even the most technically challenged!
Q. Why get a professional website design? Can’t you just create one for free?
Of course you can, and of course you can use WordPress yourself – it is free after all. The problem with free website builders, and even WordPress in the hands of someone not familiar with webdesign, is that the sites look like what they are – sites built using the default options. They don’t have the professional image and design that either establishes you as an expert in your field or makes your product or service standout from the competition. See Richard’s blog on DIY websites.
Q. Doesn’t the content matter most though?
Yes, the content is important but a visitor to your site makes their mind up whether to stay or leave in just 7 seconds! The days where you could put up a simple website, write a brief sales letter and sell your product or service are gone. The customer now expects a professional looking website, where investment has been made in the product or service.