Custom Design is it worth it ?
“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.”
To have a fully functional as well as good looking website is almost as important as your business plan, it needs to be thoroughly considered as this is the final output and an extremely important channel of communication for you and your customers. Your business plan forms the structure of your business thus so should your website. You need to take the time out to consider what you want to gain from your website before any design has been discussed or set.
Before we even start designing let’s take a look at what the aim of your website is, what do you want to gain? What audience is your website aimed at and who would you exclude by aiming at your audience?
The actual design:
We then look to the design of the website who wants to look at something ugly, no one! Reconsider your site if it is not up to the standards and decide where you would like your website to go now and in the future. I would also consider the backend of the website and how this affects the usability of your site. If your website were an ecommerce site, could your customers easily check out without having hassles? The design and then ultimately the development go hand in hand. I would actually suggest spending some time and money on the backend first and then looking at the design, as cutting corners in development can cause huge issues down the line. We then may achieve a great user experience as the backend has been set up appropriately and implementation of the design will be cheaper and quicker.
When looking at your website try not to ask yourself, “What do I like or do not like?” but rather “What will our target audience like? Why would they prefer this?” this will give you a less biased opinion and will force you to focus and concentrate on the needs of the business and your customers and aims of the website. People tend to fall into the “What do I like” trap a lot, yes to a certain extent your company needs to embody you but ultimately you are not the customer.
Touching on Nick’s article: http://www.gofishclientcatchers.com/internet-marketing-blog/seo-blog/6-important-lessons-i-have-learnt-in-my-first-few-months-as-an-seo/ point No: 5. The design of your website is about enticing your customer and in order to create conversions we need to have the following elements in place, I suggest the following tips: Tel number, search box and address are normally placed at the top right of the page. The company logo would be placed top left. These elements add to a point of creating and building trust amongst your clients.
We then look at the display of the website and what images you have on display and why? What would you like your customers to immediately know about you or your business? Such information is pertinent and can set the tone. Good imagery can speak a thousand words, get some nice images up there instead of old dated ones.
Consistency is key when it comes to websites. I know you all think you have a little Picasso living inside of you but be wary of this. Keep everything consistent as inconsistency creates clutter and confusion as well as “ugliness” this will ultimately repel your customer. Your customer might be asking, Where do they go or look next ? How do I check out or pay ? Where are the products? Your customer should never have to question any process on your website and should never be made to think.
Start at the base:
Although a custom design is pricier, it is worth it in the long run especially if you are hoping to build your brand and grow it further, it is worth the investment in the long run. If you have started off with a good base it will be easier to go back and tweak your website should your business grow and hit targets.
Your business plan is probably one of the most important aspects of your website everything needs to be coherent and work together to give you a fully functional website and business plan. Spend the time planning and putting aside a budget in order to meet your future goals and needs.
Ciao for now!
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