Are you getting ready to get a new website? Here is a fast list of things you need right off the bat.
Plus we’ll take it a step further and suggest some things you need to make sure your web designer is prepared to address if they really know how to handle your new website project. At Masterpiece Web Designs, you can count on us to help you get ready for your new website so that we can deliver a masterpiece design that is also highly functional to make your business profitable.
1) Logo and brand & marketing message
Don’t have a logo? Well, at least you know what your message is. It’s whatever you want to say and do with your site – can be as simple as ‘We sell the best cupcakes in this town’ to ‘We will make you feel secure about your future’. Your online presence will be defined by this message, which tells folks exactly what you are selling, or if you are selling an intangible, experience or service (like insurance, for example -OR party planning)– you can appeal to the emotions of your potential customers. Think about what you want your message to be, and if you do not have a logo to represent and visual symbolize your business, we can create one of you! That involves some conversation with you and a process of creating concepts and having more discussions. Your logo will be your identifying mark on your website, signage, and beyond – so get it right! At Masterpiece Web Designs / Masterpiece Branding, we can help.
2) GREAT photos
And we mean GREAT. If you sell a product and you can get professional photos from your supplier or vendors, start collecting those. If you are on a startup budget, we can assist you in finding stock photography that communicates your brand and makes your site look awesome. If you want to showcase some of your own work; a project you completed or a product you sell, try to get the best photos you can. Think consistency- and think creativity. Zoom in and get an interesting angle on the shot. Photos can make or break a website’s appeal.
3) An SEO wish list – Write down the top three keywords you searchers to use to bring up your website.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization – This is a very important part of your website. Your entire site needs to be designed around key words that people will be ‘googling’ to find you online. Start thinking like you are a potential customer of your product or service. Go through the process of being that person and realizing you need that service and how they might find you online. For example, imagine you are about to move to Salisbury, NC and you live in another state but you are going to need a storage facility in Salisbury to store your belongings when you move. You would google ‘Storage Unit Salisbury NC’ or ‘Climate Controlled Storage Salisbury NC’ or ‘Mini Warehouse Storage Salisbury NC’ – think of all the ways you would search to look for your particular product or service in your particular search area.
4) An idea of what you like – Find some other sites you like and see if you can figure out exactly why you like them.
“I don’t know I just like that site,” is not specific. Really there is a reason why you are drawn to it. Maybe it is because you immediately felt like you could navigate the site when you came to the first page. Maybe it is because the photography is super-awesome. Or is it because they did such a clever job with their brand message and artistically rendered logo? Look at sites you like and know why.
5) A domain name!
Seems obvious but sometimes folks forget to go on GoDaddy.com or another vendor, and grab a domain name! Not sure about what your domain name needs to be? Talk to us. But you’ll need to purchase and own your own domain name – not to be confused with hosting- and GoDaddy might try to trick you into ‘bundling’ some things like domain name + hosting together so, at least for now, make sure you are ONLY buying a DOMAIN NAME from them and nothing else, because that’s all you’ll need to get started.
6) Customer Testimonials
Testimonials are so great to have on your website. Go ahead and start getting them and organizing them.
This is what your web designer should bring to the table:
If you decide to talk to Masterpiece Web Designs about your site, this part will be OUR JOB:
1) knowledge of the latest trends and technologies (UX / UI)
Making sure your site looks fresh – new – up with the latest design trends. Technology and user habits tend to be driving factors on the appearance of websites these days. The visual aesthetics, graphics and how they tie in with the user’s experience of the site is called User Interface. We might refer to ‘User Experience‘ and ‘User Interface’ as UX and UI – maybe you’ve heard some technical designers throw this terminology around. It is very important that you’re working with a team who understands this. If you want to know a little something about it, check out THIS ARTICLE from our blog.
2) A GREAT content management system
Building a site with a user-friendly back-end is essential! WordPress is the way to go for an easy content management system you can navigate, and even make updates to yourself. Yes, it’s that easy. If your site is built well, most users can make text or picture changes to their own site with no problem at all. And, at Masterpiece Web Designs, your website package will include training, so you will know exactly how to do it!
3) A TALENTED graphic designer – the real artsy type
Not an html geek that says they can do graphic design. He/She might be smart but they’re not making the same observations and reading the same magazines as the real graphic designer. The best website is built by team consisting of creative and technological talent. WE HAVE THAT!
4) Webmaster Tools / Search Engine Optimization / Registering with Google, Bing, etc.
This stuff can be overwhelming! Make sure your web designer gets you set up right.