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Wednesday November 22, 2017
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Designing the Site

Getting a website that WORKS FOR YOU !!

At this point it is advisable to seek out a web development firm. Even if you plan to handle all of the site maintenance, your site will benefit greatly from the expertise and advice you can receive. The web development company will be able to advise you on the different technical and marketing strategies that can be implemented.

Your previous research and planning will help you define:

  1. what applications/databases do you need that can be provided online
  2. what type of material will customers expect from your company
  3. how can the internet solve customer relations problems
  4. what type of information and resources can your company provide to entice potential customers to your site
  5. what type of content or features will keep them coming back

Technical Aspects

Analyse the merits of various web tools and technologies. The level of internet expertise of your intended audience will help determine which technologies are too cutting edge and which ones would be 'expected' by your audience. Consider as well, ways in which you could make your site interactive and really get viewers involved. Potential site enhancements might include:

  • Online forms
  • Support message areas
  • Online database searches
  • e-commerce

Site Content

In the earlier planning stage you will have decided what to put on the site. Now it's time to organize it and create a site map.

  1. put the information into logical categories and sub-categories
  2. define relationships between those categories
  3. draw out how the information will be hyperlinked together

The web has many advantages over print style publications. You can have multiple paths of entry to your web site which will increase your site exposure, chances of being found in the search engines and more importantly it's usefulness to potential web surfers. Do not make the mistake of designing your site like a book.

Navigational and Graphic Design

Once your content has been organized, you can:

  1. design a visible road map that most viewers will use to navigate your site
  2. decide where and when your audience will view specific material
  3. determine what links will go into your navigational toolbars
  4. determine the graphical theme for your web site
  5. determine the common colour scheme and look for the site

Putting it all together

At this stage the company you have hired to create your site will have presented you with a design plan that will cover everything you have discussed to date, and a fixed price for completing the project. They will now begin converting the text, creating the various graphics, write and test any required programs and interactive features.

Once they have completed this phase, you should go through the entire site to ensure that all links are functioning, and that all portions of the plan have been implemented. You should look at your site with several different browers, and devices including handhelds.

Promoting Your Site

 

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