This post is part 7 of the “10 Things Every Business Should Know Before Starting a Website” post.
Thing #7: Web Design Considerations Web design means more than just how your website will look. In fact, web design incorporates many aspects of a website including how users will interact with your site ‚ how they will navigate through the pages, how and where they will find the information contained in your site, how they will use any web application on your site such as an e-commerce shopping cart, and any number of other functions visitors could perform on your site. Because the web design involves almost every part of your visitor’s experience on your website, it is vital that it is well planned before you choose a web designer or developer and before the programming of the site takes place.
Having said that, I will concentrate on the most obvious part of web design in this post: the look. If your company has an established brand or company identity, your website should match that identity.¬† Usually this means going beyond simply adding your logo to the site. By incorporating the brand colors, marketing copy (optimized for search engines, of course), and personality of the brand you will not only borrow from the brand reputation you already have, but you will also reassure your website visitors that they are on the right website. This is especially important if you are doing any e-commerce on your site, as visitors would be much less likely to input their credit card number into a website that they are not absolutely sure of.
Of course, I do realize that not every business has an established brand identity. In that case, your website design options are a bit more flexible. You still want a design that is going to adequately represent your company and create a good first impression. After all, if your website is a person’s first impression of your business, it IS your business to that person. In order to accomplish a professional design, you could choose either a custom-designed site or choose a template from a site such as templatemonster.com. A template can be a cheaper and very effective option for some businesses, although you should be prepared that there may be quite a few other websites that will look just like yours.