Whether DIY or freelance, what do you need to create an effective website from scratch? Well, a good outline of content and function after learning the basics possibilities available in each platform can save more money than you can imagine. Such planning will get a professional looking site at a fraction of the cost… even if you hire a good web developer/web designer.
Make these decisions before you start your site, especially if you decide to hire a web designer/web developer :
Basic color scheme
Logo ideas, if not an actual logo (check out this fast and easy way to get to choose from multiple logo inexpensive designs).
Page structure, will you be selling multiple items on a page, mostly have video content or graphics, will you have a sidebar, if so on which side, do you want a secondary navigation menu along the side or under the top menu, etc.? This is usually called “navigation,” “Nav Bar” or “Nav Menu.”
Home page – content and media placement
Contact us page – do you want maps, forms (if yes make sure to include any online email agencies you use like Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc.), address or you can have just a simple form on each page that allows folks to contact you anywhere on your site.
Details of other pages – This includes the main pages for navigation purposes and any other pages that will be linked to these main navigation pages; sometimes in a dropdown menu or second sidebar menu.
Try to keep the main nav pages to a maximum of 5 or 6 pages if you can. The easier and quicker someone can read a menu, the better your chances that they will navigate through your site.
What will be the purpose of these additional pages? Blog, Company history, Industry news, etc.
Some other questions you may want to have answers to before you hire someone:
What kind of content and media and interaction will you need and want?
How much integration with other sites (like Twitter, LinkedIN, Facebook, etc.) will you want?
Do you feel hosting a comment section better for your customers or would a Facebook Page be best?
To the left you can see three sites I created from scratch for one owner. She was very precise and organized when she came to me with the website project. Even though there was a great deal of content and different types of content, the job was done in 48 hours! The tweaks took about another week or so. Then when she decided she needed another website that maintained her brand… it was cheaper and quicker since most of the theme parameters didn’t change much. The third site was even less that the first two to create, we were in sync and she was wonderfully specific in what she wanted. This is a mapped photo, so if you click on any one of the different websites, it will take you to that site to see them in action.
Save yourself money and time; be prepared and know a bit about how websites work.
Contact me for budget friendly help with your website or web presence: Management, Maintenance, or Marketing.