Web Site Design
Once you start thinking about a redesign of your existing site or have decided on a completely new site, where do you go from here? This question has many answers depending on your preferences and what you desire for your site to accomplish. Before you meet with NKOL for a preliminary meeting to discuss your new site, here are some things to help you begin to put some thoughts together. The more you prepare, the more helpful our first meeting will be. Don’t feel pressured to come up with every answer before we meet. Our job is to help you through every step of the process so at the end you have a product that you are proud of and one that will further your business in ways you never thought possible.
SELECTING A DOMAIN NAME
As easy as this sounds, it is one of the more difficult tasks to accomplish. If you already have a domain that you are happy with, you can skip to the next step. If you do not have a domain name, you will need to select one. Here are a few suggestions:
Choose as short a name as possible.
Good example — myproduct.com, mysite.com,
Bad example – This-is-the-best-site.com, Tryingtosellmyproductonlineforless.com
If possible, leave out dashes “-“ or numbers.
Try to get a .com, .net, or .org. Avoid anything else.
LOOK AT OTHER SITES
One of the best ways to get ideas for your site is to find other sites that you like or a competitor’s site. We will not copy these sites, but you can come up with some good ideas by viewing other sites. Try to come up with a list of things that you like or don’t like about these other sites.
WHAT DO YOU WANT THIS WEB SITE TO ACCOMPLISH?
Is your site promoting or selling a product, or providing more information about your company? Some sites are merely informational, while others provide a service to the company, such as e-commerce. You need to decide what function or service that this site will accomplish for your company.
Come up with a list of everything that you want your site to do, even if you don’t know if it is possible. Some of the things that you may think are impossible are actually quite feasible. It is very helpful to make a list and work from that
FUNCTIONALITY OF THE SITE (E-Commerce, back end management, etc.)
Several years ago, when website’s were beginning to be more prevalent, most sites were text based, meaning that every page on the site had some text that would either promote a product or tell something about the company. Today, sites go much farther than that. Many sites include E-commerce (selling products and services online), and many provide back-end management systems. This makes sites much more dynamic than ever before. We need to determine what functions you site will include.
MARKETING THE SITE
One of the most overlooked areas of a new website is the marketing of the site. Many design groups create an awesome site, but have no plan to market the site, and without marketing you will get not traffic. There are many forms of advertisement and you should select ones that best serve your needs.
1. Search Engine Registration & Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
2. Newspaper Articles
3. Sending a letter or flyer to existing customers about site
4. Putting your website link on every piece of mail that leaves your office
COST OF THE SITE
This is one of the most difficult areas to cover. Site design can be as little as $800, but can go to $5,000.00 and higher. Prior to our meeting, it would be a good idea to set a budget for this project. However, if you have never been involved in a web design project, it can be very difficult to budget the correct amount of money. In this case, try to relate the web design project to some of the other advertising projects that you have done for your company. If you only have $2000.00 to spend on the site, we will go in a direction that is more in keeping with your budget. However, if you have $5,000.00 to spend on the site, we will go in a completely different direction.
If you have no idea how much to budget, don’t worry, we will cover the budget in our first meeting.
SITE EXAMPLES WITH CONCEPTS
Business: Church in Southern Ohio
Site Concepts: Church site with ability to upload weekly sermons. WordPress backend so church staff can make all updates very easily.
Business: Local homeowners association site.
Site Concepts: Basic text site with a few comment submission forms. HOA wanted homeowners in the subdivision to be able to download most common forms and make requests for work to be done. Site has some higher end graphics that bumped the price up a bit.
Business: Local Missions Agency from Grace Fellowship Church
Site Concepts: Custom WordPress site with a few comment submission forms. Wanted a site easily navigated by users and easily updated by staff.
Business: Senior Care Facility
Site Concepts: Custom Site with an extensive internal features. Needed a site that was clearly and quickly understood and something that could help them with their internal processes.
Business: Construction company in Milford OH
Site Concepts: Outside of general business information, company owner wanted to be able to list all projects and give customers the ability to login to the site to view all projects. Therefore, we designed a nice backend system that allows customers and contractors to login and view their entire project with work that has been done and work to be done. Professional graphics were designed and intensive backend management system was designed. Customers and contractors are able to submit comments that will be viewed by the project manager at ML Barnard. Site has convinced some of their potential customers to choose them because of this feature.