Ben More Business Services

 
Design

There are many aspects to consider when designing a website. And there are many different ways to create a webpage. You can write a document in Word, save it in HTML format, and load it to your one-page website, and if that works for you, and as long as it says all you want to say, and you are happy with it, then that is absolutely fine. But, if you want more…


Purpose

First of all, decide what you hope to achieve with your website. It is no good hoping that simply launching your site will somehow magically bring customers to your virtual doorstep. You will need to advertise and promote your site by traditional means, as well as by trying to get other websites to link to yours. Your website should be a focal point for your business or enterprise, and should be referenced whenever possible on business cards, correspondence, email footers etc.


Market

Also establish your ideal target group of customers or clients, as this may have consequences for your design. For example, if the site is entirely aimed at a younger target audience, you might decide to design primarily for tablets and phones, with PC and laptop browser appearance secondary.


Colours, fonts and logos

Do you already have a recognisable logo, icon, or colour scheme? Unless planning a wholesale change, it might be a good idea to use that as a starting point.

There are plenty of colour scheme generators, for example Colour Scheme Designer, by Petr Stanicek. They offer a bewildering choice of colours schemes and themes, but at least you can expect that the colours you choose will be harmonious.

A further choice comes with fonts;

I often use Verdana …

… many prefer Arial…

…and a traditionally readable, reliable font is Times New Roman.

There are many more, but avoid the really outlandish ones, as they will be tiring to the eye. Also, avoid mixing fonts unless you have a really good reason to do so (as above!). There is plenty of scope for emphasis using bold,
Text in a 'blockquote',
Or just using colour.

Also avoid underlining, as this traditionally represents a hyperlink.


Standards

In my opinion, there is nothing worse than using lots of different techniques on different pages. True, there are lots of great features on offer, but don't try and use them all on one website, or you will bewilder your customer, and hide the message.


Content

A common misconception is that the designer does all the work. I can provide the framework, but you need to provide the content. It needs to sound like your 'voice', so there's no substitute for writing the text yourself. However there is no need for you to do any formatting; email me a document, or just send plain text (.txt) files. I'm quite good at proof-reading, and can help with spelling and editing if required.


Process

If you've got this far, I assume you must be interested! What I usually aim to do is to meet first (where feasible) to discuss ideas. (This isn't at all necessary of course – it is quite possible to work remotely). I don't usually charge for the initial meeting - apart from expenses - as long as the meeting place is within 50 miles of Helensburgh.

A draft homepage is developed, and can then be viewed via my work-in-progress page (password-protected). Once the homepage is agreed, the remaining pages are created. It is worth noting that once these other pages are under way, fundamental changes in your design may attract an extra charge.

When you are completely happy with the website, it is uploaded to your domain hosted by an ISP of your choice – however I strongly recommend Wyenet, as their support is excellent.

Interested? Contact details at the foot of every page.


 
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