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What do you want your website to do?
While the answer may seem obvious, it’s not, and it’s the single most important question you need to ask yourself. If you give this question some serious thought, the answer may surprise you.
If you want your business to sell products online, obviously eCommerce is a big part of why you want a website. But if you limit yourself to that one piece of functionality, you could be missing out on a lot. You also need to attract and keep customers, and email campaigns, when targeted properly, are ideal tools to do just that. ‘How to’ pages and videos keep your customers coming back. A blog telling people what you’re up to and what’s new with your business lets your customers know you’re committed. Big Blue Crab will streamline this process for you and maximize the value of your site.
Once we know what kind of functionality and content the site needs, we can then begin the design process. While there are certainly tried and true design principles, best practices, and a handful of "don'ts," the design of a website is very personal and is influenced by both aesthetics and the business itself.
It’s always a good idea for you, the business owner, to look at a few websites that you like, and figure out why you like them. Just as important, note what you don’t like about these sites. Think about logos and colors. Consider how you can differentiate your website from your competitors, especially any local ones.
Once you get some ideas, it’s time for us to start going over them and begin crafting the look and feel of the site. Where will the main menu be located? Will the site have sidebars? How will people navigate through the site? We will literally be drawing this out on a sheet of paper; not very high-tech but fast and effective.
After we decide on a basic design, it’s time to do some mock-ups. These will be simple design concepts created in a computer program that will show us what goes where and how it relates to other pieces of the site. These mock-ups will look as though they were drawn on a cocktail napkin, and this allows us to focus on the structure, leaving details such as font type and color to a later time.
Once the basic structure of the site is completed, it's time to start considering color palletes, fonts, images, and all the other visual elements that make a great website. These will all be put together on a working site for your review.