Generally, business owners (especially small start-ups) are usually thrilled to have a website but unfortunately, most of the time, these websites fail to become income streams for their business.
I have taken time out to list few questions you should ask yourself before contacting a local Web Designer to begin a Website project. Answering these questions will help you to get quality results with less budget and in less time. These questions will also deliver a healthier understanding of your business requirements to the website designer or web design agency.
Before you engage a web design agency, you must answer the following questions or better still, consult with a web designer to guide you in the right path.
WHAT DO YOU AIM TO ACHIEVE WITH A WEBSITE?
Answers to this question may vary depending on the type of business. Here are some suggestions I believe may help you:
- Online presence
- Information based website
- To generate online leads or sell online.
WHAT TYPE OF WEBSITE DO YOU REQUIRE?
Typical Static Website: A typical static Website would be the best option to opt for you if you basically require an online presence without the need for regular updates. Typical examples are Portfolio Websites for Graphic Designers and Photographers, small Solicitor Firms, etc. Most freelance website designers I have seen also opt for this option.
CMS (Content Management System) Websites: This kind of website is better suited when you may need regular updates to your website. CMS enables you easily update your website using a preferred browser. Typical examples are organizational websites (especially NGOs), educational websites, large solicitor firms etc.
E-commerce Website: If you have products and services to sell on the internet, an e-commerce website (online store) is best suited for this purpose. Examples of ecommerce websites you should look at are Chikabonita Fashion Store, FeelynX, Jumia, Konga, etc.
Custom Web Services: Occasionally, you may have some custom requirements which may include data collection, require a property listing system for letting agency etc. which can be fulfilled by a custom web development. In this case, I will suggest you consult a professional for best advice.
Blog/Wordpress: If you have articles in form of tips, news and other information you would love to share on the internet, the best platform to consider is a blog website. A typical example of a blog is the Abule Graphics’ Blog, Linda Ikeji’s Blog, etc.
WHAT DO YOU REQUIRE TO BEGIN THE WEBSITE DESIGN PROCESS?
- Professional Logo
- Comprehensive and Well-detailed Website content (at least, content for the front page)
- Navigation Menu (other website pages e.g: about, services, contact etc.).
- Products and their comprehensive details and pictures (this option is necessary if you will be needing an e-commerce website to sell your products)
HAVE YOU CONSIDERED THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CHEAP WEBSITE AND AN EXPENSIVE WEBSITE?
In a seminar I organized basically for young entrepreneurs last year November at Nyanya, Abuja, Nigera, this same question was asked and I heard someone say (though jokingly) – “the difference is in the pricing”. Now that’s some humur.
Website Design prices vary depending on requirements and the designer’s level of experience.
The different kind of websites mentioned above (static, CMS, e-commerce etc.) cost differently. For example, while a static website may cost you between N75,000 – N150,000 (depending on complexity), an e-commerce website starts from about N200,000 (based on required featured like payment gateways, etc.).
When some of my leads and clients ask why they get quotes with big price differences for the same kind of website, my answer is always simple – there are different approaches used by design agencies to build websites.
WHAT ARE WEBSITES’ BEST PRACTICES?
An experienced Web Designer create websites with the right web design standards. The following are some of these standards:
- Clean looking websites with nice-to-have features
- High coding standards
- Responsive websites (websites should flawlessly adjust to all browser types and devices)
- User-friendly interface
- Professional use of the right colors
- Quality images
- Easily readable content
- Correct use of CTAs (Call To Actions)
- Fast loading pages
- Consistency in design throughout the website pages
- Search Engine Optimized (SEO) coding
WHAT ARE WEBSITES’ WORST PRACTICES?
- A below standard and cheap-looking website
- Template/theme-based web design (the same template/theme would have been used by thousands of other businesses/organizations) that can never give you a unique look. This will ensure you get lost in the competition.
- Poor coding
- Non-responsive website
- Complex and cluttered interface
- Poor use of colors
- Poor quality photographs or pirated photos (for which a legal action can be taken against you as the website owner, not the design agency)
- Slow website with abnormally long loading time. Website visitors normally decide within first two seconds to stay or leave the website. If your website takes long to load, you will definitely lose traffic and also previous visitors who will never return
- Inconsistent layout
- Lack of Search Engine Optimized – SEO (Incorrect meta tags, poor use of HTML tags, etc.)
NOTE: This doesn’t mean that the more expensive the website is, the better it would be.
This quality tip will not only help you initiate a successful website design project with the right information but also will help you to choose a result-oriented web design agency with the best team to help you achieve ALL your business goals.
After reading this brief article, i believe your next plan should be to contact a suitable agency to help you build a professional online presence.
For more information on what i do and how i could best help you meet your business needs, Please comment below.