Web Design Planning
Bad Planning = Bad Design
With so much great information available on web design, and so many talented web design companies, why are there so many poorly designed web sites? Why do so many people lose money with their web sites? Proper web design takes experience, planning, and patience. Lack of planning is the main problem I see on a lot of web sites.
Planning Your Web Site
Your visitors can easily tell if your site was quickly made with an off the shelf web design program. Your website should be carefully planned out and professionally designed. To begin planning your site, stop and list all of the pages that you would like your web site to include. Next write a short list of details for exactly what each page is supposed to accomplish.
Here is a example of some page details I wrote for a client web site:
- Home Page - Includes general company information and about us information.
- Moving Tips Page - Information page with moving tips.
- Mortgage Calculator Page - Mortgage calculator simulator with amortization chart.
- Loan Information Page - Loan information page with information on different types of loans and loan programs available.
- Location and Contact Information Page - Driving instructions and company contact information.
- Home Builders Checklist Page - Information and estimated time tables on the order of construction.
- Vacant Land Information Page - Information on finding vacant land and what the customer should know about vacant land.
- Garage and Extras Page - Information on garages, pole buildings, driveways, and pools.
- Blue Prints, Plans, and Home Pictures Page - Information and blue prints on 10 different homes to use as examples of your work.
- Construction Quality Page - Information on the construction and building quality.
- More Information Request Page - Visitor will be able to fill out a form requesting more information which will be emailed to the primary email address. The leads can then be disbursed for contact and follow up. After completing the above step the design process will be much easier.
If you are hiring Fencl Web Design to do your design work, a list like this will help us in determining the amount of time it will take to build your web site. This list also insures an important page is not forgotten when building the web site. Going back to add a missed page can be costly and time consuming.
Web Site Navigation Planning
Once you have the list of pages you will be using, you can start planning out the web sites' navigation. Make sure your site is easy to navigate so that customers can find their way around. If it is not simple to navigate, your visitors will just get annoyed and leave your site. Use the same navigation system on all of your pages, so your visitors don't have to figure out something new on every page. Plus, a standardized menu looks far more professional.
Use plain text for the links in your navigation whenever possible for a couple of reasons. First, the search engines can only read text links and not graphics, and secondly it will improve your web sites load time on slow dial up connections by not having too many graphics to load.
Graphics and Load Time
Good use of graphics can make your site appealing, but if they load too slowly it can chase your visitors away. Always make sure to test your web site on a dial up connection, and make sure to clear your browser’s cache. You may have your graphics stored in your computer's memory and will not be able to accurately tell how long it is actually taking to load. Make sure large graphics are properly optimized for the web, or reduce the amount of graphics, if you find the site is loading too slowly.
Planning Easily Updated Pages
You may want to plan for some database driven easily updated pages. In keeping your web site current you may need some pages that can have information easily updated by your secretary, co-worker, employee, or from you at home. Visitors want important information they are reading to be current and new. If your web site has features such as a Calendar, Current News, Schedules, or Specials, it should have an administrative login section where changes can be made without the use of special software or programming ability.
Fencl Web Design can design an easy to use administrative section for your web site.
By following these planning tips in the development of your web site, you will be well on your way to having a web site that people will want to return to.
Want professional help for your web site?
Let us help you plan your web site to be successful. Call us toll free at 1-888-7-WEB-PRO, or get a free quote.