You probably read about "nowadays, every self-respecting business should have a website," but do you know how to order sites correctly? how to define functionality and choose CMS? what to look for when contacting the agency? how to understand why one resource costs 500 dollars, and the other one 5000 dollars? From the step by step guide, you will learn how and where to order a website.
The point is not that agencies and web studios do not know how to work. More likely the problem lies in you. You are well versed in your business: build beautiful houses, produce wonderful cosmetics, cook the most delicious steaks in the world. But you do not understand websites at all. No, of course, you know that the website of “Apple” online store looks great and you like it very much.
You do not understand what to demand from the agency. When the manager tells you about the types of menus, layout in one or two columns, registration forms, personal account, and responsive design, you have only one choice: to believe or not to believe the other person. Because of this, you can spend too much money, get a resource with inappropriate functionality, conflict with a contractor because of a design mismatch with your expectations. And it's not about the dishonesty or lack of professionalism of the agencies. You just speak different languages.
If you want to get a website today, do not wait until the agencies learn to speak your language. No, this is not an attempt to translate responsibility from developers to customers. Just you are in charge here. It is you who have a successful business for the production of cosmetics or the construction of houses. You do not have time to wait until the hired manager of the web-studio finds the right words to clearly explain why it is better to make a website on Joomla !, and not on Drupal. Below you will find information that will help you order a quality website.
If you know why you are creating a website, consider that you have come halfway to the successful launch of the resource. See for yourself: understanding the purpose of the website’s existence allows the customer and the developer to step through the plans. On the other hand, ordering a website because it’s so accepted, you risk falling into the trap of “maybe, but let's.” Here it is:
Of course, you have every right not to worry about the mental health of developers. In the end, it’s their job. But the lack of understanding of the purpose of creating the website and the following deadlock “maybe change this, or let’s change that” is too expensive for you. First, you waste your time. Secondly, you waste your money. The order of links in the menu is unlikely to affect the efficiency of the resource.
How to determine for what purposes do you need a website? Take care of goal setting. Identify and write down on paper what goal you want to achieve with the help of the resource. Also, set the tasks that need to be solved to achieve the goal.
By the way, you are lucky if you order a business website because the goal is ready. It sounds like this: make more money. Well, you can comb it to your taste, make it measurable and specific to your business. The essence remains the same: any company or entrepreneur creates a website to earn more money
Then you have to work hard, you need to write down tasks that will help you make more money using the website. In order to formulate them correctly, answer the question “What should be done to increase profits through the website?”
Your future resource can solve the following tasks, contributing to the growth of profits:
This list can be continued. But the essence is already clear: you need to set the tasks that your website will solve. Practice on a live example. For instance, state the goals and objectives of creating a website that was pursued by a Dental Clinic. Be sure to write them down on paper.
What did you do? I have this:
The purpose of the website: make more money. If you want, add specifics, specificity, and measurability.
Website creation tasks:
The goals and objectives recorded on paper will help you understand what the website should look like. This will make it much easier to communicate with the developers.
This is a very simple step. Take a sheet of paper with recorded resource creation tasks. Take the red pen and formulate the tasks questions.
You will have such questions:
The first time answer the questions yourself. Later you will return to them with the manager or agency developers. Answer in detail and in writing. For example, write down the functions necessary to inform customers:
Now practice. Write down what functions in your opinion are necessary for the website of the dental clinic to improve the quality of customer service.
Be sure to discuss the recorded functions with the developer. The professional will certainly adjust the list in accordance with the tasks that the resource must solve. What if a specialist offers to add a function with which you are not familiar? Ask to talk about it. If in doubt, take the time to think it over and study the information yourself.
This is one of the most difficult steps. Cause? Everyone has their own idea of perfect, good, bad and sloppy design. If you like the resource, it does not guarantee that your customers will like it. This statement works in the opposite direction. However, you are making a website for the public, not for yourself, so put its interests first.
To coordinate the appearance of the site with the developers, you need to solve two problems. First, determine the appropriate site markup. Secondly, fill it with the necessary visual components.
You will choose the layout along with the developers of the website. Before communicating with them, remember a few theses:
During the first meeting with the manager, you will be offered to choose one of the typical page structures; however, you do not have to choose standard patterns. Ask the developer to suggest layout appropriate in his opinion. Compare them with the layout of websites that you like and are supposed to please your customers. Puzzle an agency representative with your own template options for the homepage, publication page, or advertising landing page. Be sure to listen to the opinions and recommendations of the designer. Your ideas about the website should go through the filter of his or her professionalism and experience.
After agreeing on the modular structure, you will have to answer another question. Choose the type of layout: static, fluid or responsive.
Static layout assumes that the dimensions of the page elements remain the same for all sizes of screens and browsers. Developers call this solution the simplest and most stable. The main drawback of the static layout is shown when a user opens your website using a gadget with a small screen. If you stay on this option, be prepared to invest in the development of a mobile version of the website.
On pages with fluid layout, blocks stretch across the width. This allows you to conveniently view the site on screens of different sizes. Adaptive design is an advanced version of the fluid layout. In adaptive pages, modular units change their size depending on the user's screen resolution, as well as the location and content of the modules. For example, on a desktop screen, a website with a responsive layout can be displayed in three columns, and on a smartphone screen in one.
This is one of the easiest stages of work for you, but one of the most difficult for developers. You just need to pass a brand book to the experts and discuss your idea of the perfect design. Representatives of the agency will have to translate your ideas into reality and then respond to requests such as playing with fonts and moving the logo a little closer to the center and bordering it with gold.
By the way, it's better not to waste your time and nerves of contractors playing with colors and fonts. Believe me, a professional knows better than you what should be the background, the color of the buttons and the font size of the headers. But if you have free time and a desire to actively participate in the creating of design, pay attention to the following moments:
Remember, a website is not a task in drawing class in fifth grade. Resource design should provide visual appeal and readability of the content. Ideally, your users should not think about design at all. Therefore, do not demand from designers to add, remove or change something just because you want to demonstrate artistic preferences.
At this stage, you will have to solve two problems. First, determine whether you will use a CMS or order an HTML website. Secondly, if you decide to make a website with CMS, determine which content management system is better to use in your case.
According to W3Techs Surveys, 55.2% of all sites operate on CMS, and 44.8% do not use the “engine”. Which of the two groups to choose?
HTML websites give you the following benefits:
The absence of binding to the CMS gives developers the opportunity to implement any ideas of the customer. However, the main lack of resources on HTML can eliminate all the advantages. If you build the best houses or cook delicious steaks, but do not understand anything in web programming, you will not be able to publish content yourself. You will have to hire a specialist or pay developers to support the resource.
Sites with a content management system indicate the following advantages:
Choose a website in HTML in two cases: if you need a business card website from one static page or if you are willing to pay developers and staff programmers to support the resource. Use CMS if you want to be able to independently publish content.
The agency manager will certainly offer you several “engines” to choose from after studying the purpose and objectives of the website. Among them are the following CMS:
Also, you can be offered with UMI, NetCat, Magento and other good CMS. Before the final choice, consult with the developer, look at what CMS websites that you like based on. Evaluate the functionality of the proposed systems. If possible, check the usability of the administration panels.
Briefly, your website should meet the needs of the audience and the technical requirements of search engines. Here is a basic list of features and specifications that you must agree with the developers:
Discuss with the developer what other characteristics the resource should meet.
The choice is small: you have to work with an agency or a freelancer. Do not look for a universal recipe for finding a contractor. Working with studios and private experts has advantages and disadvantages.
Why is it worth cooperating with reputable agencies? Here are the main reasons:
Cooperation with freelancers has its advantages:
A good partner can be found among agencies and private professionals. When choosing, pay attention to the following:
You can create a website yourself. Moreover, you will spend no more than an hour on launching a resource, taking into account the choice of a domain name and confirmation of payment for hosting. But to create a website that meets the needs of the audience, you will have to spend much more time. Therefore, assess whether it is worth spending time studying the “constructors”, layouts and meta-data to the detriment of core activities.
Make a resource yourself in such cases:
If bootstrapping is your philosophy, pay attention to simple tools for creating websites:
You can do internet marketing yourself or delegate this task to professionals. Before you decide, look at what needs to be done in the framework of integrated Internet marketing:
If you are ready to do these and other types of work, order furniture for new employees of the marketing department. If you do not want to distract car mechanics and doctors from their main activities, contact the agency.
It is perfect if the agency at the same time creates your website and is engaged in Internet marketing. In this case, it will be easier for developers to plan the characteristics of the resource needed to solve marketing tasks.
The final price of the website depends on its characteristics: functionality, design, volumes of content and so on. Relatively speaking, a business card website with a template design will cost you 500 dollars, and the cost of custom and professionally designed website with the integration of complex service, for example, an online payment system, will be calculated several orders higher. You will find out the approximate cost of the website after agreeing with its characteristics with the developer. The final amount you will see in the act of work performed. Do not forget that you will have to constantly invest in resource development and internet marketing.
Start with brainstorming: clearly define what tasks your resource will perform. This will help you describe the necessary functionality. Then everything will go like clockwork: you describe the perfect design from your point of view, choose a CMS, determine the necessary technical specifications. After that, you will understand whether to create a resource yourself or better to turn to professionals. It remains just a little: to decide who will promote the website and how much money will be needed for the project. If you work with an agency, the price will be called to you after discussing the idea.
If you ever ordered websites to agencies or freelancers, share your experience. Tell us what you think should be considered in communication with developers. You can also comment on the article, write comments or suggestions.
This article will help you avoid the many mistakes that the digital agency's clients make. But this article is not a panacea. If you want to order a website, we recommend immediately contact the professionals. WellKown Agency develops websites with any complexity. We will consult and explain all the nuances for free. Details on the link.
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