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About Georgie
Step 7: Web Site Designer
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I had the right computer with inbuilt modem, extra phone line, an ISP, a web host and my domain name had been registered and delegated. Now, I needed to think about the design of my new web site
At the time, I had two choices: I could design it myself or I could hire a web site designer. I chose to design it myself. This took 10 months because I knew NOTHING and had to start from scratch
Most business owners these days realise they need a presence on the Internet (in many cases, customers are demanding it!) . . . BUT . . . they don't have the time nor the inclination to spend 10 months designing it, as I did. They want someone to do it for them
Web Site Designers
There are many web site designers. Check your Yellow Pages. They offer a variety of services and costs. When you contact them for a quote, they will ask questions like how many pages and graphics do you want; do you want a secure order form, etc
To help you answer these questions, I set out below the questions a web site designer might ask you and a rough idea of the the answers you would possibly give if you wanted a good-content "non-glitzy" web site
Web Site Designers could ask YOU
Q How many web pages do you want?
A At least 7 MAIN (non-product) pages, ie, Home, Contact Us, About Us, Search and three extra to use for whatever I like, eg, Testimonials, Press, Specials, etc. I also need product LISTING pages, index and category pages and a Secure Order Form
Web site designers will need a rough number to give you an idea of the cost to design your web site
Q How much text do you want on each page?
A One or two paragraphs only on my MAIN (non-product) pages and more on my product LISTING pages
Your Home page should say in 1 or 2 paragraphs WHY visitors should order your products (ie, your Unique Selling Proposition) and why they should order them NOW (eg, you could offer a FREE bonus gift with every order this month)
Keep it brief. Internet visitors are impatient; they want to see what you have to OFFER, ie, your product LISTING pages. If they like your products, THEN, they explore your MAIN pages to find out more about you and your business. There's also a search engine reason for your keeping your Home page brief
The Contact Us and Search pages should contain an email form and a search form respectively and don't need much text. The About Us page should contain more text; this is where you can tell visitors how good your business is
Q How many graphics do you want?
A 2 graphics (a logo and background for your MAIN pages and a smaller version of the same logo and background for your product LISTING pages)
If your prospective web site designer suggests glitzy graphics, lots of animation or frames, run a mile!
Glitzy graphics and lots of animation (one animated graphic is OK) were popular with webmasters for a while. Then, they realised visitors weren't waiting for the graphics to load (the more complicated a graphic is, the longer it takes to appear on a web page). 10 seconds is the longest time most visitors are prepared to wait for a page to load! Also, search engines can't index frames
Rather than glitzy graphics, your web site should have CONTENT that people are interested in; it should be EASY to navigate; it should load QUICKLY, it should be updated frequently and it should have INCENTIVES for visitors to order, eg, some FREE stuff, especially information about your products or services, eg, a real estate agent could provide FREE information about local schools, transport, how to bid at an auction, etc. This is valued by web visitors and builds up their trust in you and your business
Q How many forms do you want?
A 2 forms (a built-in email form for your Contact Us page and a built-in search engine form for your Search page)
Q Do you want a Secure Order Form?
A Yes
Q Do you want to add photos to your Product LISTING pages?
A Yes, I would like to add one or two pictures to every Product LISTING page
Q Will you be changing any pages once your web site is set up?
A Of course, I have an ever-changing product line and I will be wanting to delete, edit and create new product LISTING pages
They may not ask you this question as their main interest will be in setting up your web site . . . BUT . . . it's a fact that your product line will change and web site designers charge you to make any change
YOU should ask any prospective web site designer
Q How much would it cost for you to design my web site and, then, how much would it cost to make any changes I may require?
Q How long will my web site take to set up and, then, how long will I have to wait for you to make any changes I may require?
Q Do you offer anything else beside web site design, ie, could you register and delegate my domain name and organise a web host for me?
Q I know web site design packages often include search engine submission, but I understand submission is the easy part. The hard part is setting up web pages with meta tag keywords, descriptions, etc. Is this included in the above costings?
Q What support do you offer your clients?
Please email if you have any questions
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