Designing Your Website

Per an earlier Ani Marketing Service (AMS) blog, before you start designing your website, you need to make sure you:

  1. Put your head into your viewer’s head
  2. Have a sketched out website map
  3. Provide straightforward and brief content
  4. Know your look-and-feel
  5. Have a range of ways to present material

When you are ready to design your website, there are a few options:  You can do it yourself, hire a designer, hire a developer, and/or hire a marketer.  Here’s why you would choose these options:

Do it yourself: If your site is to share information, and design or functionality are not differentiators for you, then consider investing in some inexpensive website templates that are very easy to use.  Good resources for this are www.citymax.com, www.wix.com/ and www.buildyoursite.com.

Hire a designer: If your business is to look good, then your website needs to look great, and a designer who matches your style will make that happen. More details on selecting a good designer are below.

Hire a developer: If your website needs to be interactive, transactional, handle multi-media, etc., then you’ll need a website developer. Details on developer selection will be in a future blog.

Hire a marketer: If you need a combination of the above, if you don’t want the headache of figuring it out, or if you don’t want the responsibility of managing the process, hire a marketer. Good marketers vary in experience and fees, and you should be able to find a good fit based on your needs – whether they are small or big.

NOTE:  Don’t forget that AMS is excellent and affordable for your marketing needs … plus we can refer you to loads of excellent designers and developers …

If you decide that hiring a web designer is the right thing for you to do, then here’s some background to get you started on your selection process.

A web designer’s job is to take a client’s ideas and turn them into creative designs and effective web pages. The latter part is key, since print designers are not always good online/website designers and vice versa.  Web designers have experience working with a variety of design/media programs that enable them to give their clients a full package of services such as effective design, graphic movement and sounds. There are a few things to consider when choosing your web designer. Make sure you:

  • Look at website samples of the designers you’re considering
  • Share complementary or similar working styles
  • Are clear on timelines and roles/responsibilities

Typically, website designers don’t write content (copywriters or marketers do) or make the design “live” online (developers do that), but they may have partners who do this for them. So, once again, make sure you understand the process and everyone’s roles and responsibilities. You don’t want to be blindsided with unexpected work or costs.

If you want to learn more, check back in a month from now, when our next blog will give you some background on hiring the right website developer for your needs.

Speaking of blindsided, you might be surprised at the number of effective spies in the US during World War II, including the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! If you’d like to learn more, you should read The Irregulars, by Jennet Conant.

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