In this digital age, creating a web site to promote your product is practically a necessity. Customers are accustomed to getting information immediately, and they will want to at least check out your product - if not purchase it outright - online. A web site gives you the opportunity to establish your identity and communicate with potential customers.
Plan a Web Site has an overview to gather information and plan your web site. One of the initial tasks is determining the cost and setting a budget. You'll need to inventory your skills to decide whether you can design the site on your own or hire a professional. You'll also need to brainstorm to find ideas for the overall content of your web site; you should think about the features you'd like to include, the niche the site will target, and the information you'd like to convey.
Another important beginning step is to determine your target audience because this will influence the look and the content of the web site. (Web Page Mistakes goes through the details of determining your target audience). Consider using the keywords they will be searching for and determine how web-savvy your customers are likely to be. You'll also need to find out the best way to advertise to your target audience.
A story board can help you determine what your site will look like by allowing you to visualize everything. This process entails organizing the content that will be placed on the site, breaking it down into categories, and then determining how the categories relate or link to each other. A story board shows the overall design of each page. Web Design Center Readings shows how to design a story board using Microsoft Office, but you can also use other applications like Dreamweaver and FrontPage.
The right navigational tools help visitors get around on your web site, so they should be easy to use. Bedford Research Room has a thorough overview of choosing and designing navigational tools. You'll want to make sure the buttons or links are in the same place on each page (usually the left side), but links may also be included on the top or bottom of the pages.
The overall aesthetics (colors, fonts, and graphics) are important features on a web site, but keep backgrounds simple so that the text stands out from the background. For an existing business, consider using colors from your logo or other marketing tools. Your target audience’s demographic may play a role in the design of your site; some studies show that younger audiences are attracted to colorful designs and busy graphics and older audiences want a web site that is calm with natural colors. You can view color combinations at sites like Color Combos and Hyper Gurl, and more information about color use is available from Avangate.
Finally, the web site must appear credible to attract and retain customers. Verify that is has a professional appearance and a clean and simple design. Pages should be consistent and it should include contact information and up-to-date content. Most importantly, be sure to specify security and privacy statements and make the web site easy to use an navigate.
Tips on establishing a credible web site can be found on Fresh Thinking Business. For more free tutorials and tips for creating a web site, check out Web Developers Notes, Web site Tips, Good Tutorials, 5-Minute Web site and Media College.