Should You Save Money
and design your own website
Designing your own website will undoubtedly save you money. Not only that but the skills you learn in the process will be invaluable in the long run.
If you have your own business and have been thinking about designing your own website then here are a couple of things to consider before you do.
Honestly Ask Yourself What The Website Needs to Accomplish
At first glance the answer might appear obvious. But without a clear cut answer for this single question, you may find yourself going off in too many directions at the same time.
It's not so much that this is a bad thing for your future site visitor (although it can be). The main problem is that as a novice you are highly likely to encounter the realisation more than once that the job requires far more of an understanding than you at first anticipated. That experience can be overwhelming. And here's the danger... you might give up.
And this is I am sure not what you intended.
5 Tips To Staying On Track With Your Web Design
Tip #1 Define the Websites Purpose as it relates to Your Sales Process
Your business probably already has it's own unique style of acquiring and closing sales. Take an honest look at that system and see how best to use your website to support that system.
I recommend focussing on your two key players. Sales People & Customers. Look at ways the website can speed up your sales process.
Tip #2 Understand Your Customer
Tip #2 is probably more important than tip #1, but it's also one of those projects that can become never ending. The human psyche is fascinating and it would stand you in good stead to build a database of characteristics you find your customers have in common.
Tip #3 Copywriting
At this beginning stage most of your offers will be made in writing. Appealing to your ideal customer requires a fair amount of research into the wealth of copy writing information out there. For this I recommend having a look at the masters of direct marketing.
Tip #4 Design Dilemma
There are so many beautifully crafted websites out there that you can end up feeling spoilt for choice. However when you decide to emulate the websites of others realise that you may be falling into a common trap... copying the masses. And while there is safety in numbers, it is also the place where you are the least likely to be seen. Being a part of the herd, does not give you that edge. I recommend keeping your own council when it comes to what's right for you.
Tip # 5 Draw it Out on Paper
If you cant clearly communicate your intention on paper, then chances of you getting it right on the screen are slim. Do rough sketch layouts of the major elements first, A4 paper can be quite small, if you prefer use an A3 or A2 sheet of cardboard and stick articles, slogans, colour swathes and images onto it. Play around with the flow.
Always always look at the site from your site visitors viewpoint. The key to understanding your site visitor lies in Tip #2. Only in this way can you have a good idea of what it's like to walk a mile in his shoes, and knowing that, then understand how best to provide him or her with exactly what they need.
If you have the time, then learning how to design and code websites is an invaluable skill to have. But if you have a business to run then it may be a better idea to pay someone to do it for you. My cautionary tip is that you invest in a webdesigner with experience.