Web Designer Secrets tip 8: The most important factor in a web design project

by Web Designer on 12/11/2009

in Web Designer Secrets

Hi and welcome to the  very last post relating to my eBook “Web Designer Secrets” – I hope you have found them useful.  If you haven’t go a copy of the Ebook yet (!) you can download a copy free by clicking on the image to the right.

The most important factor in a web design project

As a web designer I deal with the nuts and bolts of the website. The layout, the structure , the coding and the graphics and getting it raked well in the search engines.

These are all important. But there is a more important thing that need to be worked on first, and not by me.  By you. the business owner.

The most important thing in a web design project is not its navigation, its domain name, or even what it says.

It is purpose. Is there a clear purpose and reason behind the website?

Or put it another way- what is it supposed to do or achieve?

Having a goal makes everything else align and flow

Having an end-goal in mind for your website will serve to guide and focus all other efforts relating to the site. From the navigation, to the design and what it says. These will all align well and work together best if there is a clearly visualised and named product for the website as a whole.

Now you don’t need to be all esoteric or mystical about it though. In fact the more precise and practical you are the better it is.

Given that your website is to be a business tool it is most probablyyou will want it to either

1. Increase number of inquiries for your services or products
2. Sell more services and products directly
3. Keep current customers informed to improve customer relations

Now those are very generalised and would be more specifically defined for your business. But you get the idea…

Build towards achieving the expected end result and save time and money

Once you have the goal – you should build your website (or have it built) with that goal in mind

Doing this help you decide what you do and what you don’t need. It also tells you whether you need a checkout facility/ shopping cart site (an ecommerce website) or simply an information site with a contact form (what I call a small business website) . It tells you whether you need state-of-the-art graphics, interactive flash animations or simply a page of informative text.

It helps you focus on the important issues and discard the unimportant

Example from a web designer (me) point of view

As a web designer I always strive to provide my customers with a website that suits their specifications.

Sometimes these specifications need a bit of adjusting! By this I mean they ask for things that will be detrimental to their sites performance

A few months ago I was paid a deposit to build a new small business website to replace a very old HTML site that wasn’t optimized and wasn’t ranking well as a result. It had many broken links and used frames.
In other words it was a mess!!

I proposed a fast loading site build on a content management system ( so the owner could update it when she wanted)  and a much faster / lighter image gallery placed deeper in the site so as not to impact on the ranking as much. I also proposed full optimisation and back-link building.

In other words I proposed a site that would load well, was easy to navigate which would ranking well in the search engines. That is what she asked for after all!

BUT… the as soon as we started the customer said she also wanted a flash intro page with a 1-2 minute flash animation. Plsu she wanted the “home page” to contain only images (no text) and she also proposed a complex navigation and an unusual font that few browsers support.

I couldn’t convince her that doing these things would lose her 25% of her customers before they even got to the home page; would massively impact on the site load time; and would severely impede any search engine optimisation. Believe me I tried.

Eventually I gave her the deposit back and told her I couldn’t help her. The site she asked for would not meet the goal she had set.

Maybe in my earlier days I would have built what was asked for. But not now.  I know what she was insisting on would not work. It would not be much better than the site she was replacing in actual fact.  And I know that customer would also blame me for this. And to a degree she would be right to do so.

So the moral to the story is know what you want the site to do,  have an idea of what is required for this to happen and be willing to be guided by someone who knows what they are talking about.

Example from a customers point of view

When my daughter got married my wife – who is not normally much for the internet – spent many hours surfing for mother-of-the-bride outfits and wedding related items.

This is what she said to me – and these comments are so typical of your everyday internet user.

She told me that if  a site took too long to load she’d leave and go elsewhere. If she couldn’t easily see how to get to the information she wanted she would leave and go elsewhere.
If the site didn’t have the data she needed to know (eg price, locations, how to order) she would leave and go elsewhere

Get the point?

Build your site to suit your customer and your strategy (goal). Not your ego.

Saving Money and Time

If you do this you’ll find your development costs will probably go down!!  And so will the costs.

You’ll be working to make the site as SIMPLE as possible for your customers.

And your conversions and sales  (or inquiries) will be good as a result

And interestingly enough google will probably like your site better as well.

Why Cheap Web Design can be just as good

In my eBook I suggest a simple way to build a website based on wordpress for very little cost. For some people this will suit their purpose just fine. For others it wont.

For those who need something more don’t despair. Web design doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t need to cost tens of thousands of dollars. A few thousand at the most I’d say!!  That’s all I charge – and often much less. And I must say my sites work pretty well on the whole.

So here’s an unashamed plug for me

If you really want to know how much it will cost to get a website built then get a free web design quote from me.

And by all means shop around as well if you wish.

I know my prices are very competitive but not as low as some.  

However I bring with me a wealth of experience I am happy to share with my customers and a knowledge base broader than just how to code a website
I know how to make a website work as a business tool.

Some of this information you will find in my eBook “Web Designer Secrets”, some you’ll find here in my blog and some of which is still in my head

Hope to hear from your soon.


Ronald Sayegh

Cheap Web Design Australia

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