Your website can be your unique selling proposition. Plain and simple: your website is the biggest presence on the web you have.
I recently met with a small, independently owned business owner for a website assessment. Before the meeting I did a fair amount of research and understanding of their market. What I have trained myself to do – and encourage others to do – is to think about the end user.
It’s easy to suggest a design- and feature-heavy website that costs thousands and thousands of dollars … There are tons of cool features and widgets you can add to a site. But, just because you can do it, doesn’t always mean that you should … you have to stop and ask, “is this what the client really needs?”
If you effectively listen to the goals of the client, a good agency can find ways to simplify the design process to help you reach the desired outcome. In my opinion, the signature of a professionally designed site is that it meets the clients’ and users’ needs as simply as possible. And within budget.
With that in mind, here are ways to involve clients in the design process – and that can even reduce design and development costs.
- Establish the goals of the redesign upfront. Understand the objectives of the site. Websites can be broken down into specific pages, each with a specific goal. Build your design or redesign around those needs. Otherwise, as a developer, something could be included that doesn’t add value. Or, you may miss a major element. Think things through – thoroughly – upfront to eliminate the need for rework at the later, more expensive stages.
- Create your own content. Copywriting can be costly, and if your writer doesn’t “get” your customers or your business, you could be wasting money. If you provide the content, an agency can help clean up the copy for you … and it will be cheaper than adding writing services to the price tag.
- Use a content management system. A CMS can enable even the least web-savvy client. To empower those individuals, we use platforms such as WordPress that enable clients to write and format content, add sections/headings, manage pages and posts, and manage the website themselves. That way, instead of having to be dependent on your web design agency and incur a monthly fee, you will have full control of your entire website content.
- Use free tools to enhance interactivity. Many of your favorite social networking sites provide plugins that add features to your site. You may already have brochures, menus, or photos posted online. So, there’s no need to re-invent the wheel! These services can be impactful to your site:
These methods can enhance the interactivity of your site – easily. As the content owner, you can add any of these features to your site with no additional fee. (A little training and research may be needed – that’s the only catch.)
We don’t only convey this message, we are advocates of it! Check out our site and see them in action!
We can help you build your web site step-by-step so that it’s effective and budget-conscious, even for a “web guru in training.”