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Web site design for SMEs

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From the hundreds of companies offering to design the web site of your dreams how do you make an informed decision?

Flash, CSS, HTML, PHP, ASP, accessibility, search engines... the list of possible things to consider seems endless!

Unfortunately, anyone can setup as a web site designer. This means that there are many companies promising the earth but are, in fact providing sub standard sites, suffering from poor design - not only creatively but also technically.

Before approaching any design companies, consider the following:

sme

  • your business goals
  • your objectives for a web site [whether your are addressing business problems or enabling new business opportunities]
  • your audience
  • their objectives
  • constraint [expenditure, resources, time]

Having concluded that you need a web presence you will also need to consider what services you may need. The following list is not exhaustive, but is a good starting point:

  1. IT consultancy
  2. web development
  3. writing and editing
  4. user research
  5. usability testing
  6. hosting and service provision
  7. training and maintenance
  8. brand advice
  9. design for print

Dependant on your current setup it is essential that your business is geared up to respond to the increased business activity a new web site may stimulate.

  • Consider carefully the domain name for your business [the www.bit]. Resist the temptation to save a few pounds by using a free service - registering of a domain name at the earliest opportunity is sound practice - even if you are not yet ready to go ahead with implementing a site.
  • Branding is extremely important - be careful when you finalise the look and feel of your business - from printed stationary through to your onsite presence - the look and feel should be consistent. This presents a professional image to your target audience and your existing customers.
  • Look for a web designer that offers a strong understanding of the sales and marketing issues facing any business

Remember - the best web sites are not, necessarily, those that are the flashiest. Visitors are usually looking for specific information or products. Ensure that your chosen design is accessible, easy to navigate and clear to understand.


About the Author

Written by Michael Wright of  WrightPlace Consulting, a consulting company specializing in helping you develop your business.. You can reach WrightPlace Consulting by emailing info@wrightplace.co.uk or online at www.wrightplace.co.uk.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2006-06-18 23:43:41 in Computer Articles

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