Understanding: Web Design
The First Steps
Web development and design can be daunting. We know.
Many view it as out of their reach to make and sustain a website; and yet in order to be "relevant" there is a pressure to appear online. With all the confusion about how to maintain pace with an ever evolving digital world, that's where LiveFive Web Design comes in. Not only can we assist both individuals and companies with the ideation to creation of their website, but we will remove the fog around what's going on.
"we will remove the fog around what's going on [with your digital presence]"
First, let's address the creation of a website. For those who aren't interested in knowing all the coding and "1"s and "0s", there is an easier method to making a site. Website hosting platforms, such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress all allow for the creation of a website without the technological knowledge of coding. When we build for you on these sites, you too will be able to maintain them after publication without having to study coding. These hosting platforms reduce the barriers to getting your work out on the web. They range in functionality as well as customizability.
For platforms like Squarespace, they are the easiest to work with as they are template-based, but this reduces the amount of distinctiveness your website will have. Whereas Wordpress is extremely customizable, with a range of plugins and elements that allow your website to be completely unique. What hosting platform you choose depends on the goals you have for your website in terms of growth and functionality (including whether or not you will be using certain payment merchants).
There are a few modes one can go about creating a website, and that is hiring someone to create it for you (like us!) or creating a website yourself. Either way, it is critical to understand your own goals, both short-term and long-term, before taking this first step to ensure the foundation you set with your first site tends itself to the "house" you want to build. Set aside time to review all the platforms out there to know what each entitles you to do: "Can you buy a domain name with them?", "How expensive are they?", "What are they known for?", "Do you like their designs?", etc.
Next, there are a few factors to pay close attention to when designing (or having a website designed). Here are the top three we have identified:
The aesthetic is a main one that many people pay close attention to. With so many websites and posts vying for our attention, how something appears is a big part of what we click on or pay attention to. Unfortunately, sometimes the cover of the book is more important than the pages--at least on initial glance. Ensuring your website is aesthetically pleasing and matches the intentionality of your users or customers is an important first step.
Secondly, identify the functionality and elements you want to be a part of the site. If you aren't selling products, then there is no need to concern yourself with E-commerce capabilities. However, if you are utilizing specific payment merchants, then you need to check with the hosting platform ahead of time that they allow for your merchant, otherwise it's a mute point and your wasting money creating a site that you won't get your desired functionality out of.
Emphasis on content; both the written word and images. Written content isn't just for bloggers. Having up-to-date and succinct information as a part of your pages not only improves your relationship with your users, but is also a part of Google's process in determining credibility of your site. If you don't feel comfortable writing, it is a good strategy to hire a content developer to ensure what is written there correlates to your desires.
Regarding imagery, there are a few free resources out there like Shutterstock that offers free images, but having your own personal photographs can be a defining measure. It gives a personal touch to your site and can demonstrate your individuality. Ensure they are high quality, however, as low quality photos can be slow to load and detrimental to your overall website functionality (and degrade your organic ranking, to be discussed further in a later article).
What Makes LiveFive Different?
Many web designers, after the website is published, simply hand it off to you and wish you good luck. Despite the resources out there, this can still make it tricky on you as the owner because what functions and techniques they used can require specific actions from you in order to keep the site updated. Updates that should always be addressed and prepared for are changes in location, contact, updated data/statistics, changes in services/products, etc. A static website won't survive in an ever-changing digital world.
That's why LiveFive Web Design developed a new way of web design; we know how frustrating the online world can be. In a 45 minute, recorded one-on-one Zoom call, we will go over the functionalities of your website. You will learn what was created and the intentionality behind everything we've done, including the alt text for your images as well as certain wording for headers in addition to how to update functional elements like the contact forms.
We have not accomplished our goal if you do not feel comfortable with the ins and outs of your website. In addition to our services as web designers, we are able to assist you with any maintenance and development you want. This includes help with projects like developing a social media presence, creating a search engine optimization strategy, learning new tools and plugins to re-vamp your site, etc. We can also remain on your retainer to keep your digital presence updated on a monthly basis.
Our focus is on you. Learn how to drive traffic and make basic design changes to keep up with the evolving marketing world. Stop working with designers and developers that leave you in the dark about your site. Let us remove the curtain.
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