All websites built in the last few years should be 'Responsive', or in a nutshell 'A website that adjusts it's content to look nice on mobiles and tablets'. It's absolutely key nowadays. I can see many customer having more vistors on mobile now than desktops and as browsing habits change this shift is only likely to increase. It's the best way to display your website on mobile and is a great step forward from the old days of having a separate mobile website, as a Responsive website is one layout, that shift it's elemets around automatically in the browser to adapt for the smaller screens.
A CMS, or Content Management System gives you the ability to update your own website content. I run through everything you need to know on how to use it and if you are happy using facebook or twitter then the admin panel will be a synch for you. It lets you update specific page elements or news & Galleries for example. You can't break anything! you are only editing specific 'content' elements rather than the coded 'layout' which is separate and fixed.
Some people prefer to update their own site, some like to have nothing to do with it! and will send all updates for me to do for them. It's up to you which solution you feel best fits your business.
If you do buy a CMS solution it doesn't force you to update your site either - you can still send updates over for me to do. In fact I've have found that whilst over three quarters of customers ask for CMS's, most still send updates through for me to do as they are usually busy either selling products, building things, in meetings, or whatever they are up to!
So basically - Choose a CMS if you want to edit your own site - but I'm here for you to update things when you need anyway. If you want to leave everything to me going forward, then that's what I'm here for!
This is one question that you might ask when you are first going online and there is no one correct answer. It's a fact that the busiest websites are ones that are always growing and displaying fresh new content that is being networked in with links from other websites (linking to you due to interest in the subject matter) and links through from facebook or Twitter.
Websites that keep having interesting information or great products added are likely to pick up interest naturally online. It's safe to say that is you are aiming at the national market or holding events you're website needs to be dynamic and contain new information (that great new product for example or the latest show you attended) that attracts people not only to look at your site but spread the word via social media and online networks (for example through industry forums).
Some customers will be doing work on a monthly basis to their websites fresh and interesting in a challenging industry. A business with a very localised target customer base may update their website less as they feel that they portray enough information for their local market - but if you've let you're website get a bit stale by not keeping on top of the services you provide or not updated your site with the latest craze in your industry, you run the risk of being left behind.
The world wide web is a very different place to what it was 10 - 15 years ago, Being online alone may have been enough for some businesses in 1990, now competition has never been fiercer and your website needs to reflect the more dynamic web.
Initially we will be looking at what your businesses online aims are and how to portray your business online.
For website structure we will be discussing your areas of business, then I'll be able to build an initial flow diagram of the various sections and pages that will be on your website.
Content for each page and section will be required. This is one of the most important elements of your website so spending time here is key. A good website is a website with good content that informs the visitor about your product and makes them want to email you or pick up the phone and make that order or enquiry! Take time to put together good descriptive text regarding your service or products to entice people. Content of your website has always been important, but the key shifts in how your website is viewed by search engines has made it all the more important in giving you're website authoritative status.
Pictures - if you have product images, that's great, we can start by using those, or images of your premises if you are a business that operates from a workshop for example. If getting images is tricky for your line of work then there are two routes we can go down. Using stock photo's is one way to go - though I feel this is a last resort as they will be impersonal and often you find you are using the same image as any number of other businesses (Plus stock photo's usually stand out a mile, how many lifestyle family type pics can there be!). Having good photos of your specific product, staff and premises give your website you're own identity. At it's most simplest, this may mean taking plenty of images of your business and letting me choose the most suitable for specific pages.
Might seem a silly question, but it's always worth checking your domain name is actually yours. Here at Noise Media your domain name if we register one for you will be registered in YOUR name.
Over the years though we have come across businesses who's domain name may be registered to now defunct web design companies, old staff members, or someone not connected with the business at all, just someone who registered the domain as a favour at some point!
The best case scenario if you are not actually the owner of your domain is that the person the domain name is registered to is happy to give access to the domain so that changes can be made when they are needed and control can be taken (that may involve an official change at the domain registry to get your name down as the official owner). If the person the domain name is actually registered to doesn't play ball, things can get tricky - they may 'offer' you your own domain a premium rate so you can then 'own' it, or may not respond at all. It's easy to check who is actually registered as the official owner of a domain, for .UK domains checkout the Nominet website as they are the official holders of all domain info for .uk's and there are numerous websites that will do a domain lookup for you to get domain information.
Look after your domain - and your domain will look after you!