Imagine you have become enlightened. You know that one of the top 3 most important platforms of advertising you could possibly add to your business is a state of the art, professionally designed website. The first website you had was thrown together by a friend or relative for free, but you know this will no longer be enough. You have matured and so have your business objectives. You are ready and willing to pay professional rates to a professional designer for professional results, but you still don’t want to pay top dollar. You want to keep the cost down as much as possible, while not sacrificing quality and effectiveness. Realize that nothing comes of nothing and that to save money, you have to save the designer some effort and time by doing some of the work for him. You just have to determine which components of that work you have the skills and the time to complete. This article should help you move in that direction.
Photography & Graphics
.We can schedule a time when all your employees are dressed nicely and on site. I can travel to your office and take photos of everyone, then return and crop them for upload, and you can pay me for all that time. Or you can tell all your staff that you need portrait photos by the end of the week and that the world is going to know what you look like, so make them professional.
If you have many products, or even a few products, you probably already have photography for those products. Find the original JPG files of all those photos and get them ready to send to your web designer. If you do not like the photos you have, maybe you could take new photos with your phone camera and send those. The most important rules for achieving excellent product photos is as follows:
- Set up a clean and intentional background
- Get close, include the entire item with a little room at the edges
- Set up bright lighting, or do it outside in the sunlight.
- Hold the camera very still, and take several shots.
If you follow these rules with any photos you take, I bet you 10 dollars you will succeed.
You might also have some kind of concept you need to convey using more than words, using a diagram or a chart or some kind of illustration. It is important that this graphic clearly respresents the information and has a professional look. AquaJazz can clean up these graphics for you, but if you take the time to clearly sketch some idea of how you wish to represent the information, this will save you money during the web design process.
If you want some kind of big, attractive slide show on the home page, this will require big, attractive photographs. To save you a lot of money, you should find those photos in your own collection, or ask someone you know who is good at photography to provide them for you. The alternative is that AquaJazz will spent several hours searching through large online collections for ideal candidates, then ask you to pay anywhere from $50 to $100 each to buy the rights to use them on your website. Again, I can stage and produce custom photos for you, but if you find them yourself, you will save lots of money. Web designers do not have a magical source for beautiful free photos. Free photos are usually free because they are not attractive.
Verbal Content | Market Copy | Sales Pitch
Perhaps you have a print brochure containing some literature. Start there. You might also have some literature from the wholesalers of your products. Gather that. Perhaps you recently wrote a powerful sales letter to a prospective client, and that letter sold them on your services. That letter could have valuable material for a page of the website. Include that in the material that you hand to your web designer.
Do you truly have a clear and organized description of your services, written by someone who can write well? If not, this is the time you need one. Be sure that the literature you want to put on your website contains the terminology relevant to your business and your customers. The words in your website are what search engines use to find you. Graphics make your website beautiful. Words do the marketing. Without words, you are an invisible hot dog stand in cyberspace with a missing objective.
Every website has a domain and a hosting plan. The domain may have been purchased at the hosting company, but the hosting company might be the wrong kind of hosting company to upgrade your website. In that case, we have to move you elsewhere. It takes time to extract your domain from a registrar to move it elsewhere. Sometimes all we need to do is change the DNS number of the domain at the registrar to point to a new hosting company. Allow time for this. There are many shabby, overpriced hosting companies. Some are not even hosting companies, but brokers taking your money for doing nothing. If you are on one, I will move you before I build a new website.
To determine all these details, and to get you set up, you will need to send the web designer your usernames and passwords to all related accounts. I have to enter those accounts to build the website.
Draft an Outline
Go find a website built by a competitor to your business, or something similar. Make sure that you actually believe that the website is well designed. Examine what they did. Take notes. Gather ideas. Pay attention to what pages they have. What is on those pages. Why? Are they useful pages? Do you want those pages on your website? Make a list of the pages you think you need and what should be on them. Write it all down.
Make sure all this material is in stored in the form of computer files. Now, attached it all to several emails and send it to me. If you have done a good job, my job will proceed smoothly and you will get a truly professional website for a reasonable price, and it will get completed quickly.
So there you go, Portland Oregon. If you want to save money, be prepared. I will help you with all these things any time you like, but there is a lot you can do too.