Last time, we discussed identity. Now we'll look at what will actually go into your website.
Artwork is your logo and colours. A good graphic designer should provide you with a style guide and a set of responsive logos which can be used across all of your chosen digital platforms.
It may be tempting to try your hand at this yourself, or get that tech-savvy nephew to throw together a logo, to save on costs. Honestly - don't. It's more complicated than it looks, and this is your whole business branding you're talking about. A professional business should look professional. If the logo and colours aren't right in the beginning, everything else is going to look shoddy, and that isn't the message you want to be sending out to prospective customers or clients.
First choice should be a professional graphic or logo designer. Second choice, use a site such as 99designs where you can create a competition to have your logo designed. The last choice for logos should be friends/family/DIY.
Start working on what you actually want to say on your website. It doesn't matter if your content isn't written in a completely web-friendly way in the beginning, but you should work on the actual amount of content you want.
Start mapping out the content and planning where you would like it to go. What do you want the home page to say? What should go on your About page? How do you want to ask people to contact you? What about product pages? Do you need an image gallery or an ecommerce shop? What should your product descriptions say? An FAQ? A blog? Testimonials are helpful - start gathering some from existing clients. Do you require video? Think about all the content you need, the tone you wish to use, and how you would like to see it laid out.
It's important that your content engages with visitors. Don't just recite all the facts about what you do. Many visitors to your site may be looking to solve a particular problem. Think carefully about the problems your organisation solves, and how you can get the right message across to potential clients.
Unless you're really good with words, consider a web content specialist to help craft your message.
Arrange a photographer, or source images via stock image websites. Yes, your smartphone camera is a tempting idea, but as with artwork and content, a professional business should look professional, and nothing ruins a nice looking digital presence than bad images.
There are a variety of image formats available, but the two best options are JPG and PNG:
- JPG allows images to be highly compressed, which is great for web use. However, JPG images are always square or rectangle.
- PNG allows slightly less compression so the same image will be a larger file size than the equivalent JPG. However, PNG files allow transparent backgrounds so images can be placed on top of other layers without square outlines, and PNG images scale up and down better than JPG.
A picture is worth a thousands words, but not all pictures are created equal.