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A company’s website is as integral to its image and operations as its premises and its personnel. A new business without an online presence that accurately promotes its core offerings will quickly lose out to its competitors.
The good news is that the potential for digital media platforms is almost limitless, and the online and mobile retail sectors are booming. The right online presence can give a company the boost it needs to develop its business and increase profits.
Most small to medium enterprises choose to employ the services of a web design agency for the creation of their website. As with any such procurement process, the best way to get a good deal is to consult more than one agency and get as many quotes as possible, but it always pays to be well informed about just what it is that the process entails.
Websites come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the type of content they need to have and the particular audience that needs to be addressed. As far as a company that is thinking about setting up a new website is concerned, there are three distinct types of website:
The internet is now so central to business communication that it is almost unthinkable for any new business venture, irrespective of size, to not have a web presence of one kind or another. Social media platforms are central to many business’s marketing campaigns, but the corporate website is still the industry standard. A company’s website is the first step it takes in announcing its existence to the world; it is something that provides interested parties with all of the relevant information they need about the company and promotes its brand and message in an appealing and enticing way. A larger company, with multiple locations and an extensive workforce, generally requires a website that run to tens – even hundreds – of pages.
Retailers also see huge potential in the internet, and the fact that more and more consumers are happy to do most of their shopping via the internet has resulted in an online retail boom, with ecommerce sites taking a huge share of online traffic. Some retailers choose to act as merchants for one or more of the large online marketplaces (Amazon etc.), while others opt for the greater potential for brand building that ecommerce platforms like Magento can offer. It is now easier than ever to create your own online store, and more and more businesses are tapping into the unlimited potential that online retail can offer.
Involving a far smaller quantity of information than a typical corporate website, and without the need for online payments and product population as with an ecommerce, a small business website is none the less an essential component of a company’s identity. As with corporate and retail websites, there is a huge amount of potential for small businesses to make a big impact online, and the range of digital possibilities is every bit as broad. Depending on the resources available to you, both in terms of budget and personnel, it is possible to develop either a very basic, text-based website or something more innovative and distinctive.
But what kind of website is right for your business? Does your company need an all-singing all-dancing website with videos, add-ons and interactive elements? Do you need to be able to act as a merchant and accept payments online? Or perhaps your company’s website is a depository of key information: who you are, what you do, where you can be found. Having a clear understanding of what exactly it is that your company does, and does not, need from its website, will make the web design and development process a lot more manageable.
The process of setting up a new website can be fraught with frustration and confusion. Web design and development can be a complicated, time-consuming and costly process if not done in the right way, and there is a great deal that a business venture needs to think carefully about before beginning the process of setting up a new website.
Web design and development is a collaborative process between the client and the agency. The two main factors for both parties to get right from the outset are time and money. By putting together a clear and concise proposal of what you want your company’s website to achieve, web design agencies will be better placed to give you an accurate cost estimate and a realistic timeframe for delivery.
When it comes to putting together a brief for a new web design project, the client is advised to arm themselves with a knowledge of the various processes that go into a developing a website, from planning, programming, designing and testing, and to understand what each of these stages takes in terms of time.
A key aspect is the content itself. Will the website’s text be written in-house or by an external agency or copywriter? Either way there needs to measures in place for editing and proofreading. This might seem like an unnecessary expense, but few things look worse or more unprofessional than poorly written text and spelling mistakes.
When it comes to design, the web design agency will be able to come with an array of different possibilities, but it is important to make sure that the website is representative of the company as a whole, and the design needs to be in keeping with the brand and identity of all of the business’s operations.
Of course, having a website is no use if no one visits it. Making sure that you company’s website features highly on search engines for the appropriate search terms is essential to its success as an online presence. Search engine optimisation and online marketing needs to be factored in to the website’s development from the outset. A good web design agency should be able to advise on this, and there are also numerous online marketing agencies who can offer specialist advice.