Website Design Basics

A simple guide to planning your website

Planning your new website is simple when you follow a few simple steps...

It's all the the planning

 

Pixelated Commerce's Business Basics and Fast Shop website packages have been designed to be simple to understand in terms of what they offer.

But what about the site itself?

We understand that for many clients out there, planning a website and understanding the various aspects involved is often as clear as mud.

We like to keep everything upfront, which makes everyone comfortable. We have created this simple guide to help you understand and plan your new website as simply as possible.

How big should it be?

The simplest way to think about your new website is like a magazine with a front cover and pages inside. Depending how complex your business is, the amount of 'internal' pages will vary, from as few as one, to as many as ten or more.

So when thinking your business with a website, think about what a magazine doing the same might look like.

Here's a simple, guide that may help...

 

Business Basics

The design of your website can be driven by the amount of pages and the way you want to convey your information to your visitors.

If you have a simple business, you may consider a single page site, where everything you want to say is on the one page. If you though have more that needs explaining, adding pages is a good way to do this.

Pages that we regard as essential are:

  • About
  • Contact
How many pages does a website need?

Fast Shop

An e-commerce store is slightly different than a 'regular' website, in that it has automatic product related pages. The number of these pages depends on the number of products you have and the way you organise them.

Pages that we regard as essential are:

  • Privacy
  • About
  • Contact
What does a e-commerce website look like?

Think in grids

For better or worse, modern website design is based on grids. This design philosophy, made popular by Twitter's 'Bootstrap' framework, has been almost universally adopted due to it's ability to allow the one website design easily respond to different screen sizes, from large desktops all the way down to phones.

When planning your content, think of it being broken up into a grid on a page. Doing this helps you plan your messaging and makes it easy for us to understand how you are seeing your content presented on the page.

 

What should it look like?

This is perhaps one of the most difficult questions to answer.

Today, many websites are heavily dependent on big, beautiful images to create an online presence. We can say with 100% certainty though that the majority of clients we work with do not have access to the sort images that are suitable for a website based on this sort of design.

While there are options to source images, including stock photography or hiring a photographer, there are other options design wise that we can propose to create a successful online presence for your business.

The look of your site also comes down to your own tastes and preferences and what one client will love, another will hate. There is no right or wrong answer, so the best way to approach this is:

1. Find some websites you like the look of that can be used as a discussion point.

2. Collect all your assets so we can have a look at what you have, so we can set realistic expectations up front.

Once we can see everything you have available to you, we can guide you on the best approach. If you want big images but do not have your own, we can point you in the right direction to find some great generic images at the right price!

 

Keep it simple...

Everyone like to say it but very few do it. When in doubt, we always say the best approach is less is more, especially online.

Websites are organic and develop over time. You can add to them, take bits away or change any aspect, at any point in time. As such, there's no rush in trying to get everything you can think of online right away.

We suggest plan for the basics first, the most important parts, and get these really right. From there, see what you can realistically add – it's more damaging to a business to put something online that is not 100%, than it is not to do it at all.

This last aspect is one of the big reasons we caution any business against including a blog on their site – there is nothing worse than a blog that is dead in the water!

Special Functions

Our Business Basics and Fast Shop packages are designed, and priced, to fit with the majority of small business website needs. But what if you need something extra? Online data capture forms, or a booking system?

When you are planning your new website, think about additional features you may need, either right away, or down the track. We can then look at these in our planning upfront, work out the best way to achieve it, and the associated costs.

Can you show me your work?

We certainly can but we don't have a page showing all the sites we have done.

The reasons for this are several fold, but we have a folio we can send you that demonstrates the sites we have done, with a bit of a background for each. As you have probably gathered, every site is different and is far more than just what you see on the screen, so explaining the background behind each site is often an important starting point.

Getting started is simple!

If you're ready to get your business online, contact us by using the email form or calling on 02 8012 1195 to get the ball rolling. We will go over any questions you may have, as well as discuss your specific needs, ensuring we deliver the best solution for you.

Once signed up, we will give you a comprehensive guide to help you put everything you will need together, ensuring the whole process is as simple as possible.

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