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Developing Your Website By Ann Stanley

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  1. Developing Your WebsiteBy Ann Stanley

  2. Top tips for setting up a website • Objectives • DIY or agency? • Planning • Design • Content • Functionality and website build • Other considerations • Hosting and technical requirements • Marketing • Measuring performance

  3. Objectives

  4. Know what your business wants to achieve Agenda for today • What’s your business aim • What will the website address • “Brochure” website • Selling online • Supporting customers in some other way • How will the website further your objectives

  5. What is the purpose of your website? • What are you going to offer - product or service • What’s your unique offering • Do you have experience in this area • What are your current routes to market • Who are your target customers and markets • Who are your competitors • What are your targets – leads, sales, costs & margins • What website traffic and conversions do you need to achieve these targets

  6. DIY or Agency

  7. DIY or Help From An Agency • Experience – • Do you already have a website • Are you diversifying (product and/or route to market) • Which resource is in shortest supply – time or money • If you can afford it - use an agency for the technical stuff i.e. building the site, driving traffic etc • If you have to do everything yourself then there will be a steep learning curve – setting up and selling online, then running the business – take advantage of all the free Business Link courses • Focus on what you are best at – get help for the rest

  8. Planning

  9. Strategic Overview for Planning Your Site Site situation analysis Business objectives Clients’ requirements Site objectives Marketing objectives Constraints Strategy/Tactics Structure/navigation Design Content Functionality Usability Sales conversion

  10. What do you get for your Budget

  11. Help with funding • Business Link or Government Grants • Eligibility criteria often size of company and location • Grants run out quickly due to demand

  12. Design

  13. Brand & Design • Develop your logo, brand and look • Target audience • Competitor activity • Personality you want to project • Develop your website design • First impressions count & effect conversions • Is the aim of the home page to maximise sales or project your brand • “Off-the-Shelf” ecommerce website packages are limited to a few simple templates and design options • Your website needs to have the right balance between design, content and functionality – The Magic Triangle

  14. The Magic Triangle Design – first impressions counts These approaches are often used by different types of web designers or developers and can conflict with each other Functionality – what the site does for the user and your business Content – what the site says to the user and search engines

  15. Wire Frame

  16. Same Ecommerce Software – With Customisation of Different Templates

  17. Branding – Lifestyle & Aspirations

  18. Branding – Lifestyle & Aspirations

  19. Branding – Design & Imagery

  20. Effective Web Design

  21. Poor Web Design

  22. Multimedia - Flash

  23. Content

  24. Copywriting • Engage visitors in a conversational tone • Avoid “puff pieces” • tell the visitor what you can do for them • Break information down to manageable chunks, • Bulleted lists where appropriate • The more information you can provide, the easier it is for a buyer to make a decision • Most important information at the top • Write for user and the search engines

  25. Images No Text = No Keyphrases

  26. Too Much Text

  27. Navigation: Good Example

  28. Navigation: Bad Example

  29. Ongoing ContentBlog With Social Media Plug-ins

  30. WordPress admin interface

  31. Creating a blog post

  32. CMS - Editing The Page

  33. Functionality& Website Build

  34. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Enables different style elements to be controlled across the site: • Typography • Backgrounds • Borders/margins • Structural elements, e.g. Navigation Benefits: • More control over layout • Quicker loading pages • Quicker development & updates • Easier to support multiple platforms egpda • Allows use of different font sizes and colours for accessibility • Better for search engines (page layout data stored in CSS not diluting page text) www.csszengarden.com

  35. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

  36. CSS Zen Garden

  37. Bespoke CMS - Reflex Admin Interface

  38. Page text manager for creating and editing pages, titles and descriptions

  39. Menu manager – for changing order or content within your menus

  40. Form manager for creating forms

  41. Data Manager – for viewing or modifying information for forms

  42. File manager – for uploading images and other files

  43. Other Considerations

  44. Selling Online - Money issues • Merchant bank account and taking credit card payments • Apply for your merchant bank account early • This can take up to 8 weeks to organise • If you are a new business or you are rejected by your bank you may have to use PayPal, WorldPay or a similar payment gateway (payment service provider) • If you are considered high risk you may have to wait 28 days to receive your cash, or you may need to take out a bond • The choice of merchant bank account will influence the choice of Payment Gateway and in some cases even your shopping cart • Fraud • Watch for fraudulent credit card transaction, especially overseas sales and returns • There are many other forms of fraud • “phishing” - getting you to add your details to a fake website • “passing off” – setting up a site to scam your customers by pretending to be you • Cash-flow • Cost of acquiring a sale compared with what you can afford • Making sure you get enough cash to cover your overheads