Features of a Great Site

Site Features Featured Image

Either your business already has a website or it needs a whole new one. Either way there are items that are critical to a good business site. Thinking of creating (or even revamping) a website can be a very stressful process. Not only should the site be pretty, but it should also be functional. It doesn’t matter how great the site looks if people can’t use it. Below, I will point out a few things I have learned along the way.

The first thing you want to do is get a good, catchy domain name that people are going to remember. Panabee can help you figure out different variations of what you are looking for. It also lets you know what domains are available.

Great Navigation

Of course websites should be visually pleasing, but users need to be able to navigate it. Clever words tend to steer users away. They need straight-forward, right to the point words (contact, FAQ, etc). Before starting coding, it is best practice to draw up what each page will look like. This is better for you, your users and SEO. Show it to a few of your friends that have no idea about your business to see if they would be able to easily navigate it. If they can do it with ease, then others will be able to as well.

Business Information & Contact Information

Nothing frustrates me more with a website than when I cannot figure out how to contact the business. Either that or I have no idea what the business even does.  If users need to know where you are located or how to call you, then that information needs to be available and easy to find.  Other contact pages could be like mine  where I want clients to let me know what kind of project they are thinking of.  in my case, my initial contact is through email.

Security

If you are selling anything online, it is crucial that your site is secure with an SSL certificate. The SSL will encrypt communications with your clients for when they use any personal information.

Social Media

Social media has become more popular and expected in recent years. Promote your social profiles. This will open you up to more audiences and it will help your SEO.

Responsive Design (Probably one of the Most Important Site Features)

More and more people do their research on their phones. Responsive design allows mobile users to see your site clearly on their devices. Correct responsive design prevents users from having to scroll side-to-side to see content. It also prevents them from having to zoom in on objects.

FAQs

Depending on what your site is for, you may need a Frequenty Asked Question page. Consumers usually have a lot of questions so this could help answer them.

What are some things that you would want to see on your own site? Let me know in the comments!

Why Do Websites Cost So Much? A Breakdown of Common Costs

Why do websites cost so much featured image

When it comes to functional and practical websites, you really do get what you pay for. If an offer is too good to be true, it probably is.  I have had clients tell me that they went with a designer that was dirt cheap because they wanted to cut down on cost and ended up with a great website. However, they went to contact the person to make changes only to find out that person fell off the face of the earth. Some people will offer really cheap sites just so they can make quick money and bail.

Websites are so different that it makes it difficult to really pinpoint how much one would cost you without sitting down and going over details. There a lot of different areas that can drastically change the total price:

Type

Are you going to want a quick, easy design or something that is going to require a lot of meetings and consultations with your designer? Custom websites are going to cost more because they require more time with the designer.  I prefer custom websites, because each business is different. Each business has their own brand and image and their site should reflect that. However, if there is a site that I have made that you absolutely love, I can use that as a starting point and customize it for you.

If you are looking for a quick, small site, then it is not going to cost as much. These are usually for new businesses who are just trying to get their name out there with a professional site.

You can see some of my work on my portfolio page if you need some ideas.

Pages

More pages generally means more time and more money. If each page needs different layouts, that will raise the price as well. Most of the time, each page will look basically the same with different information.

Content

Obviously, content is what makes a site. If you have all of your own content readily available, that will save both of us time and money. If I am required to create content, this is going to take more time. To save time and money, have your content ready and I can edit it as needed before adding to your pages.

Depending on your type of business, it is usually best to have your own photographs of your products or business. If you are not able to provide your own media, I can purchase it from different locations. That cost will be added to your total price.

Functionality

This area is all about the extras. What items are a must and what items are just wanted? For example, you could decide that you don’t want a slideshow to showcase your work, but all of your competitors have one. This could show customers that your site (or your work) is lacking. There are also some behind the scenes items needed in order for what you want on your site to work.

For example, if you want a blog, you need a Content Management System (CMS). This will allow you (or who you designate) to log in and post content on your own. If you would like me to take care of your blog, you can send me the content and I can post it. This would be added to your monthly maintenance fee.

Search Engine Optimization – always worth the extra cost

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is what lets people see you on searches. If you want customers to find you by searching more than just your name, you need SEO. SEO allows you to appear higher in search engine results.

eCommerce

Need to sell items online? The price for this varies greatly. The more complex your sales process is, the more expensive it will be to set up.

No two companies are going to charge the same for what you need. It is best to sit down with the designer and go with your gut. There is nothing worse than spending a ton of money for that perfect site just to end up hating it.