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Website Building Tips

Website Design

Are you eager to build your own website ... or does the mere thought of it bring you out in a cold sweat?

Don't worry about it right now because there are way's that you can have your very own website that do not involve you actually building it yourself from scratch!

Having said that, it is very satisfying if you do manage to build it yourself and it's really not that difficult once you know how!

Designing Your Own Website

The first rule is
Take your Time ... despite what you may have read such as  "... you can have your site up and running in 10 minutes ..."  (or something similar)  - this does NOT apply to a website built on solid foundations and run under your control!

If you are running a business, your site must look professional so do not rush it ... OR use a quick fix method!   You want your website to enhance your business - not damage it - so bear in mind that a badly designed website is worse than not having one at all!

Points to Consider

People want their own website for a variety of reasons - it could be for personal / family use or even a non-profit making venture or charitable use - but at the moment we are talking here, primarily, for business use.

You have to decide what you want your website for - for example, maybe you want it for:

Promoting your offline business
(using the web as your online "business card" or "brochure" to attract customers to your "offline" business)
Selling tangible products 
(products that can be ordered and paid for over the internet but will require shipping to the customer)
Selling digital products 
(products that the customer can purchase and download straight away from your site)
Selling a service 
(like Web Hosting, Automation, Tracking etc.  ... (or even Web Design!))
Promoting Affiliate programs / products
(where you send the customer to the site owner of the products, services or affiliate program that you are promoting)

Of course, there may be other reasons why you want a website - but, in general, most "business reasons" will fall into one of the above arguments. 

What is Required of You

Imagination - visualize your product, decide on a color that will blend with your product's identity, think about any images you want to use, whether you're going to use a background color, background image, or leave it plain white -  and don't forget about your logo and your header.  

Tip: If you get stuck, spend some time looking at different websites and make notes of one's that visually appeal to you to give you some ideas for the layout.

Organizational Abilities - a website is organized to enable the viewer to click on an internal link and be taken to a particular page that they are interested in.  This is called "navigation".  In order to obtain this, your pages must be structured in an organized manner.  

Tip: Information on how to structure your website building project can be found in our publication Website Creation Madezi.

Patience and Perseverance - building your first website from scratch is not a quick job and can even become quite frustrating at times - especially when something doesn't work quite right the first time (or second, third, fourth or fifth time!!) - however, providing you stick with it, once your site is up and running you'll get great satisfaction knowing YOU created your own website! 

Tip: To alleviate some of the frustration, make sure you build a solid foundation - it makes it so much easier to perform corrections!  (see our publication From Ideas to Success Madezi - and download our free 7 Golden Secrets for Success Madezi report too!)

Other Alternatives

As I've already said, building a website from scratch is not for everyone - you have to learn about using a text/HTML editor (this is the best way for a DIY  beginner), learn how to create tables, forms and navigation,  learn all about images, image types and positioning - then there's the  keywords, meta tags and  SEO (stands for Search Engine Optimization) ...   yes - there's a LOT of learning to do and it sure isn't geared towards the faint hearted!  

So what's the alternative?

Website Templates 

If you would like to design your own site but feel you haven't got the knowledge to do your layout, there are companies that specialize in selling Ready Made Templates - these templates are blanks (this means "no content") and, if you choose wisely, they can be a very good way of getting a professional looking site base in which to house your own content.

Templates will give you a starting point for your site - and potentially could eliminate  around a fifth of your work load in getting a site up and running - but don't forget the content has to be added along with the finishing touches.

Some templates can be downloaded so you can fill in the content from your own computer, but others only work from the template creators / suppliers website.  This means you have to connect to their site to do everything you want to do, every time you want to do it.  Call costs and tied up telephone line connections may be a problem for some.  

There's more information on working with templates in our publication Website Design Madezi and there's also our own  free templates which you can download right now if you're raring to get started.

Ready Made Affiliate Sites 

Ready made sites are simply "self replicated" web sites which often come as part of a sign up package with another company to sell another companies products, usually through an Affiliate Program

These sites that you sign up for are absolutely identical to, not only the one you signed up from, but also to everybody else's that have signed up just like you - so take a guess at how many sites are out there that all look the same!

Think you stand a chance with these?  -  hmmm ... very doubtful!

Discover a solution to this problem in Affiliate Marketing Madezi.

Use a Web Designer

Web Designers abilities, services and prices vary widely, just like any other profession - and there a lot to choose from - so how do you make a wise choice?

First of all, determine which category your site will fall into - personal, commercial, retail ... or even charitable ... and check out the designers that specialize in your particular category.

Secondly, decide what you want to achieve - for example, if your site is a store front then you will probably need a shopping cart. If it is an information site with either single items or, indeed, nothing to sell at all, a shopping cart would be useless to you.

You don't have to know how things, like a shopping cart for instance, actually work - just be clear in your mind what you will really need so that you are not talked into paying for something you don't require!

Benefits? - The whole technical concept of your website building will be done for you so you should end up with a site which is both user friendly and search engine compliant.

Bottom Line? - Take care if your requirements are for a business site, particularly if you deal in a specialized field.  A designer will not know the technicalities of what you do, so you will have to be very very precise over the content.

Viability? - Actual cost must certainly be levied against your own time costs on this one - depending on your requirements as outlined above (i.e. "store" versus "information" sites) the cost could be prohibitive.

I cannot tell you what each individual designer will ask you for in terms of information about your product, service, content etc. for your site as every company works differently - but if you'd like to get a rough idea of some of the things you'll probably be asked for , fill in our own Website Design form (with no obligation!) and I'll send you our design information sheet. 

If you are going down this route, I would advise you, most definitely, to spend some time in performing comparisons on several web designers before making your final decision - once you've got our design information sheet you'll be able to ask your chosen designers the same questions - that way you'll be judging like for like so you'll easily see how similar - or widely differing - individual web design companies can be!

Also check out their portfolios of websites they've designed for others to see how unique and inspired they are - in fact, why not check out our own website design gallery while you're here! 

A Few Words of Advice

If you are building your first site, be prepared for an element of frustration - there will invariably be times when you'll know in your mind what you want to do - but getting it to actually work can seem elusive - if such a situation arises you can always use our Helping Hand Design Service.

No matter what the content of your site, or whether you are instructing a professional designer, using templates for your layout or building from scratch ....there is one very important issue to remember

Never Lose Sight of Your Finished Site!

In other words, choose your site theme and stick to it - don't be tempted to diversify.  Once this happens you can kiss goodbye to success - you'll get low ratings with the search engines and you'll not only confuse your visitors - you will lose them - for good!

If You're Really Serious about making your Internet Business a Success,
take a look at our very own publication

All of our "Madezi" publications are aimed at beginners, and this one's no different - we cover every aspect of Website Design from the blank page that you start with - right through to the completed design.

We tell you about
the fundamentals of design, 
page layouts, tables, basic HTML, keywords, content, color, images and graphics, navigation, site structure ... ... we even show you an easy, foolproof way to create your own header and logo!

Check it out here 

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ęCopyright Lynn Kingsley Internet Business Info 2002 - 2012