What makes a great website?
There are 2 main factors which define a good website. Design and functionality.
Design is a very abstract and subjective element, which is why we ask clients to go through a lot of existing sites with us first and let us know what type of style they are after. We don't just do one design and then say 'that's it ... take it or leave it'. However having said that, legibility is very important, and design should never get in the way of customers being able to understand the message you are trying to put over. So there are various conventions in design which should be incorporated.
Functionality is all about customers finding what they want as soon as possible. The average viewers attention span on a website is just a few seconds to start with. If a viewer cannot find the product or information quickly they will simply go away and not come back.
To achieve this, the vary nature of your business or product needs to be analysed from the point of view of a new customer and someone who doesn't even begin to understand what your service is all about. There's no point in saying ' everyone knows what we do!' ..... do you want new customers or not?
Then the site needs to be constructed so that new customers, and people who do know your type of business, can navigate quickly through the site, and find what they want using easily recognisable button categories and links - don't try to be different just for the sake of it, you'll just annoy people and they will leave.
Just remember the basic advertising mantra ' outline the problem then present yourself as the solution'.
What questions might you ask a client when starting a new project?
- Nature of the business.
- Size of business
- No of employees
- Website budget thoughts
- Time scale to completion of project
- Do you have a domain name already?
- Do you have a logo?
- What type of design are you requiring. Please go through a selection of websites and let us know the type of style you like.
What do you love most about your job?
Websites are a fascinating concept, you start with a blank screen of nothing more than electrons, and then after a lot of hard fiddly work, you produce an entity which is visible instantly around the world, and helps to promote products or services which are also made up of electrons, protons and neutrons but are very much more solid! Sorry to seem bit Geeky but we now take for granted systems which for the last 2 million years would have seemed impossible.
Also any job which is creative, is always much more satisfying than a routine number crunching / paper pushing / cog in a huge wheel. With website design there are quite a few satisfaction points. For example getting the job to start with, overcoming computer issues and design issues, getting positive feedback from clients, getting a good listing on Google, and getting paid!!
In most routine jobs you are probably taken for granted by your employer, overworked, underpaid and stressed out all the time! The only satisfaction point is getting your salary at the end of the month, of in the case of 'corporate man' the spec of your next company car (has it got LED headlights ... whoopee!)
What inspired you to start your own business?
Having your own business means that you can't be given the sack, or be made redundant, and you can run your life as you wish, not due to someone else's desires or incompetence.
Starting your own business can be risky, but as long as you keep your financial borrowing down to a safe level, and grow 'organically' i.e. slowly grow your business as your client base increases, you should be OK. Never have 'all your eggs' in one basket i.e. don't make your business dependent on just one client. A good business model is to have a lot of clients paying you modest amounts of money on a regular basis. These clients are unlikely to stop paying you because it's not a huge dent in their cash flow, and they won't all desert you and go to another supplier all at once!
Starting with the BBC, I had worked in the TV production and multi media business for many years, principally in the corporate area, but also including broadcast programmes.
I eventually decided to move away from the video business and at the time website design was a natural progression from video, and it was possible to start a business with a modest amount of finance, and with low risk. In fact websites were starting to replace the 'corporate video' as a principal marketing format for national and international marketing. At the time however, it was not possible to have good quality video on websites, the download speed was too slow.
Now of course the 'corporate video' is back in fashion because broadband has made video streaming possible and very popular. So clients can have a website and a video combined, the best of both worlds.
However, one word of warning, if you want to start your own business, check out the opposition first. The Internet is largely price-driven and you MUST be competitive. Customers trawl round for the best deal, unless you've got a product which is unique (and even then the Chinese will copy it quite quickly!) you must be better and cheaper to start with.
Why should our clients choose you?
As you can see from the above information, I've got a lot of experience in the visual media, and in business, as well as being able to design websites.
I won't just fob you off with a load of techno-jargon, and promise you the earth .... e.g. a page one listing on Google within a week (not possible unless you pay Google loads of cash!)
I will go through your business model with a fine tooth comb, and then work out a starting strategy, before designing anything. I'm not going to design a website and charge you money, knowing that you are bound to fail, because you don't have the right product or business plan.
One utterly critical issue nowadays is marketing. There's no advantage in having a great website unless you get it in front of your customers. Even a good listing on Google is not necessarily a route to success. There's so much 'targeted marketing' now i.e. ads being fired at prospective customers based on accumulated data, that people are 'buying stuff' before they've even bothered to search for it.
So you must 'hang your hook' in as many places as possible on the Internet to catch passing traffic, plus use some 'old fashioned' marketing methods like flyers - great for small local start-ups. Just having a few ads, or exposure in a few places is not enough. You need to get exposure in as many places as possible, and don't rely too much on social media - it's great if your business is connected to social activities like entertainment, clubs, wine bars, foodies, specialist fashion etc, but if you are 'twin cam inverted widget maker' Twitter and Facebook are largely useless.
In fact Twitter's share price dropped to an all time low in 2017, and has only risen up to about 50% of it's original listing price, and the only reason that it seems important is due to the fact that TV journalists mention it the whole time, and why do they do that? ... because they are too bone idle to do any proper journalism, and prefer to grab paragraphs off Twitter!
So if you contact me you will get an unbiased, non techno-jargon response, with some very useful business advice, and of course a great website! Simples! to quote a well known Meercat.