Web site design
Have your Web site designed and maintained by ALIA
First, a few questions.
- Why should you have a Web site?
We can discuss the options in a reasoned manner. I'm interested in building longer term business relationships with clients, supporting your information technology needs. This means that I won't try to force an inappropriate site on you.
The long term view is important. The Web and associated technologies are developing at a dizzy pace. Precise user demographics are largely unknown. Anyone who claims to know exactly what is going on is either an innocent or a scoundrel. In such circumstances, a line to a flexible and knowledgeable service is advisable.
- Who and where is your intended audience?
This has a bearing on the style and content of the site. It influences the methods used to promote the site. It may also influence the physical location of the site.
- What message are you sending?
Is the site simply PR? Are you looking for a direct sales effect? Is the site to be used to keep existing customers up to date on products and developments. Is it to be purely a prospecting mechanism?
If you are unsure, I can help you to come to a conclusion.
- Have you a certain style of site in mind?
A review of other sites nationally and internationally should be a part of the process. The approach is not to copy but to develop a feel for what works well or otherwise and what might be appropriate. Spending time and money without first learning something of the medium would be "unwise".
- How much of the basic copy and graphics do you already have to hand?
You can reduce the costs and development time by providing printed or machine-readable copy. Availability of existing graphics and logos also helps. Bear in mind, however, that a straight transcription of paper content will be unlikely to work well on the Web. Some editing and re organisation is generally necessary.
Get your message onto the Internet in a way that will maximise the readership
An excellent Web site is of little benefit if it's existence is unknown. It is necessary to be very proactive in promoting the site.
At minimum, the site has to be submitted to the major Web search engines. In addition, the technical internals of the pages have to be structured in a way that takes account of the widely-varying methods used by different search engines to index the pages.
The site must also be promoted by announcements in appropriate forums and vertical-market listings.
Where possible, links from other sites should be cultivated. This can have a marked impact on the exposure of the site.
I can undertake all the generic activity on your behalf.
I can help you to develop promotion methods that are tailored to your specific operation.
Brochure/Catalog v. Web - a quick simplified comparison
Your own or your advertising agency's basic skills of overall design and copy writing still apply
to the Web.
However, it must be emphasised that the Web is a medium in which most of the old rules do not
- With a traditional brochure, you control everything in the layout - the physical relationship
of elements, the textures and the quality of the images.
- With a Web page, for various technical reasons (which I will outline in the future) you do
not have that control.
- A traditional brochure is generally kept short and snappy, allowing the reader to get the
main overall message.
- A Web site can present a similar snappy front, but allow the reader to immediately drill
down to some specific detail if required. It can be a bang-up-to-date comprehensive
catalog combined with the ease and acceptability of a snappy brochure.
- A traditional brochure has to work hard to convince someone to pick it up and look at it
in the first place.
- A web user is already partly committed to viewing your page before first glimpse by
virtue of have clicked on a link. All you have to do is ensure that something interesting
happens fairly quickly after they click.
- Did you ever get a Reader's Digest mail shot informing you that were one a very select
few to be selected as eligible for entry in a draw for untold wealth? I get them all the time.
I must be incredibly lucky.
Those mail shots are fabulous! Peel here, scratch there, stick in the bankbook, uncover
here and find that you're in line for the BMW and not the 2CV! That sort of thing is
reader interactivity run riot.
- A web site can offer a (hopefully more restrained) interactive interface that draws a
- In particular, a web site allows for a very immediate two-way interaction with the viewer. This can vary from a simple fill-in form emailed to you from the page - right up to a database-type server application which allows a viewer to locate specific information and perhaps initiate an order entry or purchase process based on that.
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