One of my favourite web design blogs, Smashing Magazine, recently published this article about web site planning. It effectively articulates both the risks of failing to plan and the benefits of planning effectively when undertaking a redesign of an existing site or an entirely new site.
This is one of the most common questions that I get asked by new clients. It's not always phrased this way, it could be 'I don't really understand computers, will I still be able to manage my web site?' or 'I'm not very technical, but I would like to update my own web site.'
The answer isn't as cut and dried as you may think...
If you really want to distil it down to a one word answer, it has to be 'No'. However, if you take that view when looking to manage your content management system based web site, you're making life hard for yourself. Continue reading
There are always 'red flag' or 'nightmare' clients in any industry. the popular web design blog, Six Revisions, recently posted an interesting article that can help you avoid the pitfalls of becoming that type of customer.
Why is this important?
By avoiding the colaboration pitfalls discussed in that article you will be able to keep an effective and productive relationship with your designer or developer, which ultimately, will help them to provide you with a far higher quality finished product.
There are a huge selection of sources of imagery that can be used in web sites. Licensing, pricing and quality vary greatly, but are not 100% reliable, you may find the perfect image for you needs in one of the free stock image sites or in a rights managed portfolio like Getty Images or you may need to shoot some photographs yourself.
Obviously budget constraints also come into the equation. If you need 10 new images a month you aren't likely to go and buy rights managed images unless those images are going to make you serious money, but you might set yourself up to have the images taken for you, or source them from lower cost royalty free image sites. Continue reading
If you're anything like me you find it much easier to look at someone else's marketing and see where it's lacking, or where they need to concentrate their efforts, than to take the same objective view of your own marketing.
While this is only human nature and not a major problem it is something that we, as small business owners need to be disciplined about. Why? Well imagine that your business as a house and you are the builder. There are certain tasks that must be complete before undertaking others. There are other tasks that are more effective if others are completed in advance. It is impossible to build the walls before the foundations are laid and set, and you certainly wouldn't want to plaster the walls before the windows and doors are fitted, though you could... Marketing your business is much the same, in that certain objectives must be achieved before others will have any positive effect.
What happens if you don't? Quite simply, there will be lots of activity and very little productivity. You'll end up bouncing from task to task, probably never completing any to the level that you want. Additionally, you can be absolutely certain that, as a result, you will have missed a number of potentially lucrative opportunities.
Who needs a marketing plan? Everyone needs a marketing plan! Whether you're a multi-national corporation, or a freelancer working from home, it is important (in fact vital) that you have a detailed, structured, and practical plan for marketing your business.
One of the best web design blogs, A List Apart, posted an interesting article this week.
Although aimed at web designers, the information in both useful and interesting to anyone who is likely to be involved in a web project, either as a supplier or a customer.
The article, Taking the Guess Work Out of Design, offers a variety of techniques that can help a project become more efficient and successful through documentation, goal setting and communication.
One of the most difficult parts of a web site project is to write the content. If you're not a professional copy writer, there's a lot of new concepts and tensions to consider.