Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Website Design Tips for Columbus Small Business

Before you can begin putting your new Columbus business website together, you need to have the answers to several questions. I recommend answering the following questions before you do anything else:

1. Do you need some type of shopping cart or item aggregator?

2. Do you need a payment processor to accept credit card payments for your website?

3. Are you planning on hosting textual or multimedia content on your website?

4. Do you need website interactives that dynamically alter themselves based on visitor action?

5. Do you want to run advertisements for other Columbus based companies to make additional revenue off of your business website?

6. Do you have enough content and/or products to necessitate a database driven website, such as a website utilizing a content management system (CMS)?

7. Will your website require third party plug-ins to play audio, video, or site interactives.

8. Is your target market more inclined to a professional approach, simple casual approach, or flashy approach?

If you're not sure about the answers to any of these questions or you know the answers and you aren't sure you can implement the solutions yourself, you may wish to seriously consider the following tips provided by a top Columbus Web Design company:

1. Find pre-designed Web design templates that meet all of the above criteria. These may be free, but for a more complex web design they may cost a small fee. It is almost always worth it to get a web design template if you get exclusive rights to the template and it meets all of your needs.

2. Hire a professional Web developer in Columbus to put together a website meeting the needs you have. This can be somewhat expensive, but if you hire a good Columbus Web developer, the professionalism will make a tremendous difference in how much confidence website visitors have in placing orders. It will also help things go more smoothly down the road.

3. If your project requires rich media or interactives and you're not already accomplished in these areas, there are many very talented artists available in Columbus for very reasonable prices. Use them.

If the answers to the questions left you feeling confident that you can do the whole company website yourself, then get started. Use your answers to the questions in the creation of your business plan and work flow charts. However, even if you're confident you can do the whole website yourself, it is a good idea to look into using Web design templates. These can jump start and speed up your development process. If nothing else they can get your creative juices flowing and give you ideas on what you want to do with your small company website.

Of course, the place to start with web design templates is by looking at the free stuff first. The draw back of free templates is that somebody else's website may look like yours. But, given that you know what you're doing, you can use the template as a starting place to create something new and unique. If you haven't looked at templates in a while, you might not know that they are no longer just available in pure HTML. Many now implement complex scripts, proprietary media controls, content management systems, and advanced CSS customization. Although if you really want these advanced features, you will probably find the web design templates you have to buy are better options. The cost is usually small compared to the benefit if you find a template that perfectly suits your website goals and your target market in Columbus.