Website Visual Design
Technologies used in websites are changing quickly and once you start one it's just about time to think about updating it. If you have a small business it can be challenging to sift through all the options or change your current website because you just don't have the time. That is where I can help you.
Why do you need Visual?
- You want to appeal to millennials
- You want to sell a product or service
- You desire to grow your online community and network
- You want to leverage technology to make your life easier
Organizing and editing Websites
A website is technology and the cost of a website starts at free and has no cap. Below are some screenshots from past projects I have worked on that give an example of the range of website visual design and use. You can read about some of my past projects in the visual style blog.
popular website services
Companies like SquareSpace, Wordpress, and WIX are called CMS or Content Management Solution services. These website providers manage the technical aspects of a website's functionality and hosting. This allows websites, like this one, to be created quickly and easily.
There are no computer programming skills required to build a website if you use a CSM service. It's always nice to have a professional help you, but it's not required to get started. Newer templates and designs, offered by companies like SquareSpace, founded in 2004, tend to have built-in features that are more current (like social media).
Tips for Creating your Website
1: TRY several website services as a free trial
I've signed up for so many online account services over the years that I can't even keep track of them all. Back in the day I had a .mac website, myspace, Friendster, along with about.me, Tumblr, blogger, and who knows what.
In my case, I constantly used only 2 services; wordpress.com and behance.net. I've been blogging on WordPress since 2008 and had almost 700 posts and over 2,000 images (as of summer 2014). I'm not the only one who likes Wordpress. Many people use the CMS of WordPress for their websites - in fact, they say 19% of the internet is using it!
2: THINK OF CONTENT VS WEBSITE
The thing about content management systems (CMS) is that you need to have your content ready to plug into their themes. Content is a term that refers to your photos, logo, graphics, text and any other types of information about your business.
Keeping your content in a folder on your desktop will help you keep focused as you play with website CMS templates and layouts. Don't be afraid to switch things up. If your content doesn't seem to fit right in the design, try a new design template. Eventually, you will find something that works for your needs! One of the reasons I loved using wordpress.com was because I could change my theme every six months or so as new templates became available. In fact, I recommend updating your theme when it gets outdated.
If you are not comfortable getting started on your own, I am happy to help. I love to sit down and work with my clients as they become familiar with how a website works.
Essentially you are customizing a template every time you pick a new theme. Not all themes are equal. Most designs have a specific use in mind. There are special design features for businesses that sell products that are different from a service based business like mine. A band and musicians website is very different from a t-shirt company, newspaper or a local winery.
3: EMBRACE MESSY AND GRADUAL TRANSITIONS
If you are putting energy into a new website, keep in mind it will be a gradual transition of sending all relevant traffic to the new site.
Other things to update:
- Link to your old site to your new sites (If you have a new domain)
- Update you email signatures
- Update your website link in your social media profiles
- Don't forget to update your website/email info in your print materials too
4: Publish first and fix it as you go
One of the fantastic things about publishing on the web is that you can edit or update whenever you want. No matter how small the edit may be - it's easy to fix with a CMS. Some of my clients are hesitant to publish until everything is perfect. I sympathize with that desire – I also fall into the trap of perfectionism sometimes. But the truth is, people pay lots of money to attract customers to their site, so the chances that your website will be viewed by many people right away is small. It's a big world out there and you have to be pretty radical to get noticed. Don't promote your new website until you feel it's ready. But do publish and share your website with friends and family to get feedback along the way.