You want to use the things I build

Advice

Site Structure

  • Make sure your site is easy to navigate when looking at it for the first time.
  • Think about the information most people will be looking for—is finding it intuitive?
  • Choose page titles and link labels that are obvious. Mysterious links don't get clicked.

Page Layout

  • Consider putting oft-looked-for info (like location, or hours) on every page.
  • Think about what content is most important, and pull that out for a spotlight on the side.
  • Use calls to action: buttons, graphics and links that give clear directions. “Make reservations,” “contact me,” “buy now.”

Color Scheme

  • Start with any existing logos or graphics as inspiration.
  • Look for objects whose colors you like for ideas: book covers, advertisements, or even printed shirts.
  • If your content will have lots of color, consider a more muted palette for the website itself.

Graphics

  • Let your logo (or any other existing graphics) influence the tone of graphics you choose, so they fit together well.
  • Search Flickr for images with a Creative Commons license that allows use on your site.
  • You can only use a graphic if you own it, or if its creator has granted you permission.
  • Don't be afraid to take your own pictures. You’ll own the rights to use the image, and the low resolution used on the web means the images don’t need to be perfect.

Site Text

  • Avoid paragraphs—people skim the web, they do not read.
  • Pull text out into bulleted lists, they’re easier for viewers to digest.
  • Cut text down as much as you can, then cut again. Be brutal.
  • Avoid any redundant labels or text; don't use text as filler.
  • Don’t overdo the exclamation points!!! More than one per page is probably too many.

Domain Setup

  • The hosting provider is the company that houses the server that holds the actual pages that are your website.
  • The domain registrar is the company that you purchase your domain name from.
  • Sometimes the hosting provider and the domain registrar are the same company, but they don't need to be.
  • The minimum hosting plan is often plenty, but make sure that the technologies you need are supported. (I can help you with that.)
  • An ISP is an internet service provider; these are the companies that give us our connection to the internet. They are not related to your hosting provider or your domain registrar.

Schedule & Launch

  • The earlier in the schedule you deliver the text and graphic content, the less time it will take to develop your site—later additions often cause re-working of the site.
  • Don’t underestimate the time it will take you to develop your site content.
  • Your site launch is a PR opportunity—don’t miss out on the attention it will bring. Schedule the launch for a time when you’re ready to deliver to your customers.

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