What Every Business Owner Needs to Know
about Participating in the Process, Working
with a Designer and Producing a Site that
Works for Your Business
What we’ll cover
Planning the site
structure & content
Types of sites
The more you have planned ahead of
time, the better!
Things you should know:
Your business model
Who are your customers or Audience?
What do you want your customers to do?
• Call to action
How will this site solve your customers’
Brochure - Set it and Forget it, (but don’t)
Basic static pages, simple form
Informational - Regularly Updated
Needs a database and/or blogging capability
E-commerce (Can be used for services, too)
Requires shopping cart (customer, order and
product information storage and retrieval)
Things you should have an idea about:
• visual interface to ‘set tone/expectations’,
based on your audience and corporate
• Logo, Colors, Look and Feel
• Focus on good design, not clutter
Content (Message or ‘Pitch’)
• Written copy (Optimized for Search Engines
Humans with keywords)
• Product photos or other images
• Video or Audio
Forms (registration, mailing
list, contact us)
Shopping cart or way
for customers to pay
Information feeds like
news or MLS
Flow chart (your
assist with this)
• How many pages or
• What links to what
• How pages are
categorized (Do you
sort by color or
What you love (functionality, color, style, etc.)
What you hate
What you NEED now, what would be nice later
Sites can be built in stages, as long as it’s planned for
Questionnaire is a good place to start
Whew! Now that all the planning is done….
How Much Will This Cost?
How much do you project
10-20% of what you will make in the first year
is a good baseline
How much can you do yourself?
Writing, photography etc.
What is your time worth?
Website is an ongoing
“Average” small business should
expect low to mid 4 figures.
How Much Will This Cost?
What type of site do you need?
Blog (minimal design capability) = Free
(remember your time…)
Brochure = $2500-$4500 (Estimated labor
20 to 60 hours)
Infomational or E-Commerce = $4500-
Maintenance and marketing are key to
success and not included in these
Domains & Hosting
Domain - $10+ year
Your site address: www.greatsite.com
Leased not owned! If you fail to stay current
on payment, you will LOSE the rights to
lease the domain.
Hosting - $120+ year
The server where your actual files live
Hosting packages normally include a limited
# of email addresses that can be setup
YOU MUST PAY YOUR OWN BILL &
KEEP TRACK OF THE LOGIN
Use the spreadsheet
Not all designers know how to code, not all developers
know how to design
$Designer/developer, small company, freelance, home office
• Designer, developer, writer, photographer, ad placement,
Ask your friends & family
(If you have a friend actually do the site, do you care about
deadlines and quality? Professionals are much more
Who developed the sites in your industry that you
Look for functionality, not ‘Flash Bang’
Do they have the skill set you need?
Don’t be shy about asking questions
• Be cautious about FLASH
Have they made sites that work the way you
want yours to work?
Check the designers’ site (broken links or
‘coming soon’ pages are a RED FLAG)
Check their clients’ sites and get references
Get more than one bid
• (Compare by services offered, not just price.
Lowest is often more expensive in long run)
The Proposal & Contract
Don’t leave home without it
Protects the owner and designer
Defines the scope of work
Define WHO is responsible for
• Who is providing content
Deadlines go both ways
Who “owns” what at the end
• Content, artwork, code
• Typically 33% or 50% up front
Is maintenance covered?
Can you get out?
The Proposal & Contract
What can raise the cost
• Remember all that
Yay! We’re finally creating something!
You’ve planned, now
Share all of your
Be prepared for more
Structure first, to include
all content and plan
Picture of the home and
possibly additional page
May have more than
• Now you can see
which shade of
purple works best
Now is the time to
change your mind and
Not everything that was
planned for can happen
Content and images are
never exactly the same
Remember – Sites
You don’t control how
people see your site.
Keep the design flexible
and user friendly
Talk about the site being
“responsive” with your
The coding that actually creates the site
Includes functionality that makes the site ‘go’ and can
include Galleries, Slide Shows, Email forms,
Shopping Carts, Blog installations . . .
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head profile="http://gmpg.org/xfn/11"> <title>Designing Your Site, Things Every Business Owner Should
Know</title> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" /> <meta
name="generator" content="WordPress 2.9.2" /> <!-- leave this for stats please --> <link rel="stylesheet"
media="screen" /> <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS 2.0"
href="http://www.beckydavisdesign.com/seminar/feed/" /> <link rel="alternate" type="text/xml" title="RSS .92"
href="http://www.beckydavisdesign.com/seminar/feed/rss/" /> <link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml"
title="Atom 0.3" href="http://www.beckydavisdesign.com/seminar/feed/atom/" /> <link rel="pingback"
Each stage needs YOUR approval
Layout, design, development, launch
Delays in content delivery, approval and
payment schedule all directly affect your
Design changes or added
functionality requests during
development will be extra $$
Use more than one tester
Preferably someone who has not seen the site before
Does every link work?
Do the forms work?
Does the shopping cart work?
Does it pass the Mom test?
Test in Major Browsers: Explorer, Firefox,
Chrome, Opera (both on PC and Mac) AND as
many devices as you can find
Designer should do, but you should too!
Maintenance & Updates
You planned for this, right?
Publishing schedule for blog or events?
Updating products or inventory?
You’re NEVER done.
Relevant and current content wins in search
It’s a live site!! Now, how do you drive traffic to it?
Social Media (easier for some business types
• Facebook fan page
• Your LinkedIn Profile
• Use what works for you!
• Constant Contact
• Active Campaign
• Your Email Address should be firstname.lastname@example.org
NOT gmail, and NOT aol. (Support your domain!)
Nothing replaces real face to face
• Print, radio
• TV advertising
Part of the planning
Part of the budget
These slides and MORE!