10 Things to decide before you build a website


1 – What do you want the website to do for you?

Are you just intending the site to be a sort of on-line business card, or will you want more information for people to read about your company and services? Do you want people to book or order services through your website?  

2 – What do you want the website to look like?

Do you have company or corporate colours that you want on your website? Have you seen any other websites that have the sort of look and feel that you want? If so you need to provide us with the address for these websites and explain what you like about them, so that we can incorporate similar features in to your website.  

3 – Do you already have a Company Logo designed or will you need one?

If you have a company logo that your business is recognised by, then it is good practice to get this on your website to reassure your customers that they have come to the right place. If the logo is very dated we may be able to keep the logo recognisable while at the same time modernising it a little. If you dont have a logo yet at all and want one then let us know and we can arrange to have one designed. Some logos are very graphical and others are very simple with just stylised text.  If you are unsure which way to go then give us a call and we can have a chat with you about this.  

4 – Do you want a full width website or space at the sides?

There are generally just the 2 main layouts to choose from, those that are full width, that is the main design runs from one side of the screen right across to the other side, and there are those that use a strip through the middle of the page. This website for example uses a layout with space at the sides, this allows for attractive background images etc. An example of a full width layout website is: http://www.theprettyplaqueboutique.co.uk/  Both layouts have their pro’s and their con’s.  

5 – Do you need a responsive website (one that resizes for mobiles and tablets)?

As the market for mobile devices and iPads and mini iPads and tablets continues to grow, so does the chance that your website might be viewed on them. It is reported that around 20% of all internet traffic now comes via one of these devices.  Some websites have a different version built specifically to work on a mobile or tablet, but this can be a more expensive way of doing it. A responsive website will automatically adjust it’s layout according to the size of the screen it is being viewed on. Not all websites are possible to be responsive, so if you want a responsive website then let us know right away from the start.  

6 – Will you be needing to update the website yourself?

If your website, after being built is just going to stay as it is, without being added to or changed or updated, then you will be ok with what is called a “static site”. However if when you think about it, you may need to update prices or put notices on and off the website and update or change or add things to the website, then you will need to be able to update the website. It is important to let us know this before we start.  

7 – Do you need Ecommerce (a web shop) to sell products on-line?

If you are planning to sell your products through the website then you need to give careful thought to who do you plan to use for accepting on-line payments. If you have a Paypal account that is probably the easiest and one of the cheapest routes to start with. If you are considering using a banks own merchant system give us a call first as this will likely make your project far more expensive than it needs to be, and it doesn’t even just effect the costs of the merchant account itself. Many of the banks own merchant systems require that complicated encryption keys and security programs be installed that most hosting companies wont allow. So you will probably need to use a dedicated server, and to make that worth while you are going to need to be sure that you are going to sell a great many products every day just to cover the cost of running system like that, if you are just getting started you can make life much easier and less expensive, call us and we will explain how you can save money without compromising on service.  

8 – What kind of hosting account will you need?

A hosting account is something that people with little experience of websites often done understand or even realise that they need.  We can illustrate it like this: Think of  your website as an advert, you have written it all out just as you want it, great. But how is anyone going to see it while it is still sat on your kitchen table, who is going to show it to the world, so you go to your local corner shop and pay them £1 to put the advert on the notice board in their window. Websites work the same way, you can make a beautiful website, but if it is just sat on your computer no one will be able to see it, you need to put it on the internet (shop window) for all to see.  This is where a hosting company come in, they have banks of computer servers that are highly secure and designed to prevent hackers from getting in and messing up your website, they have to keep their computers running 24 hours a day. You pay for a certain amount of space on one of their computers and they show the visitor your website if someone types in your website address.  Prices for hosting accounts can range wildly, as can reputations for hosting companies. Some are good, and others are terrible, if you are unsure we can help to guide you in choosing who to use.  

9 – What is your budget & what does it include?

It is important to think about this and decide how much money you want to spend before you start, it is important to remember that you may need to buy a domain name (these cost from just a few pounds up to £20 or £30 depending on what kind of domain you buy) you will also need hosting account, you may need to have a logo designed, and of course the website itself. You can get an idea on what we charge from our prices page and if you want a more specific quote, then give us a ring. We don’t have any hidden charges, and unlike other web design agencies we don’t tell you an hourly rate and then not say how long it will take to finish. We give you a set price and charge a 50% deposit with the balance payable upon completion.  

10 – Why Should I use The Web Design Company?

Because we are very good at what we do, because we are very affordable, because we are honest, because you can see examples of our work, and we have been running for 14 years and we are not going to pack up and vanish like so many other web design companies do. Also because we make sure that we make the whole process as easy as possible for you and explain everything clearly. We are a family company who try hard to be environmentally undemanding, we even use an eco friendly little electric van for our company vehicle.  And finally, because we are lovely.