This is only an introduction and is not meant to be complete in any way. I am producing my own site at the moment and know that the views expressed here will change going forward. There are many sites out there to help anyone start, but this is just a “toe in the water” article.The key to website design is to get the person looking for your service to look at your page and be knocked out by what they see.
Here are a few pointers for all websites:
- Get your message across on the front page and don’t make the site too fussy. Don’t try and give your life story here so only put information on the page that serves a purpose. Don’t have flashing gizmos or other memory-consuming frills as the visitor may have a poor connection to the net. Don’t let the glitz overshadow your site’s content and annoy visitors.
- Be organised and use the same models / themes for each of the pages on your site. Use the same headings and fonts throughout.
- Get to know who will visit your page – when a website stops changing it’s on life support. Check your competition and make sure you can compete with them on a web-level.
And some for service-oriented websites:
- If you have a company van with your logo on it put it on the page – it doesn’t have to be front and centre but it shows that you are not a fly-by-night but a reputable company that wants to be recognised.
- List the major work that you carry out – four or five main-level items should do the trick. Link to a separate page on your site to give more detail to the list.
- Show some examples of your work – as many different types of work as you can offer. Show some on the front page and have another linked page set up with said examples.
- Do you have any qualifications or are you just trying to earn an income before returning to your main source of income. Let visitors know that this is what you do and how long you have been doing it. It’s like a mini-résumé or CV – this is how people will see what you can do.
- Try to get as many testimonials from previous customers posted to your site. If the customer is delighted with your work but not on the web ask if you can post their comments on your site.
The technical bits:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the titles, descriptions & keywords you add to your website. When a web user is searching for a service this is what they type into their search engine. Make sure you list everything that you offer on your site.
- Put in your main keywords.
- Add in descriptions to anything you post to your site.