One of the most important things in your business should be your website. It needs to look professional, it needs to be easy to use, have good and interesting content, it needs to be factual, and overall, needs to give a fantastic impression to your audience, or where would you be when it comes to attracting customers?! There’s no getting around the fact it has to be perfect! Fashion Rider knows how difficult it can be to get all of this right, and so we recommend spending a good amount of time and effort on finding the right web designer. We’ve spoken to Rob from THE WEB KITCHEN to get his input on the importance of the dos and don’ts of web design.
What are the most important functions to get right on a web site?
The number one rule is to keep it simple. So many websites try and do too much, be too clever, or be too fussy with design. Most website users want to find out information in the most easy way possible.
A good website should obviously represent the brand correctly and effectively. However, to do this, you often need to do slightly different things with your branding assets than you have done offline. Your brand needs to ‘bend’ to the web and not the other way round.
We are close to the point where more people navigate the web on mobile devices than they do on desktops and laptops. It is now absolutely crucial that your website works well across all devices. It may be that you want to present a different site for mobiles (eg. a quick look site), or you could make your website ‘responsive’ whereby it automatically resizes to the best size for a user’s device.
Perhaps most importantly, your website should be a call to action. The whole design process must cater for this action. You have to pay close attention to your website stats to make sure your website is working for you, and if it’s not, you must improve and adapt it until it does.
What are the worst mistakes?
The worst mistakes are when you don’t fulfil any of the functions above. The worst website would be cluttered and complex; badly represent a brand; not work effectively on different devices; and not perform the key objectives that the website was meant to do.
Other bad mistakes include: i) not testing the site sufficiently – eg. testing it works properly in every common web browser; ii) not researching what users actually want; iii) making the site too heavy eg. with big images so it’s slow to load; iv) not making the core information (Eg. contact page) easily accessible; v) serving dead end pages with no call to action or next steps.
What is your opinion of free website builders?
Free website builders are great when this is all you can afford. However, your website is absolutely the most important driver of your business. Potential customers are instantly attracted or put off your company or brand within the first five seconds of visiting your site. It really is worth getting it right, and if that requires paying for expert advice, architecture, design and development then it is a false economy not to do so. It’s simple to devise a business case for whether it makes sense to create your website professionally. In many cases all the website needs to do is attract 1-10 pieces of new business (or not put them off!) and you would have had the return on your investment.
One final note:
Whether you are choosing a new accountant or web designer to work with, Fashion Rider always recommends you do your research and consider all your options.
If you’re still unsure, don’t forget Fashion Rider is here to help. Please don’t hesitate in getting in contact and let us take the stress out of it for you. Also if there are any different areas we can help in just let us know.
0161 3008 794
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