Monday, 30 March 2009

Which Website is my best fit?

by Nelly Berova

I often get asked the question: ‘how much would it cost to set up a website for my business?’ to which I always answer ‘what is the purpose of this website?’

Choosing a website is like buying a suit – ideally it should be tailored using the right material and measured to fit you perfectly but if your budget is limited, you know you can choose one ‘off the peg’.

Before you start looking for the right web company, you have to identify why you want a website and what its main purpose is. Is it to generate you more enquiries; to sell your products, to act simply as an online brochure, or to establish your brand identity? You also have to identify your target market as well as check few competitors’ websites to see what you are up against and how you can be better.

Based on a clear strategy and a targeted audience you will be able to identify the type of website you require, and from there, the right supplier.

Most web companies or London design agencies are not Jacks of all trades – they have specific expertise, of which you could use to your advantage, but if you chose the wrong supplier, you risk ending up with the wrong product.

For instance, you are looking for a website that sells your products online to as many people as possible and looks funky and original, so you decide to approach a web company that specialises in Flash websites. You pay a fair amount of money for their development of this new and cool site… but a few months later you realise that you can’t update the content yourself; it costs you a fortune to keep going back to the web designers to change or add products, and what’s worse, your website is nowhere to be found on Google Search results. You feel you have bought a product which does not meet your expectations.

You almost have to work backwards.

If you want to sell products online, it’s vital to have a website that ranks well with search engines as well as being accessible. Ask your potential supplier how they propose this should be achieved. If your products change regularly it would be more cost effective to have a website fitted with a content management system which allows you to edit your content. So ask your web company if they offer such a system. If image is important, make sure they have a designer to do the layout of your website, instead of a developer. Checking examples from the designer’s portfolio will give you a good indication of their ability.

So, to find which website is your best fit, get your measurements right before you buy, and you will have a suit fit for every occasion. To find out more, visit our website: www.artdivision.co.uk

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