KARON SWAN

PHOTOGRAPHY : GRAPHIC DESIGN : WEB DESIGN

These days if you have a business you need a website. Clients expect to be able to find you online, it validates your company and gives them reassurance about your commitment to being in business.

You are better off with no website than an unprofessional one.

The website projects your image and not many businesses can afford to project the attitude that 'we are getting round to finishing our website when our third cousins son has finished his homework'.  But don't panic, you don't have to have a multi-page all singing dancing website either. Lots of companies have static Magazine Format websites. These look great, have just a few pages and don't change much over time. These are ideal for smaller companies who don't use the web for business and they don't need to cost much either - but they do need to look good.

What's with the lips?

It’s more a reminder to Keep It Simple (you can choose whether the last s in the KISS mnemonic should be Sugar, Sweetie or Stupid).

Lots of times we want great websites, but it’s easy to forget what your business needs one for and how much time you may have to spend - or worse - money keeping it up to date. That's why the KISS; most often the best websites are simple.  They don't need weekly updates and tweet feeds.  They do just what you really need them to do – give you an internet presence and provide online advertising and information about your business.

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A listening dog?

You get the website you need and we'll make sure we are listening (and taking the odd note too). You get to explain about your business, where you see it going, what has gone on so far and anything else you want us to know. We’re interested in your colour preferences, the things you like and, perhaps more importantly for design, the things you don't like.

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Any questions?

Hopefully lots, but not necessarily all from you. The more questions we can ask about your business and why you want the website the better the design fit. We'll try and find out as much about your style as possible so that the website works for you. At the end of the day we want you to have a site you're delighted about.

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Examples

Click on the page to go to the website and have a look around.

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How it works

After we have talked to you we'll return to the computer and create a mock-up of a couple of pages.  Then we have another meeting where you have a look at the designs and explain what you do and don't like. From that conversation we create a website design and you sign off on it.

This is where you become the most important cookie in the biscuit barrel because at this stage we need content. Words, photos, logos, diagrams - anything and everything that you need to reflect your business.

We can help collect this and we'll even do the words for you (though we will have to talk to you over a cup of coffee to collect the information) but it is simpler if you have stuff ready.

We then create your website. We put this onto a temporary website so we can check things, do minor alterations and then after the final flexing of the money card it goes live.  We'll then give you some training (if you want it) and give you a review after six months.

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Who does what

Web design still follows the basic principles of any good design, but unlike working for the print industry where you can create interest just by using different papers and finishes you have to add texture and pizazz.  Not only that but we need to be creative with pages and how we organise them so that things are logical.

We need to create a style that matches the client’s expectations and preferences and delivers the message or information in a clear cohesive manner.

There are some great templates out there that you could use and adapt for your own business - but you can buy them for about the same as my basic web design service. We don't normally use templates unless a client really wants one, every site we design is unique and based on the needs of the client. It is heaps more fun for us and oddly enough is actually an easier process than trying to customise a generic site.

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Hosting and email

You can have the site hosted by anyone eg GoDaddy, but we prefer to use Adobe Business Catalyst. They are a little bit more expensive and come with a few key advantages:

• the software for designing is Adobe based so everything talks nicely together

• the servers are based in your county so there are no odd down times when updates are scheduled

• they are a big global company with lots of developers and programmers who can support any problems

• and possibly the most important - we know what we are doing!

If you already have an email address and you are happy using it then you don't need to get another one, and the good news is that you can have a cheaper plan. Otherwise you can have a nice new email to go with your domain name. If you haven’t got a domain name yet then we can help with that too, and even make recommendations if your first choice isn't available.

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 ©Karon Swan 2015