Not sure on something regarding your new website then just check below for some answers
Who writes the content?
As it is your business and you are the professional then you probably know more about the business and sector than we do so it would be best coming from you. By all means we can help you in any way that we can but as you are passionate about the business it should come a lot more naturally and the content would be unique compared to us researching the sector and probably relying on a third party source for information, which for all we know is correct but could actually be out of date or just not true.
Do i need to provide images?
Images as they say paint a thousand words and can grab a customers attention rather than them having to read paragraph after paragraph to find something out or to see if you are the right person for the job. There’s no better way to sell yourself than to show off your products or outcome of a service you have provided like a before and after if you offer cleaning services or tree surgeon services.
By all means you can use stock photography but this can be expensive and there is nothing better than showing products that you have made or stock yourself. Why not show off the work you are proud of instead of something someone else has made or service they have provided as it can sometimes come across as misleading or very obvious from the images that they are not of your business.
Potential clients may then start to wonder why you are afraid to show off what you can provide but instead showing someones elses business and may think you are not compitent to provide a solution to a high standard.
What do you need from me?
To make a start on the website we would need a rough idea of what you want to achieve with the website. Is it just a brochure site advertising your services or are you interested in selling your products on the website? We also need some ideas on how many pages and what you want to call the pages. If you’re not sure then a standard website usually has the following pages:
This is the main page of the website and where the visitor lands on when they access your website if they type in the full domain name for example www.mywebsite.com
This usually contains a sliding image at the top, some images and a bit of blurb or mission statement in a one sentence to sum up what you do. It also acts as a signpost to other parts of your website so you can direct them to other important areas of the site like the shop or services.
A bit of history about the business, your experience, qualifications, awards, certifications, what makes you special, trying to sell yourself and giving them a reason to choose you over a competitor, current clients you have worked with or key suppliers you stock.
If you offer services such as a Plumber, Personal Fitness Instructor or an accountant then you can list some of the services you offer to your clients. If you just offer servies in a particular sector or business area you can just have the one page but if you offer services in multiple sectors you can break them up into seperate pages that would lie underneath the services page.
This would make reading easier for the visitor and so they only have to read the services you offer. This is also good for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) of your website by focusing on one key area for each page.
Shop or store page
If you are planning on selling products from your website then this will be where all your products go. Ideally you should have at least one image for each item you want to purchase, a product description, price you want to charge and variations of the products if you have different colours available. It would also be a good idea to have an idea of shipping costs for your products so you’re not overcharging, which will put your potential customers off but also not charging enough, which will eat away at your potential profit.
A good idea is to have a look at what your competitors are charging for similar items to get a rough idea as you want to stay competitive but also don’t want to be losing money on each sale.
This page is where you have all your contact details such as address, telephone number, email address. You can have a custom form designed so the customer can fill in if you require specific information for queries that can be submitted from this page. You can usually have a map showing the location of the business unless your running your business from home and provide services at the clients premises and do not require them to visit your registered office address.
News / blog
You don’t have to have this page but it is a good idea for SEO purposes as search engines prefer websites that are updated regularly instead of being built and left to wilt. On here you can give updates to new services you offer, some handy tips, recipes for using your products, awards you have won, upcoming or previous events you have just run.
On here you want to aim to grab potential clients attention and more often than not customers will find your website not from knowing who you are but from finding something relevant or interesting on a blog post you have written which they then go on to check your products or services. As you have built up that trust from giving them the information they wanted with a tip or whatever it might be, ascerting your knowledge in the field or sector they are more likely to purchase from you.
What size images do I need and what format
The bigger the images the better as they can always be cropped down to size but the reverse isn’t always possible. If you give us a tiny image and want it blown up for a full width slider then it will become distorted and spoil the look of the site leaving it look sub standard.
Images size is measured in pixels and a full width slider is around 960 pixels wide so anything above that if that’s what you want it for but also bear in mind you don’t want it too big in height as you ideally want the visitor to see the image without having to scroll down the page. Formats that work best are PNG or JPEG
Can I have music on my my website?
We would advise you not to have music playing in the background as not everyone has the same preferance of music as yourself and they might find it irritating and leave the site if they are trying to find information and reading about something you have written with music blasting that is putting them off especially if it is on repeat.
You should also bear in mind loading speed of a website especially for visitors using mobile devices not connected to wifi. With a music file it has to be downloaded before the page shows, which with a large file and someone just using 3g connection on a mobile it will not only take a long time to load but will also drain their data allowance and might put them off returning. There may also be some licensing considerations to think about if the song is not your own and you don’t have permission to use the song you may be in breach of copyright regulations.
How do i access my emails?
You can either log into a cloud based (via the internet on a browser window such as Internet Explorer or Safari) webmail client, configure your regular email client such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird or you can set up your mobile device to download emails straight to that.
What will my email address be for my new website?
You can have whatever you want for your email address but it is made up of two sections. The first bit is the unique name so it could be info@, hello@ or yourname@ or whatever else you fancy.
The second part of the email address will be whatever your website domain will be so example.com or for this website the name is hello@ and the domain name is spicediceweb so our contact email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I accept payment if I want to have an eCommerce website?
The best way to accept payment and the most widely used form of online payment is using PayPal as most people who shop online these days have a PayPal account, which is owned by eBay so is very secure and trustworthy. It also takes some of the security issues away as all payment information and details are entered through the PayPal website securely and the payment is sent over to you when they have paid.
The service isn’t totally free to use as a small charge is applied to each order but for SME’s who are not processing thousands of transactions per week it is the most cost effective compared to making your site compatible for credit card payments. This service is not free either and requires a payment gateway to be purchased and set up, enhanced security on the site with the added cost of SSL certificates and they still charge a percentage of the transaction too.
I've never written content for a website before, where do I start?
It can be a daunting task starting a website from scratch and coming up with ideas for content especially if you are not the most creative of people. Don’t panic as it is an ongoing process and nothing is set in stone you can always amend the content as you go along and add to it if you think it isn’t in depth enough.
The best way to start with your content writing is with competitor analysis. This means looking at what your competitors are doing to get some ideas of how they are marketing themselves to customers to see if there’s anything you like or if there is anything you think you could improve to win over customers from them.
You should have a clear idea of who your customers are and what they are looking for. Most often than not you don’t just have one standard customer, you will have several different consumers of your products and services and these all have different wants and needs to be satisfied. To do this you should make a list of each type of customer you think your business has to profile them, grouping them into categories and personas. Each persona should have a name, description of what they do for a living, age, lifestyle, spending habits and language they use.
This will ultimately leave you with a set of customer personas that you can start to write content for and give you ideas of the keywords they would use to find you or what they call the products you provide as they don’t always describe what you provide the same as you do so the chances are when they are searching in google if you don’t use the same language and keywords they may not find you.
What happens if I add new services or products can I update the website myself?
The website will be built using a CMS (content management system) called WordPress, which means that the website will be built with it’s structure, images, pages and content but will allow you to log in and change or update any of the content yourself with some training provided by us here at Spiced Ice when you have a website built by us.