At CWS, we take extraordinary pride in designing websites for businesses. It isn’t a single step process or a recycled template we use, it is a multidimensional process involving, not only the customer, but the entire project team to make your website the best that it can be.
As years go by, styles change, people find new things aesthetically pleasing, and others quickly follow. It isn’t always necessary for your website to immediately make these changes, but it is important that every few years you review your website, because they do have a shelf life, and ensure your website isn’t going out of style.
We like to use the analogy of a home when we work with clients: When we build a website for our clients, it is more like building a home. Through the phases, we map out the blueprints (navigation and basic layout), create a foundation, (generally our Content Management System), and construct your home (content and design).
The first steps of your website is about developing the basic layout of your website and choosing the proper flow of navigation. This is where your long term strategy is developed. With with a well thought out layout and navigation style, even if a redesign is needed (or new “siding on your house”), your navigation and layout may stay the same.
A sound layout and navigation needs to resonate throughout the years and simplicity is pertinent to ensure a customer does not get lost and frustrated. It is a good idea to ask your employees and customers about their experience on your website. If they frequently complain about finding information, then it is a good idea to break it into a more simple navigation.
Creating a Foundation
When developing your website (your “home”) a solid foundation is what keeps your website from falling down and crashing. A CMS (Content Management System) is what keeps your website in place. A CMS is a means of publishing, editing, or modifying your content while keeping within the restraints of your layout.
In recent years, CWS has developed a simplistic means of working with your CMS system. Our eCMS makes it easy for our clients to add pages, easily update content, and change out certain graphics, without having to deal with difficult codes or “breaking your website”.
Constructing your Home
This is where the earlier phases come into fruition and pay off. Every phase has been one step closer to your finished product: You have developed your website navigation and layout (the blueprint), your website has a strong CMS system (creating your foundation), and the final step is dealing with design and content.
After your home is constructed, you must decorate. Decorating “your home” means both design and content. Contradicting yourself with different types of content or graphics will only confuse your audience and they may stray away from your site. You get the choose the color your walls will be, what type of carpet you want in the living room, and what type of art you want to hang on your walls...You want to make sure it all matches.
Making sure your website doesn’t have shag carpeting
Much like styles you implement in your home, certain trends go out of style. At least once a year, your company should review your websites layout and content. Design and style trends tend to go out the window very quickly (about every 2-2.5 years). As we said earlier, if you created a solid navigational structure it shouldn’t need to be edited, but generally out of date content is related to appearance or content.
Redoing your website may seem like a big endeavor, but remember, the longer you leave your website “out of style” the less serious your audience may take you and the higher the possibility that your website’s functionality may not be compatible with new browser updates (especially in browsers like Internet Explorer).