The other day a friend asked me about the nuts and bolts of setting up a great website for her running business. The friend was calling from Boston. Well first things first, I told her that the website is the online face of her business. First impressions count and doing it right the first time around is vital.
The website should enhance the reach of her business design give a positive experience to potential customers. A sound structure, a clean and functional UI or home page and rich content, are basics while designing a website. A website should attract potential customers, help in generating sales and provide great user experience while doing so. This is a job for a specialist. I would start by looking at some local companies that offer web design services.
BlueLuna is one such company located at 246 Andover Street, in Peabody. They have a well defined process for developing and launching a website. Their process covers all critical issues. It starts with ‘discovery’, which is basically a strategic planning stage to understand the business and outline goals for the website. Budgets are normally discussed and closed at this stage. The next step is ‘design’ which covers issues like layout of the site and how best to enhance the product or service and the brand using both, written text and visuals.
The third stage is one of ‘development’. This is largely about the content. Content needs to focus on issues like product/service description, lowering transaction barriers, it should be meedia rich for higher visibility and it should not sound like its outsourced, even if it is. The last stage is ‘promote’, which is basically post launch handholding. This is useful for building connectivity across social platforms and for analytics support. Getting the process right is half the battle, so yes this is a company I would talk to.
Once you are clear about the objectives and goals for your website, try contacting some of the web design companies to understand their process and how they can go about helping you. It is important to match your needs with the size of the company you’re dealing with. A large company in New York may have a bigger name and a larger portfolio, but they are physically further and your tight budget may not mean much to them. I’d much rather deal with someone local and closer, with a proven process and portfolio, so that I can have multiple coffee and doughnut sessions while brainstorming.
Some of the other companies to contact in the Boston are Ninja Business Media at 297 Boston Post Road, in Weyland (tel) 508-901-9339 or Eridesign on 218 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester 508-981-1897.
To sum up, before you contact anyone, know your goals and objectives. Then identify and contact the web design companies to see who can best help you keeping in mind your budget and needs. At the end of the day, do it right the first time. Spend a little more if you have to really get what you want. Good Luck!