website planning and design

I can help you at various stages of your website design process – planning, design, content and ongoing management. Having created, or been part of the creation, of websites for many individuals and organisations over the years I can provide an overview of the process as well as taking on the guiding and implementation of the process.

I love to meet new clients and enjoy explaining how websites work to people who feel a little baffled and out of their depth. I teach WordPress for Beginners at Hills Road Sixth Form College, Adult Education Department (search for ‘WordPress’ amongst their courses to see if there’s a course coming up). I have provided training to local community groups individually in one-to-one training sessions and via Cambridge Online.

Planning

This is the most over-looked part of a new website but it can save you time, effort and mistakes at later stages. It’s worth doing this stage right.

We will explore:

  • what works (and what doesn’t) about what you currently do (whether or not that already involves a website – it may be you only have a presence on social media, or are in pre-launch phase of your venture at the moment)
  • what your goals are (this include how much you want to sell, how you need your site to reach specific markets or stakeholders, but it will also include how much time you have to manage the site, how the site needs to fit into your life and your organisation)
  • who you want (and need) to reach with your website in order to reach those goals
  • what you need to say and how you need to say it – and that includes words but also use of images and other media, which social media it’s important to include, etc
  • what your organisation’s capacity is for ongoing management and updating of the site, or your budget for outsourcing this

The results of this planning discussion will lead us to decisions about what platform to use for your site so that it’s easy for your to manage and will work well for years to come.

Design

Working from your needs as an organisation and those of your stakeholders, we’ll draw up a structure for your site’s page. We’ll work out

  • what needs to be on all pages (such as in the footer and sidebars),
  • whether you can benefit from having a blog
  • how your site can be integrated with social media, email newsletters and other forms of communication
  • what branding your need to get across with your site – logo, colours, other brand messages and house styles
  • how the design may need to be flexible and adapt to future changes – eg if you wish to offer online courses or a shop in the future

From there I’ll go away and draw up some draft designs to share with you for discussion and approval. We’ll discuss and adapt these as part of the design process.

Content

Content is one area that is difficult for organisations to fit in with their already-packed schedules and staff responsibilities. Drawing up a list of content needed, allocating staff time to sourcing it and creating a calendar with deadlines will help you get on track.

I can provide you with pointers and resources (my blog posts on images and text may help). I can also help you create or edit your text if this is an area you would welcome support with in order to meet the website deadlines.

Ongoing site management

My websites come with a training and resources page on my own site – specific to you and hidden behind a login that you get when the site goes live. Where you plan to manage your own content I hope this will provide you with all you need. I can provide ongoing editing, content writing and similar support.

I also provide ongoing site care such as:

  • updating of plugins
  • dealing with hosting or domain name issues that may arise
  • ensuring your site remains secure
  • keeping back ups of your site in case of unforeseen problems

Get in touch

If you’d like to find out more please get in touch to discuss your needs.

I’m not pushy when it comes to sales and I offer an initial consultation free of charge so that we can get to know each other a little and decide if we can work well together.

Useful Resources

Below you’ll find a selection of my blog posts related to website planning. They give an idea of my approach, how I adapt my work to organisations of different sizes and with different needs.

Useful links for planning

When planning your site here are some useful links for you to check out. Comparing the hosted options Make a Website Hub reviews the choices between the hosted options below. Visit their sites to check out the current offers and pricing plans: WixWeeblySquarespaceWordpress.com WordPress: .com and .org WordPress.com and WordPress.org are easily confused but there…

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Technical options

Basic overview For a website you need four main things: the content for your site – images, text, etchosting: a place (on a server) to keep it where it can be kept safeweb address: the url starting with www. that is the place where people can find your site when they browse the interneta way…

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