There are, of course, good designers and bad designers. Good designers are well worth the investment, but based on my own experiences, I see far more bad designers out there as the barrier to entry is very low (anyone could call him/herself a “good” designer). You can’t just get a business license, lease a physical location, spend tens and thousands of dollars into tools and supplies and call yourself a mechanic. But you can spend a few hundred dollars and call yourself a designer on the internet – there is absolutely no regulations against or regulatory oversight on that.
I find that brainstorming the basic information needs of each page, navigation style / requirements and considering the target market of the web site is essential. Thinking this way gives you a physical and logical structure to each page, as well as limiting the layout possibilities. I personally find working from a blank page very hard. If I have simple boxes where the content and navigation are to work, I can create around that.
Building a new website is a great start, but don’t forget about marketing! Let WDS increase your traffic, sales and leads with a variety of online marketing tactics, which we have refined over the past 18 years. Your website needs to be promoted by someone and it needs to be someone that knows what they are doing. So give us a try today, we have no long-term contracts and packages to fit any budget.
Once you complete your website consultation with one of our design experts, we provide you with your available package options, add-ons, and timeline for your website. We don’t stop here either! You can reach out to us at any time to make changes, review our work, and discuss progress. We’re here with you every step of the way to get your website launched and ready for business.
As for content marketing, I wouldn’t necessarily class it under website design as it’s a much more active process that can involve blogging, email marketing and lots of processes. Most website builders provide a blogging functionality that can be easy to integrate in-site, while many others have ‘app stores’ that help users run their own email marketing or other content campaigns.
One way for freelance and small agency designers to sell web design services is by hiring a sales rep. This way, you can focus on creating websites that outshine the competition and delight the customers. However, those sales reps aren’t cheap. Expect to pay at least $40,000 a year for a full-time sales rep. If those numbers are way outside of your budget, try these six tips instead.
Now you're done! You have made your first website from scratch to end. Remember these are very general directions so you know where to start from. The design and development of a website is a personal process and the workflow is different for every designer and client. Keep an open line of communication with your clients to determine which options would be better for a specific project. Pay attention to detail and don't be afraid to express your thoughts. Keep learning and keep working. Good luck! Useful links: 6 Phases of the Web Site Design and Development Process. Web Development from Scratch. How to design a website. A fully comprehensive step by step tutorial, from design to HTML & CSS. Smashing Magazine: Following A Web Design Process.
Thank you for the interesting article and detailed guide. It was nice to read and understand. You covered really many aspects of web design and touched on interesting areas. Even a beginner will be able to make an established process from scratch. But I still think that in this case it’s easiest to turn to guys like fuselabcreative.com, they helped me in a time with a very interesting project. In any case, it will be much easier to hire guys. But this is my personal opinion.
WordPress vs. Joomla/Drupal: Drupal is a very powerful platform that is popular with web developers and experienced coders, but it comes with a very steep learning curve that makes it a bad choice for beginners. Joomla is similar to WordPress and works great for online stores, but you’ll need at least a little bit of technical coding to make it work the way you want.
We lost connectivity a couple of times in the past few months and I can't tell you how much I was able to get done while offline.  There were so many things that I wanted to get to, but didn't have reason to until I was 'offline'.  Disconnect for a little bit, you might be surprised at what you force yourself to do (and no, I don't mean drive to Starbucks).
This is some of the best advice anyone ever gave me about web design (thanks Cameron).  A lot of designers start off a design by focusing on the header.  Often times what's inside the page is what makes it look good; the header is supplementary.  Try leaving the header alone for awhile and working on some elements in the body, you'll be surprised at how much easier it is to design a page once you've got a solid body going.  The next time you're designing a header with no body imagine yourself adjusting a tie in front of the mirror, but being completely nude.   (yikes)
In Anatomy of a Web Page: How to Design a Web Page, you’ll learn how to successfully design your own web page by focusing on the way your end users interact with your content. This free excerpt from Above the Fold: Understanding the Principles of Successful Web Site Design shows you how to structure your web page in a way your end users can understand.
This is good information – as an Online Marketing and Web Designer/Developer, this article scares me. However, the points are good – I don’t want start-up’s coming to my door and asking me how to be a start-up, or how to structure their business. Some of the most important questions I ask new clients revolve around their current sales process. However, my job is based on making money for companies and people by using their website – which is a primary marketing tool. As well as Google, Bing, Social Media etc.
Before starting the work, you need to know what it is you are designing for. Besides the description of the site, you need to know what the expectations are for it. Take a news site for example. What’s the goal? Is it to make make as many ad impressions as possible or is it to provide the best reading experience? How are those goals going to be measured?

I think the point of this discussion, as you pointed out, is to inform new business operators that there are other options out there. Building a business could be a confusing (yet exciting) journey, so this guide offers readers the option of reducing financial and time commitment upfront (at least temporarily until they prove out their business model and start generating positive cash flows)

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I personally don’t think site builders will ever replace web designers/developers completely. Most site builders are targeted at small businesses and could never meet the demands required for larger businesses with all their complex requirements. I think Shopify plus is the only product trying to take on the larger CMS platforms right now (e.g. Magenta, Demandware) in the eCommerce space
I find that brainstorming the basic information needs of each page, navigation style / requirements and considering the target market of the web site is essential. Thinking this way gives you a physical and logical structure to each page, as well as limiting the layout possibilities. I personally find working from a blank page very hard. If I have simple boxes where the content and navigation are to work, I can create around that.
I had a read through the article. Some interesting points you have there. I think I am 50/50 on what you say though. I agree that you should have a really good understanding of your business before we do a website. Most of the companies we have worked with in the past did not even have a company profile, so when it came time for them to tell us more about what they do and who their ideal customer is, they had no idea!
Yes, these do-it-yourself website builders have their place. I too send those with smaller budgets or are starting out to Wix or SquareSpace. But, eventually, they come back when they find that having a website, in today’s noisy, TMI world, is like having a tiny, little listing on the old yellow book pages or having a house in middle of desert with no roads.
Use a Content Management System: Using a CMS generally allows a client to perform regular content updates, while the designer controls the overall look and feel of the site. Some systems may be developed from scratch and others purchased and tailored to the client’s needs. Online systems such as Blogger and WordPress are free and include a basic CMS as well.
The way a lot of people think about getting a new website is, they have a certain amount of money and they think, “If I pay less money for a website, I’ll have extra money left over, therefore I win”. And so they’ll go and get a Square Space or a Wix or a Go Daddy website, and they’ll think because they’ve saved money they’re coming out ahead of the deal.
We've all heard this before: If you're having a difficult time with something, leave it alone for awhile and come back later.  It'll probably be easier after you've had a bit of a break and your mind has settled.  Regarding web design, I've noticed this always plays out in a certain way:  If I'm hating a design I'm working on and I shelve it for a few days,  a lot of the time my reaction upon returning will be "Holy crap that's fantastic!"   On the flip-side, I'll often toil away long into the night working on what looks like the best design I've ever created.  The next morning I'll look at it again and cringe at the horrible abomination I've created.    The moral here is to give your design some space.
The benefits of a static website are that they were simpler to host, as their server only needed to serve static content, not execute server-side scripts. This required less server administration and had less chance of exposing security holes. They could also serve pages more quickly, on low-cost server hardware. These advantage became less important as cheap web hosting expanded to also offer dynamic features, and virtual servers offered high performance for short intervals at low cost.
On the other hand, there are many things that are already made for you using these website builders to allow you to start quick and efficiently. At certain point of your business, these tools will no longer fit your requirements and that’s when you may consider switching to a custom solution or adapt your businesses to be able to keep using the tools.

Investing in a beautiful site and neglecting the content is like buying a car without an engine. A superior web site has clear, compelling and concise content with clear calls to action. We work with our clients to make sure that the content on their site is well written, search engine optimized and created with the client's business objectives in mind.
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