Source of website content
A simple, easy to read, uncluttered web site is made up
of the following two components:
Sounds very simple - and to a large degree it is.
Of course there are a lot
more things you can do with the web, but if
you are on a budget and you are hoping to expand in the future, then a simple
approach is probably best to start with. This allows you test the waters with minimal risk
and then, depending on the results you get from the web (the kind of market you capture), you
may wish to invest more.
Also, you probably have a wealth of content that can be used on your website
- as discussed below - if you adopt the "keep it simple" approach.
Source of basic content
If you have any current promotional material, this is a great place to start.
The details about you, your business and your products contained in this material has
most likely been developed over time. Rather than re-invent the wheel, we suggest starting
your new venture with this material.
As far as artwork is concerned, the same is often true. That is, you have exiting images,
product photos etc that can be easily used on the web. You do not necessarily need the original
artwork, as exiting brochures and photos can easily be scanned and are usually of good enough
quality for the web.
Modifications to content
Once your website is up and running, being detected by search engines, and
being found by prospects, then is the time to start looking at fancier ways to show
There are some very nice additions that can be made to your pages, in particular
using richer graphics and animations, but it is wise to consider your target market before you start
down this path.
For example, if your target market is "the average Australian at home" then
the web site should be written expecting each person to have a slowish dial up modem connection and a
less than state-of-the-art computer. With this in mind it may be best to keep large images to a
minimum (or at least do not put them on the most important pages and certainly not on the first or
"home" page). An alternative is to have smaller images (thumbnails)
on the main page and allow users to click on the image to display a larger image.
If your content is constantly changing (for example you operate an on-line second
hand goods shop) then the guts of the website are designed around this fact.
In these cases (eCommerce) a database is used to store the content and the website is generated
from that database when your customer requests more information.
Regardless, the basic framework and concepts discussed here still apply - and in fact you are
probably best to start with a simple website (to allow search engine robots to find you)
prior to adding the database. This also provides you some valuable lead time (to allow you
to become familiar with the net and the statistics generated etc) before "boldly going
where you have not gone before".
This topic is outside the scope of this tutorial, but we will be happy to provide additional
details (and a no-obligation quotation) if you require them.
Keeping the costs down
The main reason for using existing material is to keep initial costs low.
If you are new to promoting yourself on the web, then it's difficult to know exactly where
your budget can best be spent. We suggest keeping the cost of the initial content low so that you have funds
in reserve for promotions.