As we all know a web templates enable Internet design novices to create professional web sites which can be a challenge to the best online.
A Web template is a HTML-based master copy of a page that you can create to contain settings, formatting, and page elements such as text, graphics, page layout, styles, and regions of a page that can be modified. You can attach a Web template to the pages on a website, and that template defines the layout for those pages. Sounds pretty fulfilling but dissatisfaction is another human feature.
Consider a situation when we are not getting a template which is suitable for our website. Sometimes the color seems awkward, sometimes the buttons look disgusting and sometimes the links are less pronounced. So what should we do? Enough of head scratching, we can create a simple template. Yes this is true with the powerful tools available on the Internet creating a web template is not a daunting task anymore.
To create a web template all we need is a website builder. The website builders are just perfect for beginners and professionals. They are so easy to use; all you have to do to start a website is edit text, insert images, and drag-and-drop. You get amazing results when your website is built. We can also create a web template starting from scratch. We can create the graphics for the site in applications like Adobe Photoshop, fireworks. Adobe ImageReady can be used to create the optimized website animations. Tools like Flash can be incorporated for more professional animation.
But these require a lot of proficiency with the application software. So the best possible alternative is the use of a website builder to create a web template where we can get maximum output with minimum efforts.
So create a simple template to break the shackles of the monotonicity of pre-existing layouts. Create an outline to make your web site stand out. Create a structure to utilize your creative skills to the fullest and create a web template to craft the perfect effect on your website.
Fortunately software programs are available which can take away the need for creating web templates all-together. Not only do they create a fresh new template for you, they can also allow you to feed it a given web template and then randomize it before giving a fresh one back.
Web template creation is of particular interest to Adsense Site Builders. Adsense site builders build multiple sites in short timeframes. Each one of these new sites requires a different look and feel so the site can remain indexed for a longer period of time.
Remember, if in doubt, have it done for you - the easy way!
Where's the Beef?
Some years ago, Wendy's ran some hilarious ads where a tiny grandmother would approach a restaurant order counter, and ask loudly, "Where's the beef?" Or she would remove the top half of the hamburger bun to reveal an impossibly small hamburger patty beneath the bun, then ask the same thing.
The idea behind the ad campaign was that Wendy's provided huge patties and a great value at their restaurants, whereas the competition was selling mostly bread and a pickle.
Many websites are missing the "beef", and website visitors are quick to spot websites that just don't seem to deliver what they expected, and then quickly click away.
It's easy to find out if your website is experiencing one click in to the website and another click out by visitors.
First, Look at Your Website Stats
Website statistics can reveal a lot about how your website is being used.
All website servers keep logs of your website and what pages are accessed, and when, and most web hosting companies will provide you a link to a statistical program that will organize your stats.
Most stat programs will break down your website visitors in a way you can easily analyze how your visitors are using your website.
Visitors and Return Visitors
First, take at look the number of unique visitors to your website. Ideally, you will have a good number of monthly visits, with some increase over the course of the year. If your number of unique visitors is constant, and is a very low number, your website may not be very search engine friendly or you may have too little content for Google to consider your website very relevant.
Next, look at the number of visits per visitor. Ideally, you want visitors to be coming back to your website more than once. If this is not the case, it may be that either the design of your website or the content of your website is discouraging visitors from coming back.
You should also look at the number of pages that are viewed per visitor. If you are averaging only one per visitor, either your home page is taking too long to load, or your website design is outdated or there are other website issues causing your visitors to click away without really exploring your website.
Having 4 to 6 page views per visit is ideal, but this takes having great website content, or information that is very interesting or news worthy in order to keep the reader's interest.
Next, look at the amount of time visitors are spending on your website per session and the average amount of time per page.
While it may be possible to have many page views per visit, if the total amount of time spent on your website is less than 30 seconds, chances are your visitors are quickly skimming through your website, and are not stopping to read much actual content.
Reviewing Your Website Goals
Every business is different, and every website has a slightly different purpose, so your website goals will be different from others' websites.
If your website goals are strictly to provide background information on your company, or to provide product information, it may be that visitors to your website may be on mission and will only want to look at one or two pages before contacting you or taking the next step.
Increasing, websites are being used for lead generation or as a pre-qualifier for prospects. If this is the case for your website, you may want visitors to not only look at your website content, but actually respond by completing a form, requesting a quote or calling your office.
How to Combine Sizzle and Steak
- Redesign your website. If it has been more than three years since your last website redesign, it is probably time to consider a new design to give it a fresh new look and to make it more appealing. Getting an outside perspective from a website designer may help you to spot flaws in the navigation or lack of overall appeal that is creating a lack of credibility.
- Add relevant content. By adding client testimonials, case studies or practical articles in addition to your company information, you can give website visitors something they can sink their teeth in. Increasingly, people are using the Internet to find information about everything. Someone may stumble upon your website looking for information.
- Create a call to action. Place a prominent "call to action" within your website to get visitors motivated. This can be as simple as a "call now" or a limited time promotion, to a free white paper or another offering that is hard to refuse.
- Add a poll to your website. Showing potential customers that you value their opinion or you want feedback about your products or offering is a great ice breaker. Combining the poll with links to a promotion or a chance to be a part of a monthly drawing can also be a great motivator.
- Offer "inside information" to newsletter subscribers. Building an newsletter list is a great way to offer additional content to visitors who further qualify themselves.
Reviewing your website statistics can give you some insight into what is happening with your website. Stats may not tell exactly how to improve your website, but it will give you ongoing statistical information so you can make improvements and see what the results are.
Define Your Website Goals
Whether your website is a corporate website, an ecommerce website, a niche social media site or a totally new online business concept, you should put your website goals on paper.
Website goals should clearly state the purpose of your website and what the website should accomplish when someone visits your website.
For example, the goals of an ecommerce website is a self-service purchase of products or services and to create a customer for life, whereas a corporate website may be more informational or designed to pre-screen prospective customers and generate leads for your sales department.
Every business is different and every website will have very specific goals. By writing down your goals and working backwards, you can design a website that supports your website goals.
Create a Site Map
A site map can be as simple as an outline or list of the main pages your website and sub-pages your website will have.
A typical small business site map will look like something like this:
- Mission Statement
- Our Founder
Our Services & Products
Frequently Asked Questions
What Our Clients Are Saying
Request a Quote
Your site map is a great way to organize the general navigation of your website, before you start designing the look and feel.
Special Website Features
Special website features are capabilities your website will have, beyond a standard website page.
Special features typically include:
- Form Pages - Sending form information by email and database capture.
- Newsletter Subscription - Automatic signup by visitors for email newsletters.
- Autoresponders - Automatic sending out of one or more emails in response to a request for more information, series of tips, online course, etc.
- Photo Gallery - Slide show or thumbnails of product images.
- Shopping Cart - Ability to allow users to purchase products or services online.
- Flash Presentation - Audio and Video presentation to be downloaded or viewed within a website page.
- Registration and Login - Ability for customers or prospective customers to register and receive access to website pages and information not available to the general public.
- CMS (Content Management System) - Ability for you and your staff to update website pages, delete and add pages to the website through an Administration page.
- Knowledge Base - Support for products using a database and content management to offer many topics with support information for each.
- Survey - Series of questions which captures survey responses into a database.
- Trouble Ticket - System for customers to contact your support team to resolve issues, track responses and issue resolution.
- Online Operator (Chat) - System for chatting with potential customers and customers who have questions in real time.
- Project or Job Status - System for allowing customers to check on the current status of their job or project.
Approaches to Building Your Website
Even if you have a small website project, you should look for an expert to help you build your website. A website designer can save you both time and money, and help you with the many technical issues that you will encounter along the way.
Rent or Own? - There are some online website building sites that let you "rent" space on their server and create your own website using their software. This approach should only be used to build a quick website presence or to create a "prototype" of your website.
Renting "Gotchas" - While the low monthly fees of a do-it-yourself website building website vendor are tempting, keep in mind you never really own your website. Later, when you decide to move your website or add more complex features to your website, you will find a rented website to be a major headache.
Content Management - You should have a content management system for several reasons. Google likes content rich websites, and having an easy-to-use CMS will encourage you to add more content your website frequently, and free you from having a webmaster make update for you.
Branding - Your website should reflect your branding. Make sure your logo and corporate color scheme is used in your website so all your marketing materials look like they belong to the same design family.
Website Requirements - Before you hire a website designer, put all your website requirements on paper so there are few if any assumptions made about your website. For more complicated websites, be sure to put together a RFP (Request For Proposal) and ask several website design companies to give you a proposal.
RFP - A Request For Proposal, if properly detailed, can help ensure you will have a proper response by several different website design companies so you can choose between several approaches to creating your website.
Website Proposals - Evaluate all proposals to make sure the proposal fits your RFP or website requirements. Be wary of proposals that are extremely low or extremely high. Talk to the different vendors who respond to your RFP so you can get an idea of how well they communicate and what it will be like to work with them.
Get It In Writing
Be sure to have a formal agreement with your website designer and make sure you understand the agreement before you sign on the dotted line.
- Out Clause - Make sure you have a way out of the agreement in case there are problems or you find your vendor delaying the project or not delivering what the proposal calls for.
- Website Ownership - Ideally, you should own all the website project files, graphics, website code and files upon completion of the website, but sometimes this is not spelled out in agreements.
- Hosting - Be careful if the website vendor is providing hosting. In the event you part company with your website designer, you will need full access to the hosting account in case you want to move the website to another hosting company in the future.
- Additional Charges - Your agreement should spell out how additional project requests are to be handled so you do not have unexpected charges after the fact.
- Time Line - Your website proposal should include a project plan and at least a simple week by week time line so you will know how long the project will take.
- Project Management - Who will be responsible for managing the project? Your website design company should do this, but if you hire a freelance resource you may be assuming some project management.
- Vendor Payment Schedule - Most website designers will require an up-front retainer fee, which is either one fourth or one third of the total project price. Additional payments should be paid as work progresses. The final payment should not be paid until the website is approved by you and ready for launch. Never pay for a website project in total up-front.
Building your website can be very challenging when you consider all the small pieces of the puzzle that have to fit together to make the project complete.
If you have a large website project or one with many website features and custom programming, consider creating your website in phases. Focus on getting a basic website up and running in the first phase, then use one or more future phases to add additional features.
Working with a website design professional will make the process go faster and more smoothly, and provide you with a sounding board for your ideas to make sure your website will be professional and technically sound.