Design Guide

Let's consider some of the questions that can lead to a successful website. The pages in this design guide are written with business in mind but many of the principles are also relevant to personal websites.

Do I really need a website?

A good question, and the one to ask first. The answer depends on a number of factors. If your business depends on a few clients who already know you and what you have to offer, perhaps not. If clients are only likely to come to your business as a result of word-of-mouth or other kinds of referral, perhaps not. If a website is like a shop window and your "shop" already has an effective way of showing off what it has to offer, perhaps not.

On the other hand, if your range of products or services changes over time, if extra support information would be of use to clients, if you run special offers or other promotions, if you want to boost your customer-base or your client-pool constantly needs refreshing (as in the case of a school of motoring), recruitment, general exposure, help people find your business, attract trade from outside the area you already cover, extend the scope of advertising that you already do by directing potential customers to an interactive, up-to-date, brochure.

Who is my website for?
How will people find my site?
How do I pick the right domain name for my website?
What domain names should I avoid?
Should I build my own website?

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