What is the process for getting a website?

Getting a new website for the first time or even totally redoing an existing one, can be a daunting task for many businesses. What most people want to know is what is the process? Am I going to have to dedicate a lot of time that I don’t have?

At HotsWots we break the process down into manageable parts so that it isn’t overwhelming for our clients. Full consultation and support with the client happens at each stage.

  • If there is no logo or colour scheme, that’s where we will start. HotsWots has an easy questionnaire that is fast to fill out and will prompt you about such things as colour, tagline, symbols, icons etc so that we have a starting point to start to understand your requirements and preferences. If you require complete branding for your business, we can also assist with this service.
  • Next, planning.
    • What are your objectives e.g. do you require a membership site or are you selling products.
    • Who is your target audience?
    • Review of your current site if there is one and what is working and what isn’t.
    • General Sitemap. What is going to be included so that the most important messages are covered on the home page and navigation is quick and easy around the website.
    • Remember the 8 second rule: Every website needs to answer in the first 8 seconds if their visitors are to stay, engage and take action. These are: Why am I here (i.e. – What is your website about); Why do I care (i.e. – What’s in it for me?); What should I do now (i.e. – A clear call to action)
    • Planning the content – images, videos, writing for the Internet, writing for the search engines.
  • Design – HotsWots provides another easy to answer questionnaire to help work out what your preferences are. Unless of course, you are already clear about what you want.
  • Development – once design has been agreed to, development process begins.
  • Content – HotsWots offers a copywriting service for those wishing to have their content written for them. Having professional copywriting is certainly worth the money as not only is it written for the Internet but also for the search engines. HotsWots will also do image searching and sizing as an extra service if required.
  • Google submission – Analytics, Sitemap, Webmaster Tools, Google Business Page & Map all helps for your website to be found in the search engines.
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimisation is the final part to the process if you want your website to found in the search engines. HotsWots implements a combination of onsite Meta Data (what Google crawls for your website to be found in the search engine) and offsite linking.

HotsWots is a website design & development business with personal customer service that combines the latest designs with technical expertise and an understanding of online marketing. Whether you’re brand new to the web or your online presence needs an upgrade, we’re here help you take your next step. Contact us at info@hotswots.com today.

Outsourcing website design & development

Outsourcing all kinds of jobs, particularly IT and development work, has become very popular and much easier with the Internet. Skype makes it easy and cheap to connect with providers overseas and there are all sorts of sites offering the services of these providers.

At HOTSWOTS, though, we have picked up quite a lot of work from clients who have outsourced their website design and development work but have been totally dissatisfied with the entire experience.

We have heard some horrific stories!

• We have clients who have spent 6 months working with another company overseas and have started again with us.
• We have another client who worked with not 1, not 2, but 3 companies overseas and we picked up the pieces. To have to jump in and try to sort out code that 3 other developers have ‘had a go at’ is not a good experience – but, we did sort it all out!
• We have another client where nothing worked on the site – links, sliding banner, content. We couldn’t even work out what the website was about.
• We have another client whose developer was urgently taken ill and went to hospital and they couldn’t get hold of the files or database.
• We also have a range of clients who have been given all sorts of bad advice about the best platform to use for their work – mostly recommending platforms that are the most expensive and will take the longest to build!

Unfortunately, the list goes on and on and so do the issues.

• Communication, or lack of it, is a big issue
• International time zones are another
• Cultural differences can also lead to misunderstandings and be a huge problem, especially if your ‘concept’ is not understood fully by the company overseas

People hear about ‘outsourcing’, think they will get their work done cheaply and dive in without thinking about any of the issues or what may go wrong.

Cheap is not necessarily best and, if the work has to be paid for again with another website design & development company, then it can end up being a very costly exercise.

So, what is the answer? The answer is “do your homework” like you would with any other work that you wish to pay providers to do for you. Would you use a tradesperson or professional because they are cheap even if they didn’t work during hours that suit you, or their English wasn’t very good or you hadn’t got a good recommendation from someone about them? The same can be said for outsourcing website design and development work.

Yes there are some fantastic outsourcing companies in lots of different countries and it can end up being a fantastic experience but you need to do your homework first. Get a couple of quotes and actually speak to the person who will be looking after your website and your requirements. If in doubt and if you know nothing about the web and website design and development, then get a good local recommendation. It may just be easier for your business to deal with someone locally.

HOTSWOTS is a website design and development business with personal customer service that encompasses cutting edge design with technical expertise and an understanding of online marketing & SEO. Whether you’re brand new to the web or your online presence needs an upgrade, we’re here to listen to you and help you take your next step. http://www.hotswots.com

Top 5 website design mistakes

1. Broken links
There is nothing more frustrating than clicking on links to documents, other pages, or other websites that don’t work and don’t take you anywhere. The absolute worst is when you find a website that you like, want some more information, leave your details in the contact form – and hey presto – nothing happens when you click submit.

Solution: Check your website regularly! Continue reading