Starting a brand new website is hard and resource intensive. I won’t pull any punches and say, “Why, it’s just the easiest thing!” Instead, like Biggie said, it’s “no money, mo problems.”
Or was it, “Mo Money, Mo Problems“?
Regardless, what you do with a new website depends on the amount of time and, yes, money you’re willing to spend. Web designs with short-term, frequently changing graphics take a lot of resources to maintain over time. If there’s less room in your budget, you need to plan for the long-term. Make good use of the web designer’s time now to build graphics that will serve you well long after the website is launched.
Think you’re ready to start a new website? Answer these questions first and you’ll be able avoid some of the most common problems. If you need help, a good web designer can help you plan too.
- What kinds of information will you feature on your homepage? How often should it change?
With WordPress, many elements of a web design can be refreshed or switched out on the fly. Changing homepage pictures and graphics typically requires a computer savvy graphic designer. However, plain text on a WordPress homepage can edited by anyone with a little training. Some types of content (calendars, news feeds, recent posts, etc.) even update themselves.
- Do we have our own graphic designer on staff? Can we hire one (or get a volunteer)?
It’s ok if you don’t have a designer. Just plan ahead. Choose messages and imagery for the homepage that will be relevant for the long-term (one year or more). Work with your web designer to produce and install those pictures.
- Who will be trained to use and maintain the website?
Somebody’s gotta do it. Even a website with all long-term, fixed content needs to monitored. WordPress websites feature a dashboard with information about your website visitors and occasional one-click security updates. A website is an investment, so identify the person in your organization who will take care of it.
- Do I own my logo’s art files in the correct digital format?
A normal image file is hard for web designers to use. Read more about the special vector art files you should already have, but might not recognize. Even if you have 99 other problems, make sure your logo ain’t one.
So, before you build a website which will depend too much on future resources, think ahead. Only build something you can realistically maintain with the time and team you have. With WordPress, extras and add-ons can be easily integrated when you’re ready to expand.
Need help? Roundpeg, an Indianapolis web design firm can help you think through these questions and many more.