Why building a website is like baking a cake

Sat 7th Sep 2013

You wouldn’t expect someone to make a cake without a recipe or any ingredients, similarly, for a website to really work, a web designer and client need to work together for a good quality result.

To bake a good cake you need quality ingredients and a recipe, much like designing and building a website only instead of ingredients you need good quality content and instead of a recipe you need to work with your web designer to create a brief to work to.

Below are some brief pointers to give you some indication of the elements you would ideally provide to help your web designer to create a successful website.

A clear idea of what you want the website to do.

Do you want to encourage people to visit your business or do you want them to buy your products online? What image do you want your website to portray - is yours a family business, a luxury business or a corporate one? What you want your website to achieve affects how it looks, works and costs.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Your web designer will do the hard work here, but you can give them a good head start by thinking about what a potential customer might type in to a search engine such as Google if they were looking for a business or a product such as yours.

Write some good content for your website.

A web designer will present your text in easy to read sections and refine it for SEO purposes, but nobody knows your business as well as you.

But...

Be concise! People want to find information quickly, they don’t want to sit reading through reams of text.

When you are writing your website content try to be objective.

Remember that you know and understand your business, services and products inside out but your customers won’t know as much as you and are visiting your website to find out! Write your content accordingly by avoiding industry jargon and explain simply but knowledgeably what you provide.

Do you have anything to build on already?

This might be any existing artwork, such as a logo, or promotional materials like leaflets and brochures. Have a good look through them, see what you do and don’t like about them and tell your web designer what you would like to do better. This isn’t essential but can be useful.

Great photography.

You can communicate so much using images, and this is important when it comes to websites where you need to communicate information quickly. Anything specific to your business should ideally be photographed professionally, it’s not the cheapest option but think of it as an investment – you can use them for more than just your website - a series of great photographs can be used over and over for several years on any promotional material you produce. Great photography makes you look professional.

Find some examples of websites that you like.

Whether it’s the work of the designer you are using or something completely different, find some sites to use as examples and try to pin down exactly what it is that you like about them.

by Rachel Watson