What Does It Take to Make Great Website?
Are we talking good, good enough, or great? We are over here talking Tony the Tiger GREAT!
Let’s start this off on a real note, most of the websites out there suck, a big chunk of them are good enough, a few are good, and a handful of websites are truly great.
I have a goal with this blog. I am going to give you 5 absolutely brilliant tips for making a great website. At the end you will be like “damn Cliff, you really changed me in a profound way”. However, I can’t do that without first give you some insight on why you should even give a shit about what I have to say. Let’s start with some background. I’ve owned a branding agency for ten years. Not just owned, built from absolutely nothing into one of the most successful agencies in the North. I have worked with small shops all the way to international projects. A dream came true when we (Launchpad Creative) had the opportunity work with (at the time) UFC Champion Michael Bisping on a virtual reality documentary series. We built the website that hosted the series. That was a cool thing to be able to do. I’ve also worked on smaller scales. A few years back we worked with a small charitable organization that was auctioning off a Mustang. They hadn’t sold many tickets before we stepped in. We built a small e-commerce landing page did some guerrilla style advertising and in record time exceeded their ticket sale goals. It was brilliant. So, ten years into this and 100’s of websites under my belt. I’ve worked on sites that flailed and sites that went on to blow away our clients competitors. Ok, so now that you’re sold on me, lol, let's jump into the FIVE things you need to do to make a great website.
- Goal: What do you want the website do to? Do not be vague with the response. Let’s go one step further. How do you want people to feel when they are on your website? Once you get them to feel something, decide the actions you want them to take. This is the earliest and most important step in constructing your website.
- Architecture: A website is a piece of real estate, an online property, virtual brick and mortar. Design your websites navigation early in the process and question everything. Do not just make a choice because that’s how others do it. Set your website up with the same mindset you would use to set up a physical showcase.
- Create Mood Boards: Look at a variety styles and decide what speaks to the message you are trying to communicate. Look at traditional, modern, art deco, minimalism, Victorian, urban, retro lookbooks. Reviewing these styles will help you articulate what you want.
- Write well aka gooder! This doesn’t mean go out and become an English major. I will argue that a lot of the rules taught in school completely get broken when it comes to effective copywriting. The same rule I use for design is the same rule I apply to copywriting -- CONTRAST AND AUTHENTICITY. I really want you to put thought into this. Most people understand what I’m saying when I refer to authenticity. Most people believe they know what I’m saying when I refer to contrast. Some are right, most are wrong. Authenticity means your words match your intention. Contrast means that there is a calculated separation between what we expect and what we receive. The trick is to use contrast and not contradiction. That’s where the deep thought is required. I know some people might have a hard time with this one but I am around if you want to hit me up to discuss in more detail. firstname.lastname@example.org
- It’s not over! Building your website is never really over. Your website should consistently evolve and grow. We no longer live in an age of “set it and forget it”. I don’t believe we ever did. Add new features to your website whenever you can. For example; we recently added NOW section to our website. This allows us to give daily updates on what we are up to. It's a great way to give your audience an inside look into your operation. No website is ever done.
Hey, I hope this was helpful for you. I want to make sure I’m sharing the best information I have for you in the best way I know how. I will come back to this post every once in a while and add to it. As well I will be putting together a lot of blogs similar to this. Please check back for more stories.
Have a great day!
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