Web Design Prep
The beauty of using a Content Management System like WordPress is that a programming degree isn’t needed to edit or update a site. However, a basic knowledge of design techniques and rules will help keep the website looking professional.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when updating your website.
Navigation is necessary throughout the site. Do not eliminate it altogether or have different navigation on different pages. The site’s main navigation menu should remain consistent throughout a website.
Navigation should be simple and to the point. A user should not have to fight with a drop-down menu or small link area to find what they are looking for on a website.
Additionally, users shouldn’t have to sift through several link options to find pertinent site information. Consider giving the user less options by consolidating your menus.
2. Homepage Content
The most important information belongs on a homepage. The user should be able to tell right away whether a website can meet their needs or if they should keep looking.
To be sure that each item on the homepage is important, periodically review each element for relevance. If there is something that is no longer relevant, or simply serves as fluff, remove or relocate it to streamline the homepage. This will improve the user experience.
A tagline can help the user to understand a business or website quickly. However a tagline that is too vague or too complicated can confuse rather than assist. It is not always easy to summarize a business in one sentence. If you cannot come up with a simple tagline alone, consider hiring a professional copywriter.
Make sure that the tag line is prominent on the homepage. If the theme or design of a website doesn’t allow for this prominent placement, make the necessary modifications. A web designer can assist with this task.
The common thought process with sliders on a website is that they provide as much content as possible. However, sliders do not work. Do not use a slider to present content. One alternative method might be a grid. This way, a user can see all of the content options quickly. Choose appealing icons that add to the look of your site. If need be, hire a graphic designer.
Having old content on a site is not necessarily a problem. However, having highly-visible out-of-date content is a problem. A user will see this content and assume that all of the content on the website is old or out-of-date.
Remove prominent content as soon as it becomes irrelevant.
Create a schedule to review content often and publish new content often. If the content on a website all seems relevant, consider getting an outside opinion.
The FAQ section should not be a place to dump all uncategorized information. It should be a place for the most commonly asked questions to be answered.
Do not include content unless it is truly a frequently asked question. Do not add a question/answer “just in case” someone might ask in the future.
If there are no frequent questions, do not include this page on a website.
Pop-ups interrupt the user experience. Do not use them, especially on a homepage.
By following these seven suggestions, a website can maintain its professional appearance through everyday updates. When in doubt, consult a design professional. Web designers deal with websites day in and day out. They know how a menu should function, what a user expects, and when to nix content.
This information is provided to allow our clients to develop a defined scope of work and effectively manage the cost of their web design project. The more time you invest in the preparation, and the more information you provide, the less time it will take to develop and populate your website. Please consider reviewing all of the information contained on this page and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
|WordPress Demo||This is our full working demo of WordPress.|
|Web Design Color Chart||If you would like to use specific colors for your design, please review this web safe color chart and provide the numbers of the colors you would like to use. If you chose a color from the above link, you do not need to pick colors from this link.|
|Color Scheme Tool
Color Scheme Tool Tutorial
|If you need help picking a color scheme for your website, this tool allows your to choose complementary colors and even displays a sample website using those colors. Please review the tutorial prior to use.|
|A sample of some private sector websites that were created by our designers.|
|Coming soon . . .||Municipal website design samples.|
|We can use any template or web design you find on the Internet as a sample on which to base your website. If you find something on this site, or elsewhere on the internet, please note the item number or URL and forward it to your web designer.|
|Big Stock Photos||This is a great site to get ideas for your design. We can take almost any graphic, from this site and create an entire website based around the image. If you choose to have us consider a graphic from this site, please provide at least 3 choices as some, because of size and orientation, cannot be used. Provide the item numbers of the graphics you are interested in.|
Web Design FAQs
What section/categories do you suggest for our municipality website?
Because laws are constantly changing concerning required documents, we suggest you check with your solicitor, however, following are categories that have been used by other boroughs in our program:
- List council members, staff, etc.
- Meeting minutes
Right To Know
- Pension disclosures, Employment statements, Job openings, etc.
- Fire and Police information
Parks & Recreation
Recycling & Trash
Permits & Applications