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  1. #1
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    Web Development website content essentials. And Portfolio: "Coming Soon?"

    This is what comes up when you view gamil's portfolio:
    "Since timing is everything, we have decided to label this section 'coming soon.' Its simply a strategic branding move to build suspense."

    Quite cool.

    I was trying to think of something similar for my portfolio page for my Web Design business, instead of just using "coming soon," since my portfolio is currently a little slim.

    I visited some Web Design websites, checked out their navigation, content, and portfolios. And, of course, a lot of them are pretty similar to some degree.

    So I have a couple of questions:

    1. Gamil has an awesome solution for their portfolio, but I don't want to duplicate it or rephrase it for my website. What do you think would work best: simply use "coming soon," use what websites I have in the portfolio (I'm not ashamed of them), or try to think of something witty like what Gamil did?

    2. After looking at a lot of Web Design websites, and noticing similarities, what would you think are absolute necessities for a Web Design website? And things that should not be used?

    The necessities I noticed:
    Overall
    • Most everything can be reached in 2 clicks, instead of the "3"
    • Simple layouts (a lot of the time like modern art)
    • Short loading time
    • Short, concise, text
    • Message consistency
    • Either a fun and friendly writing style
    • or a very professional and down to business style, depending on target clients

    Pages
    • A "The Team" page
    • A "Design Process" or "Development" page. Client should know exactly what to expect and that their input is the most valuable thing to the development team.
    • A "Contact Us" page
    • A "Services" page
    • A "Portfolio" page
    • A "Home" page which mentions something about 'big picture' goals
    • A "Partner Agencies" page (if outsourcing)



    No no's:
    • Inappropriate use of Flash
    • Confusing layout changes throughout website
    • Drawn out writing
    • Using "we're better than..." instead of "we're the best choice because..."
    • Intimidating, instead of welcoming/inviting, small business (... not sure, maybe ...)
    • iFrames (good god)


    So that's pretty much what I could come up with after my browsing, so I have a pretty good idea of what a good Web Design business website should have. So what do you guys think are some essentials, no no's, things that aren't necessarily bad but still annoy you, and things that would turn away potential clients?

    Thanks for reading my post, and all input -- I am eternally grateful.

  2. #2
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    It looks to me like you have a good handle on good web design. The only thing I wonder about is your bullet point "intimidating". What is it that you aren't sure of?

    I really don't know how you can intimidate effectively on the web, unless you can get your prospect to believe that they'll experience loss of business if they don't choose you and that would be a really hard idea to sell with the millions of design agencies to choose from.

    I once took a sales course where part of the lesson was, "fear of loss is a better motivator than potential for gain", but I'm not so sure that's true all the time. I think that positives are always better than negatives and believe in the old adage, "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar".
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  3. #3
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    I'm not sure if it is something every design agency should worry about, depending on their target clients. Maybe for some agencies they'd like to emphasize that they are "all business" more than fun friendly people. This approach might scare off small businesses looking for a web developer. I personally feel that this is a bad thing, that a web design agency should be like a charming person who gets along with everyone, even though you don't intend on making absolutely every potential client a client.

    What I'm not sure about is if I'm correct in saying that every design agency should have a welcoming feel, even if their target clients are people who aren't intimidated by the internet.
    Last edited by tljryan; Oct 3, 2007 at 17:29.

  4. #4
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    I think the key is to be business-like, yet friendly. Represent yourself as a professional in what you do, but be yourself in your content. Sooner or later you will have to communicate directly with a client. (Hopefully!) You don't want them to sense a different personna then than when they first 'met' you on the web. Sincerity is a major trust-builder and that's what your website needs to do, build trust.

    Whether your target is totally professional or a family-run, people friendly business, -- in either case you will be dealing with a real person. Be a real person for them, too, starting with your presentation on the Internet.

    Don't make them feel your business model is too complex for them, but on the other hand don't underestimate their knowledge. Even Papa's Pizza may be run by someone that is highly skilled on the computer.

    If you get contacts from your web site, always remember one thing -- at least they are savvy enough to know that web development and design takes more skill than they possess or at least more time than they can spend. They're already a step ahead of the do-it-yourself wysiwyg users.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    Whether your target is totally professional or a family-run, people friendly business, -- in either case you will be dealing with a real person. Be a real person for them, too, starting with your presentation on the Internet.
    Thank you, this is very helpful. Now how much should I charge for a website (just kidding). I'm looking forward to being a part of this community. I'll see you around.

  6. #6
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    Put whatever sites you have done. If you show some good work its better than nothing. Quite frankly I fear anyone whose services are unknown. For me the greatest part of the web is you can build knowledge about people say past experience.

  7. #7
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    Its a good thing to get some nice works first


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