By Danielle Wilson
August 18, 2015
When starting a new business, there are so many items that are on your plate that are crucial, such as recruiting, accounting and hiring a business lawyer. But, one of the most important items is having a top-notch, responsive website for the general public and clients to find and learn about you.
Developing a new or updated company website is a very timely process that requires an investment of time and money. It’s best to think about it strategically and design accordingly in a few basic steps.
Even if you are on a tighter budget (or more technologically savvy), don’t start programming the site by yourself on day one. Create a plan that includes thinking through the information you want on your website, ensuring that it matches your business branding – creating a master branding document is often helpful – and developing a website scaffolding of the layout of each page and subpage.
Once you decide all the components that you want to include on the site, start drafting the content. Have multiple people review and proof it for spelling and grammar edits. Depending on your field and expertise you are offering clients, mistakes on a company website can be a huge turnoff!
Then, do you have a logo or need to create a new one? Take care of that task before you move to the development stage. Figure out your preferred color(s), font and images you will be using. For a professional service company, for example, you don’t need a lot of images, but having at least one on each page draws readers in.
Once you feel completely satisfied with every single detail in the planning stage, have your developer create a mock homepage for you. This lets you visually look at what you have had in your head for weeks, months or even years in full color and verify that it’s what you’ve been conceiving. Most entrepreneurs will have at least a few small edits to ensure that the style fits their vision.
Then, your Web team can start creating the full site – by having your content, scaffolding and images, the process most likely won’t require too much back and forth with questions during the development stage.
The next step is one that multiple members of the team need to be very thorough with – an extensive review of every single page, paragraph and link. There’s definitely a chance that the Web team moved over everything 100 percent perfectly in the content that was provided, but it’s more likely that little edits could have developed in transition. Even ideas, phrases and images worked in your original document might need to be slightly altered and edited for the site. Be certain to check items such as page spacing and font size, and that the details of the pages are similar and in sync throughout the site.
Have other employees and/or friends and family members who might not be as familiar with this process assist with reviewing as well. Ideally, someone who hasn’t seen any of the early planning collateral so they are reading the content with a fresh perspective.
Depending on the amount of time that you have to dedicate to the project and how many hours the Web team is working from the initial idea to launching the new site, it can take anywhere from under a week to six months or more to launch your perfect company site. If you are on a tighter time frame because of other deadlines, just be sure that the final review is very precise before launching the website. There’s only one chance to make a first impression.
Aero Jet Medical president and CEO, Danielle S. Wilson, is an accomplished health care executive with over two decades of air medical experience. Aero Jet Medical is an all-inclusive provider of worldwide air ambulance transport services. The company provides patients with clinical excellence and operational expertise. In addition to Aero Jet Medical, Wilson is the president and CEO of parent company United Medevac Solutions. United Medevac Solutions provides a full range of aviation specialty programs, health care supplementation and emergency response for the federal government, the Department of Defense and private sector organizations. Self-termed a “global nomad,” Wilson has a passion for exploring new cultures during her extensive world travels.