Lets talk about why a good website is required. In this market of huge competition you need a good web presence to have a edge over your competitors.
Some reasons of having a website:
1) Your customer is looking for you online. Many people search online like “toys in new york” and they will do either online shopping via these sites or will locate their position.
2) You can reduce your cost by printing and mailing. Why you need to handout your brochures and newsletters. In this internet era, everybody goes online and they can see your information online.
3) Send your bills online via emails rather than printed bills.
4) People want online support.
5) People want to see event calendar online.
6) Advertise your product and company.
You are telling your customer how important they are by providing all these services for them.
Planning to create a good website :
You think you need a website? Lets do some planning.
People/Designers generally dont go through planning process and end up with not so beneficial website. If you just jump start and start designing/coding , it will be badly structured and may look unprofessional. Some Steps to design a good, beneficial and professional websites.
1) Research :The best way to do reasearch is to look aroung internet and see all relative websites and competitors See how can you make something better than your competitor. Try to think about new ideas , new features that you can provide to have an edge. Dont focus much on animation as it may be annoying to many users. Kepp it simple. It will be asy to maintain also.
2) Content :Know who is your target audience and their age group. General idea for a website is to promote yourself. You need to add content which advertise your company , product , ideas . Provide customer support, customer services,contact information. Tell about your services. Add dynamic content like Blogs.Add chat room,forums if required.
3) Architecture : Now you are done with your content, lets start building framework. See how many pages you need, accordingly start thinking of layout and theme. Now plan out which feature will go in which page and which features are common in all pages. The best way is to create a sample template and fill in all common features in that template. Use this as base template and fill in distinct features for respective pages.