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The first step when building a website is always to plan out the site first. In doing so you can make sure that not only does the site look good and is user-friendly for your customers, but also build correctly for proper SEO techniques..


In planning for a website there are a few things you should think about and if possible prepare for before the building begins. The more prepared you are, the smoother and quicker the initial build will go. Far to often someone goes out to build something great and get lost along the way because something becomes overlooked. Below is a quick overview of some of the things you may want to think about beforehand.

TEXT CONTENT - To achieve a high ranking in Google your site will need lots of interesting, well written, understandable text. By "understandable text" i mean, text that is easy to read, not one full of unnecessary jargon. Coming up with all of the text does not have to happen overnight. You can always come back and add to the site later.

KEYWORDS - One thing that is needed are strong keywords. The keywords will be worked into text of a page several times while still making sense. These keywords are essential to helping get the high rankings for Google. Also there are long-tailed keywords, this is usually a two to three word phrase. For example Houston web design would be easier to optimize and compete for a higher ranking than the single keywords like Houston or design.

WEBSITE IMAGES - Well without these sites tend to look a little bland. The use of images in your site can help set the mood and alts when properly used help keep the readers eyes focused on certain sections of a page.

You can supply your own images, i can suggest them for you. or if needed i can recommend a great photographer who can take appropriate photographs.

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GALLERY OF IMAGES - I can offer various styles of gallery pages including simple thumbnail images that are clickable and expand into a larger image and various styles of scrolling slideshows.

VIDEO - Your short video introduction to you and your product or service, hosted on Youtube or Vimeo. If you have a large selection of videos to display these can be shown in a gallery of videos which automatically updates each time a new video is added to a specific channel on Vimeo.

DOWNLOADABLE DOCUMENTS - For example PDFs. Useful if you want someone to be able to print out a copy of the information on your site.

EXPANDABLE CONTENT AREAS - Heading tabs that when clicked reveal different content. These can be useful if you don't want to show all your content at once but want people to be able to easily navigate to the content they want to see on your page.

CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS - Content (text and images) maintainable by you the client. This is not hard to set up using Google docs and you can update a document within Google docs that is then displayed within your website giving you complete control of that area of the site. This is particularly useful for content such as pricing where you want to have complete control over what is shown. There is usually a small overhead in loading speeds associated with this functionality so I would a) advise against having this operating at all on your home page and b) restrict it only to the places where you absolutely need it in the rest of the site.

ABILITY TO UPLOAD FILES - I can offer the facility for people to upload files to a Dropbox account from within your site. I have used this in the past for audio files but it can be used for anything. Files can be limited by type and by size.

BLOGS - A blog on your site is another standard way to keep your customers aware of what you are doing. The blog system I use is called 'Total CMS'.

SOCIAL ICONS - Links to your social networking sites, Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, etc


LINKS PAGES - Having a standalone links page to your contacts helps build reciprocal links back to your site

CONTACT PAGE - This is a simple interactive form which people can fill in and which results in an email to a specified email address with the content of the form. The form can be tailored somewhat to add further fields and specify the format of these fields and whether they are required or not so a small amount of logic can be built into the form. This is not intended to be anything other than a basic contact form so if you needed something more complicated such as a booking system for example I would advise finding an existing provider of a booking system and embedding their code into the website.

PRIVACY AREA - You may have content that you want access to only if the correct password is entered. This can be anything, text, photos, videos etc. I have used this functionality on my wedding videography client's page.

USE OF SPECIAL FONTS - Small areas of text that are highlighted by the use of special fonts. These are outside of the normal range of web friendly fonts so I would advise using them sparingly to highlight things like quotations for example.

LOGO DESIGN - Probably be able to generate some ideas for logos that will interest you using a couple of software packages that I have.

PHOTOGRAPHY - File sizes for the web need to be optimised for fast loading so a camera that can take pictures at high resolution is largely irrelevant. Any decent digital camera can be used. The important thing is the lighting and the composition. Another consideration is where the images are going to be used. Full width banner images on a site look great but they need to be of a certain proportion which is much wider than they are tall. This is not a natural way that we think of taking pictures and usually I have to crop images quite a bit to get them to fit into these sort of dimensions.


GOOGLE ANALYTICS - Every website has by default, Google Analytics tracking code embedded into the 'Home' page. If you choose to do so, a report can be shown on the site for, example of the number of new visitors. If you don't want this to be publicly visible then this can be held in a password protected area of the site so it is only accessible by yourself.

Goswick Design Group
3511 Pinemont #3C
Houston TX 77018

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