When having a new website designed, one aspect I often see clients overlooking are content and photos. Many clients see these as not as important as the actual design. As a designer I would like to believe that, but without these two key components you may be stuck with a good looking site that doesn’t have any real substance. A great design is just half of the puzzle – without quality content and photographs that visually describe what sets your business apart from the competition your visitors may struggle to find out why they should use your services or visit your business.
Let’s talk about photos. They are often a critical part to a design and give the website designer something to start with. They also offer site visitors quick visual cues of what a website is about before they start reading. As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
It’s also a great idea for any business to take photographs regularly throughout the year. Why not? It doesn’t take long and you never know when you will need one, whether it’s for a website or other marketing materials. It’s a lot easier to just pull from a collection and pick out photos when you need them, rather than running around and taking photos all at once.
It’s especially important for some industries, like construction businesses, where they only have access to the work site when working on the project. Having a collection of photos of past projects help greatly in showing website visitors the type of work that a company does. Taking before and after shots are especially effective and this is impossible to do once the project is done. If a business has special events (sales, group events, trips, etc) taking photos can be used on new sites or even added to a current site to show visitors recent happenings.
While professional photographs can look the best, don’t discount the work a closet photographer can do. Digital cameras take great photos these days and often are very suitable for use on a website. The other option is stock photos. But oftentimes, these look like, well, stock photos and you can end up searching for hours looking for that one perfect photo when it could have just taken minutes if there were a photo collection to choose from. Stock photos do work for certain industries, but they do not work well for some, like construction, restaurants, hotels and other similar industries.
When you bring these aspects into the beginning stages of a design you’ll end up with a site that not only looks great, but works well for getting your message across – all the things needed to get people into your store or using your business.
Next week check back to read about the other most overlooked part of web projects – unique content.