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Planning Your Web Site
Anyone can start a web site, but most aren't viewed for more than a few seconds. Careful planning can help you to clarify your goals for your site so it will be more likely to get traffic that stays and returns. In planning, you need to:
  1. Assess Web Site Purpose
  2. Analyze Your Competition
  3. Assess Your Image
  4. Assess Your Market
  5. Select a Layout
  6. Decide on Your Pages
  7. Select Supporting Images
  8. Wording of Your Site
  9. Obtaining a Web Host
  10. Preparing Your Contract
Assess Your PurposeAny business that isn't constantly re-analyzing its business practices is likely to fall into decline. Whether this site is for business or personal use, your site will have more clarity if you define your purpose by answering the following questions in detail: Questions...

  1. What is your business or personal mission / purpose and how do you plan to convey this on a web site?
  2. Is your web site to be informational, educational, entertaining or other? Do you want your site to be:
    • An Online Brochure
    • Communication to Employees or Members
    • An Art or Other Works Gallery
    • An Online Store
  3. Is your primary objective online or offline sales?
  4. What are your short term goals for this web site?
  5. What are your long term goals for this web site?
  6. What do you hope to gain by being on a web site?
  7. What do your users want from your web site?
  8. Do your objectives meet your users' needs?

Analyze Your Competition Whether or not you consider yourself in competition with anyone else, looking at web sites from others with similar interests and objectives will help you to decide what you need or want on your own site. When looking at your competition in a new light, you may discover new ways to prosper your own business or site. More...

Do some searching in phone directories for competition to check out on the internet. Look up the sites of your competition or those of similar purpose.
  1. What is your edge...what makes you special and stand out?
  2. What does your competition include that you want to include?
  3. What does your competition include that you don't want to include?
  4. What is the mood or theme of your competition's web sites?
  5. What similar and unique mood and theme do you want to include?
  6. After viewing sites, what do you find memorable?
  7. How do you hope to make your site memorable?
  8. Did you find a good way to convey your message simply in pictures and words?

Assess Your Image To help your customers and web site visitors know if your business is a good fit for their needs, it is imperative that you are able to provide a consise answer to "Who am I? What is my product? Who is my client?" Your web site needs to appeal to the correct customers for your product. More...

Think about the market demographic of your customers. How does your image appeal to them? Think about your current image and answer the following questions:
  1. Who are you and what is your purpose?
  2. What type of client would be attracted to my image?
  3. What type of client would want my product?
  4. What type of image(s) do my clients have?
  5. Would potential clients feel comfortable with your image?
  6. What in your image makes clients:
    • know you?
    • like you?
    • trust you?
  7. Should your image be:
    • strictly professional?
    • professional, yet friendly?
    • casual?
    • fun?
    • warm and cosy?
  8. Is your image clear? How?
  9. Does your image provide direction and focus?


Assess Your Market What exactly is your market niche? Are you maximizing your potential with this market? Are there other markets you could expand into? How is your presence reaching your market? More...

Knowing your market well will help you figure out if you (and your web site) are reaching those you hope to serve. Answer:
  1. Who are your customers?
  2. Why are they your customers?
  3. How do you serve your customer's needs?
  4. What is your customers' income bracket?
  5. Why would your customers buy from you or from others?
  6. If you made some changes, are there others who could potentially be your customers, or are there ways your current customers would want to buy more?
  7. What is going to make your customers recommend you and come back to you?
  8. When are customers most likely to buy your products and what are you doing to maximize your exposure to them during this time?
Although you may feel you know your company well, those who stay on top typically are those who constantly reassess their company and their market.

Select a Layout Only after you know who you are, who you want to reach, and how you wish to portray yourself are you ready to begin thinking about a layout for your web site. You will want a web site that is user friendly and attractive for your specific needs. The best way to get an idea on how you want your site to look is to visit the sites of your competitors and to identify sites you think mimic the type of image you wish to portray. More...

Do web site searches using a search engine such as,, or for your products or services to find your competitor's web sites. Take note of the following, trying to determine what style you think would fit your site so you can convey your desires to your designer:
  1. Navigation (buttons): type, placement
  2. Pages: titles, purposes, size (short and fixed or long and scrolling), placement of items on page
  3. Colors and textures: backgrounds, headers, text, borders, etc.
  4. Graphics: special buttons, styled text, logos, symbols
  5. Photos: types of pictures that instantly could convey your image, purpose, or entice customers to desire your wares, be used in the background or as a separate image
  6. Text: wording that works, things that catch your eye
  7. Anything else you notice that will help your designer understand your desires.
Keep a list of web site addresses of examples you might want to use for your site. Remember, your designer is not a mind reader and all people have different tastes. In order to please your taste, you must provide enough information for your designer to fully understand you.


Decide on Your Pages Based on the information you provide, your designer will create a custom layout to try to meet your needs. It is imperative that you provide a quick, detailed review of the layout to prevent additional time being taken up for consultation. To keep costs low, two hours of consultation are included in your package. More...

Our goal is to keep within this consulatation time. We will keep track of time spent reading and responding to your comments and always try to be brief to complete our design together without additional rework creating additional consultation time.

We have spent many hours putting together this information for our clients so they have a good idea of what they want before we begin. This prevents the need for rework and provides greater satisfaction.

Just as some husbands and wives can never agree on a paint color for their house, some clients can never agree on their web site design (especially if handled by a committee).

We, therefore, require a single contact person to be the responsible decisionmaker for our contract. This person should bring to us the client's final decisions for us to implement into the design.


Select Supporting Images We have access to many free images available for use in our web designs. However, you may wish to provide your own photos or graphics which you feel better portray your image. To prevent rework, if you have any images you wish to use, please provide them at the commencement of your contract.More...

If you have an idea of how you would like images placed (such as preferring a background image to a background color) please let us know the type of image and placement.

If you do provide images, please be certain you have legal title and right to use these images on your web site. We will not be held liable for any damages ensuing out of using images you provide.

Many web sites have additional images for sale very innexpensively, should you wish to look for a specific image to meet your needs. Simply do a search for images to use on web sites. Remember to get proper permission to use any photo you provide.

Insertion of 3 images per page is included in the contract. Additional images can be inserted at an additional cost of $20 per item. Images must be reworked in order to load properly and be placed properly to fit on a web site. Without rework, a web page could take minutes to appear, which few people would stay on your site long enough to see.


Wording of Your Site While we can create eloquent prose for your web site, only you understand your business well enough to know what you want your web pages to say. For example, can you imagine being able to write all of the information contained in this site? As you go through gathering the information to provide for your web site design, we strongly encourage you to think about the wording you wish to use on each page, especially if one of your main goals is to provide information to your clients (such as this site provides).More...

When you are ready to submit a signed contract, please submit all wording you wish to provide for each page.


Obtaining a Web Host As explained on the Home page of this web site, hosting your site is not included in the design. While it may seem easier to you to simply go with a designer who also owns the computer server that holds your web site on the internet for viewers to see, few, if any, web designers have the large outlay of cash for the extensive equipment and backup equipment that web hosting companies provide. These web hosting companies also have trained technical staff on duty around the clock every day to make sure their equipment (and your web site) does not go down.More...

While these large web hosting companies also offer some design services, if you understand their contracts, typically they don't provide much at all. Usually, all they do is stick some of your information into their same templates that they use for all of their clients. If they do actually provide good web site design, it comes at a very high cost.

One way companies who provide design and hosting make a large portion of their income is in monthly fees. Few companies change much on their website within a year. Typically, a design company can collect huge fees for doing nothing by including monthly maintenance fees. We believe our clients are best served by providing additional design services at a low fee if and when the client has a real need to make changes

We choose to do what we do best, provide good quality, low cost custom web site design. And, we let the big web hosting companies provide the staff and equipment to do what they do best, hold your files.

We will load the files onto your host's server computer. You need to contract separately with a web hosting company.

As long as you don't have a web site with a huge online store, most any web hosting company will do fine. Large online stores require dedicated server computers to sort and provide a large quantity of information quickly.

The web host will need to register your domain name and provide web hosting. Typically, your domain name is a yearly registration fee of $2-$10 and your web hosting is a monthly fee of $5-$10. Note when looking at web hosts that some offer a lower introductory fee, but will then charge their standard rates for the next year's renewal, so be sure you plan for all fees for the future.

We have used,, and with no problems.


Preparing Your Contract In order to contract with us, we require both a completed questionnaire and a signed contract. The questionnaire is completed and submitted online by pressing the questionnaire button in the left column on this page. The contract can be found on the pricing page and needs to be printed, filled in, and mailed along with payment.More...

Our goal is to have our clients completely understand the web design process. Please read all of the details in the contract and on this web site, as it was designed to help you fully understand everything you need to know to be satisfied with your web design process and the outcome of your site. If you have any questions, you can contact us at


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Copyright © Enticing Designs
Proprietor: Gail Baierlipp, Rochester, Southeastern Wisconsin
Service Area: United States

Website Designer located in the Waterford, WI and Burlington, WI areas.