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How to Get the Most Out of a Webmaster

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/23/2006 | Web Design
You have decided to put up a new website. Congratulations! Now the work begins. Within this article, are some items you will want to consider as your website comes to life.

A webmaster would recommend that you have a domain name that brings in at least one good keyword about your website. The webmaster will help you with suggestions to get a good domain name.

You also need to select the purpose of the website. This is crucial. You need to know if the website will be to drive leads to build a customer list, whether you want people to fill out a form to give you information on their situation if you are offering real estate information, for example, or if you are just looking to get information about you and your firm out to the public. Do you want to use your website more as a savings of time to send out reports to people that request information? Do you want to portray an image of a modern fast paced type of company or do you want to portray an image of a down home southern charming retail store? Do you want to direct them to a phone line for more information or an autoresponder or maybe sign up for an ezine? Depending on the needs of the person behind the website, the webmaster can get a better idea how to make the overall look and feel of the website, so try to be clear on what you want your website to accomplish.

You might also show the webmaster colors you like and get their thoughts as to the colors that move the visitor to certain actions. For instance, certain shades of green portray a soothing feeling while red jumps out at you and makes you want to take action. Use bold colors sparingly.

The webmaster can also help you in regards to the layout of the website, guiding the visitor through the website by various links and graphics. Also, realize that sometimes more words are not more effective. A visitor will spend only a short amount of time viewing your website unless you have effective headlines and subtitles. If you have ideas you want to use, let your webmaster know this before he starts to make the "bones" of the website.

Another good thing to think about is the buttons and what they will say. In other words, how many do you really need to get your website point across and what type of links would you need created to accomplish that point? Changing text is easier than changing buttons for a webmaster, so try to have some idea what you want. Do not start out thinking you will have a 5-8 page website and then add six more buttons. This can lead to six more pages and you can expect a price increase on the website design. Most webmasters are pretty lenient, but do have to charge for extra time and effort above the original price quote.

If you have any graphics you want to use, gather them up and have them available from the beginning for the webmaster. He will also have graphics that he will add to make the website more interesting. You will want to keep large graphics to a minimum. The webmaster can resize them but note that clarity and sharpness may be reduced. Most good webmasters can help tremendously in this realm of making the images fit your pages if the pictures you provide are clear and crisp.

If you have the music clips or audio clips that you want to use, be prepared to provide them for the webmaster. He will require music clips in mp3 format most likely. He will also check various browsers to make sure the clips are good quality in all browser settings.

Provide the webmaster with all your contact information and any comments he can use for the "About Us" page. That would be items relative to your business and awards you may have won, goals of your company, little bits of personal information about the partners or owners, how long the business has been viable or how long you have been in this sort of business, how long online, things like that help a visitor to know you better and feel more comfortable doing business with you. That should be the goal.

Templates have their place in the web design process. Allow the webmaster to provide choices and pick out two or three templates that would work for you. Most good webmasters like to use pure html, but some also will use the Front Page format or Dreamweaver. The only reason for templates, in my mind, is to get more of an idea what the customer wants his website to look like. When the idea is presented by several templates, then possibly designing a website based on those ideas, is more effective. Do not count out a webmaster that uses templates, but also, do not count out a webmaster that takes template ideas and redesigns them to fit your needs. Either will work and makes perfect sense depending on the time and effort that is going to be involved in creation of your new website.

Bottom line is consider your webmaster an extension of your business. It will be up to you to market your business, but having a good website should be a collaboration of effort between you and the webmaster. Your website can come alive with sound, graphics, and colors. The clearer you can be on what you desire, the more the webmaster has to work with and will be able to satisfy you more thoroughly. Most people are amazed at what webmasters can do with just simple outlines of ideas!

Most webmasters want to make their customers happy and will spend the time to work with you to make sure your website is pleasing. Give them the courtesy of being reasonable in your desires and needs and the website creation experience will be a positive situation for everyone.

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