Local Entrepreneurial Event: Effective Web Design for Start-ups

10-Web-Design-Trends-for-2015A key for building up your brand for any company, organization, or small business is having a polished, informative, and interesting website.

On Tuesday evening, I attended Effective Web Design: A Chester and Delaware County SCORE workshop hosted in the Media-Upper Providence Library. SCORE, started in 1964, is an acronym for “Service Core of Retired Executives” and is a national organization made up of volunteers who host workshops to help small business owners, provide mentoring, and counseling. Today there are 320 chapters in the United States.

Today’s presentation on building a website was run by Ky Toure of KC Enterprises, her company that works with businesses to serve as a virtual administrator and provides web and graphic design services.  The room was filled with small business owners looking to improve, create, or learn more about their websites. Below are my takeaways from Ky’s presentation.

As Ky emphasized , your website is where new users can find you and where existing users go to find more information about your services or products.  Just as important as the information relayed to the user on your site is they way in which it is portrayed. Not only do fonts, colors, and layouts play a role in making your site interesting, deciding on your domain name and website host are important for creating an effective website.

Ky stated that your domain name should reflect your business. Make sure your site utilizes SEO- Search Engine Optimization so that when your site is searched it is at least on of the top 10 sites to come up. Additionally, consider what top level domain (the name given to the characters after the dot in a web address) to chose such as .com, .net, .org, .edu. Next, find register your domain name through sites like GoDaddy.com and then find a host company like DreamHost.

Your next step would then to consider your layout. Generally sites have their logo on top with a body section in the middle followed by a footer that contains your company name and year copyrighted. Ky stated that layout’s also include a sidebar and most users find that the best location is to the right because the eye naturally goes right there. Your site will also need a favicon- a very small icon that appears next to your site’s name in a tab.

Most important for your site is its design and look. Color schemes for a site portray different meanings for your site. For example, the color red draws the eye in like sale signs at stores and tells people to look here. It also means active, power, and bold. Orange on the other hand is bright and cheery and means motivated and impulse. Your font also will say something about your brand to users. Fonts need to be easy to read and reflect the professionalism or casual feel of your brand.

This workshop showed that building an effective website can and will improve your start-up business.