Design

There are three different deccisions to make when designing your website. Whether to use a professional web design company, a freelancer or a DIY site builder. All of these have there distinct advantages and disadvantages.

If you decide to choose a web design company this would ensure good back up and easy communication. The main disadvantage of this is that they can be excessively overpriced. Irish web design companies have really improved their quality of work in the last few years and there are Irish based specialists available for almost all of the different formats. Outsourcing with freelancers can be affordable and successful. Usually this can keep costs to a respectable figure unlike local web design companies. The main disadvantage of freelance is when the developer is based overseas which makes communication for initial design and maintenance in the future difficult. A useful place to source freelancers is Elance.com, there are 1000’s of developers registered on this site. When searching for a web designer some important research has to be done. Going through their portfolio in fine detail is vital, and asking yourself if you like their design style. 

There are plenty of first class DIY website builders out there, 3 of the easiest and most professional are Weebly.com, Wix.com and Doodlekit.com. This site has been created using Weebly. It uses a simple drag and drop system. No programming skills are required for these DIY sites which keep costs to a bare minimum. Once you have learned how to utilise their features a full website can be up and running over a weekend. Your own domain can also be used when you upgrade to their pro account. When startups first begin, DIY website builders may be the best option to keep costs down until it is clear that a viable business can be built on the idea. 

7 important points to consider when designing a website.

1. Clean home page - people decide whether they will stay or leave a site within 8 seconds.
2. Usability - your website has to be easy to use. navigation must be simple.
3. SEO friendly - people searching the web have to be able to find their way to your site.
4. Style - do research into what style and colour is best suited for your type of business.
5. Quick loading - people don't wait around for pages to load, remember that point.
6. Content - do not squash as much text into each page, keep things simple and clear.
7. Browser test - make sure that your site is compatible with different browsers or people may never get there.

Weebly
Rocket media
 
Nua Design
 
Doodle Kit
Elance
 
Wix
Denobi
webtrade

Below is a screenshot of the old eBiz Republic site that was designed using Wix.com. This design was very easy to do and only took a few days to complete.
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Cacoo.com

Cacoo is s clever online drawing tool that allows users to create professional diagrams such as site maps, buttons, network charts and wire frames. It is extremely easy to use and they offer a range of stencils and a useful self alignment feature. Currently using their service is free of charge. Sign up only takes a few seconds and after watching their tutorial video you can get started straight away. Below is an example of a simple diagram that only took a few minuets. Note- most of the design work on eBiz Republic was carried out on Cacoo.  

Cacoo
Forum
Generate Revenue
Top 20 Websites
Irish Success Stories
E Payments
Business 2010
Virtual Offices
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