When I met Shannon and started talking to her about web design for my own website, I knew I had to have her come live in my group to answer all of my web questions. If you’re anything like me, the website is a HUGE source of frustration and confusion. Of course you want it to look nice, but you also (most importantly) want it to convert! Meaning…you want people who land on your site to STAY on your site. Better yet, you want them to hit that “Buy Now” button.
Ahhhhh, just wait!
So for all of my business owners just starting out and trying to keep it on the cheap and easy by DIY-ing your site, we discuss options for that as well as working with a designer and some of the benefits of hiring a professional.
Without further ado, let’s get started with our Web Design 101 interview with Shannon Gross of Studio One44.
If you wanted to skip around the interview to certain parts, I’ve broken down times below the video!
DIY Site Options
2:45 What website platform do you recommend? (wix/squarespace/wordpress) Here, we introduce the “all in one” solutions (wix, squarespace).
4:30 What ALL do I need to buy to get this started?
6:45 What is hosting?? A good host platform is affordable, fast, great customer service. (Shannon recommends Nexcess). She also likes Siteground, which is what I use.
9:00 After domain and hosting, then what?
You have two paths. 1. After the domain purchase, you can go to squarespace/wix (an all in one solution) and do the website and hosting there. OR 2. After domain purchase, you buy hosting and then install wordpress on it for a wordpress site.
10:15 Thoughts on Blue Host?
11:30 What do we need or not need to buy for the hosting that we often get upsold on??
Free SSL that Shannon mentions: Let’s Encrypt
13:50 Themes vs builders?? What does Shannon use and what does she recommend when choosing one?
16:10 What is the goal when we are designing a website? What should our strategy be?
20:00 Depending on what my goal for a “successful” customer on the website is…how many times should that call to action or that service I’m trying to push be popping up on the site?
Working with a Web Designer
22:00 If you work with a web designer, what info should you be coming to the table with so the designer knows what’s going on?
23:40 How do you know what’s a good inspiration website to bring to a designer?
27:00 How do you navigate trends with websites?
29:00 Let’s talk colors on your site.
30:15 How do you know if your site is easy to navigate and user friendly?
32:15 Do you use heat mapping tools to see where people click and how they use the site?
SEO, site speed, and Optimization
35:20 What is Google Analytics? Why do we need it? What does it do?
36:30 Do we need a blog for our site to perform well?
38:00 Where do images fit in web design? And what images work the best for businesses?
42:00 Where do pics of us, as business owners, exist on the webpage?
43:30 How do we optimize images for web?
1500px wide 72 resolution (DPI). Also, use sRGB.
WP Smush is the plugin Shannon recommends.
47:35 What about spam?? It kills me!!
Make sure to use a captcha form and plugins like Akismet.
54:10 Questions to ask a web developer
55:00 How much is a web developer typically? And what are the different levels that people typically offer?
58:00 How would you recommend people find a web designer…someone who is ACTUALLY going to help you convert your website??
1:01:00 Work with Shannon!
If you want to connect with Shannon, check out her links below!
Link for the facebook group, Branding through Photography.
Alrighty guys!! I hope this live was helpful for you learning the world of web design. If you have questions for Shannon, check out her site OR hop over to the Facebook group to ask her there!!
Till next time! <3
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