the Best Value
created with a focus of displaying a clean visual impression,
your web site will be be an exciting way to enhance your business
and convey your message. This can easily be done within even
the simplest of budgets. All estimates require that we gather
an understanding of your needs:
After consulting with you and obtaining an understanding of
the information outlined below, we can provide you with an estimate
within 3-5 business days, and likely much sooner than that.
Pictures, graphics, photos
... any type of artwork. Do you have any graphics already
created? Do you need original graphics artwork to be created?
Perhaps you have images or photos that can be scanned
in and added to your website? This can easily be done,
and the images can be converted to web-ready format with
relative ease. Additionally, if you have any brochures,
flyers, or other corporate/company representations or
identifiers, we can convert collateral files to Adobe
Acrobat ( pdf )
format and enable them to be downloaded by your customers
To many people, the Web seems like a scary place:
a peep-hole through which strangers
can detect your credit card number and the state of
a foreign country where everyone knows
the language except you
an evil place land where freaky people
do nasty things
an intimidating corporate arena where
rigid rules apply and you never see a live human being
a sea of ugliness and junk with a few
small atolls of beauty.
Bear all this in mind when you write content for the
Web. Just because you yourself are a happy, savvy surfer,
don't assume your customers feel the same. They may be
very wary and defensive in the Web environment.
The Web is not a newspaper. We're accustomed to newspaper
styles. No problem! We can distinguish the Financial Times
from The People's Voice at a glance.
On the Web, norms are emerging, but they're still unpredictable.
A crackpot cult site may resemble a corporate site. A
respectable small business may have a website like a blind
Web surfers crave for signals that say 'Trust me, I'm
corporate' or 'Trust me, I'm small but honest' or simply
'Trust me, I'm flesh and blood like you.'
For the content provider, this is an important challenge.
Here are some ways you can make your website more friendly
as well as more credible.
Use a consistent style of writing throughout
In general, pitch your tone to the softer
side of formal. Getting the right tone is treading a
fine line. Too formal, and the website seemscold and
inhuman. Too informal, and the site can seem frenetic,
erratic and pushy.
Include frequent invitations to contact
you by e-mail, and make it really easy for people
to do so. And answer every e-mail within 24 hours.
One line today is worth far more than 1000 words three
Include real names and real photos
of real people. Include your real address in an obvious
place or on every page.
Maybe you yourself find the Web a scary place. If so,
you may be inclined to exclude details that identify you.
But that decision can be balanced by sending many other
signals that you're a genuine, approachable, friendly
I mentioned CONTENT yet?)
What are the implications for us, as writers of Web content?
How can we accommodate the odd site-hopping, surfing habits
of our readers? The backwards-and-forwards behavior?
We must make sure every Web page clearly signals 'You are
here!' Consistent, self-explanatory context signals are
required on every page.
Potential context signals are:
- the logo at the top
- the page title
- the headlines
- the page design
- the very first text at the top of the page, and after
I say 'potential' because it ain't necessarily so.
Imagine a page where:
- the logo is just 'XYZ'
- the page title is 'Article, July'
- the headline is 'About our latest product'
- the background colour is different from other pages
on that site
- and the first text is 'We are happy to bring you news
about our latest product. We are currently updating this
page, so next month there will be a brand new look.'
Site-hopping visitors could scan all those items and still
have no idea whose website they're on, or what the page
If we sit on the couch browsing three real books simultaneously,
the context is always clear:
With no difficulty we can tell that we're dealing with three
books, and we always know which one is we are reading at the
time. (Reading three real newspapers at once would be a very
messy process, but again, we know at a glance which newspaper
- Each book has a unique cover, stating the title and
- Each page has either the book title or chapter title
in the header.
- Every page has a number, and the pages go in sequence
1, 2, 3. . .
- You can feel the book physically; your hands know whether
the page you are reading is near the beginning, the middle
or the end.
- You can flick to the table of contents without losing
- Each book's font and design is the same on every page.
- The other two books are lying in full view on the table,
open at the page you were reading before.
Try to give your visitors the same sense of security on
A logo is your organization's first
great identifier. Most people can actually name a company
from it's logo before even reading the words. Do you have
a logo? We can help you to create one!
Name and Host
Have you already reserved a domain name? If not, we can
do it for you. We will research the choice you have, and
if it's available, we will reserve it. If it is taken, we'll
do our best to locate something that's as close as possible,
while still conveying the spirit of your original choice.
We can also research the best and most appropriate hosting
service for your particular requirements. No web-based company
is the same ... and so it is with web site hosting services.
If you have a pre-existing web site, or a specific layout
in mind that you can sketch out, or even a list of site
examples to imitate, this can be very helpful.
Find a human designer ... one that speaks in your language
(not geek-speak!). I read a horror story:
Janine looked more and more distressed
as the workshop proceeded. Afterwards, she told
me, "My new website is tiny but it's jam-packed
with things that shine in the dark and go bang,
and it's in frames, and the home page takes a whole
minute to download."
When it eventually appeared on screen,
the text was almost unreadable, in trendy, shadowed
grey on dark brown.
Sure enough, the designer had designed
something to within an inch of its life — but
what? Certainly not a useable website. When suggested
with certain improvements, Janine said that she
found it impossible to communicate with her designer.
He was consistently deaf to her requests and requirements.
He never asked questions. He spoke in jargon she
could not understand.
(But oh how he loved designing things!)
"If he's that bad," she
was told, "you maybe should abandon this web
site and start again with a new designer."
"But I've already spent $15,000,
so now I feel I must see it through. If I change
designers, that's just throwing my money away."
I am certain this scenario occurs often with small business
people when they first enter the Web as players.
Techies talk geek-speak. Techies just want to have fun.
Client lacks power, feels helpless. Client gets dropped
deep into "it." There seems to be no way out.
Find a designer or web provider who talks like a human,
listens like a human, and cares like a human. In fact, choose
a human, not a self-centred non-verbal power-mad brat.
There's much more at stake than your first $15,000. At
this stage you have put your entire business into their
hands ... or paws ... or pliers ... or dumptruck.
Choosing a non-communicative designer or web provider is
one of the worst mistakes a small company can make. If you're
the client, remember that you too are an expert: you know
your business, and you know what you want!
They Do Exist
You can be blessed with a web designer who:
- knows everything
- talks to you often
- talks in plain English
- has great suggestions
Do you have a mission statement? What
are its key points? Besides the mission statement, do
you have a specific message that you wish to convey? Finally,
what are the most common questions that your customers
ask? The site can be designed to target these issues.