Part 2: Creating Your Sitemap and Choosing A Partner!

Part 2: Creating Your Sitemap and Choosing A Partner!

In our last post, we discussed all of our reasons why a new website was necessary – but now it’s on to the fun stuff! This post is all about plans for a new site, developing a layout, and picking a website designer- let the setbacks begin!

Before consulting with anyone we did a lot of research… this research was on other sites in our industry and outside. We decided on key features and content we thought were important for the site. From there, we met with a partner to discuss what different trends are and started our first draft of the site layout.

*If you don’t have a whiteboard you should probably get one! They are great for brainstorming.mlive.jpg

The site layout was probably the toughest part for us and was revised countless times. This is because one of our main goals was to keep the site simple and not overwhelm our visitors with too much information. We had many moments where we had to stop and say, “We’re doing it again”. We kept reverting back to our technical side and going into detail about technology – we had to keep reminding ourselves to talk to the customer and keep it simple and useful.

*Planning sessions can quickly become brainstorming sessions and this is good.  But be conscious to not let brainstorming over take your solid plan for the site.

After we had a rough draft of what we wanted, finding a web designer was next! This brought us to our next set back… We researched about five different design companies and met with three.

*Just a word of advice…Reference check!! This will save you a lot of time and grief short-term and long-term.

You want a partner that is going to have the same vision and goals for your project as you do.  Some partners may want to take over your project and manage it for you, which might be a good fit for your business, but this was not a fit for us. It took us a few trial and errors until we partnered with Cadmium Design Studios, located in Downtown Bay City, and we could not be more pleased with our decision! Alana and Alan were a joy to work with and truly understood our vision for the new site. Many times partnering with another company doesn’t go as planned, but we are thrilled to have an ongoing relationship with a company like Cadmium.

Alright, the first major task is completed! Be sure to look for our next post where we will be talking all about content and the next steps in our journey to the ‘new website’!

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