We're your one-stop shopping for web, graphic design,
media, product photography services, and marketing consulting.
If you haven't visited our overview page of tips on
determining your own web content, read that page first.
article explains how to collect materials, thoughts, and
plans for organizing and creating your web site content. It can serve
as a checklist and starting point for your thinking and decision making
concerning what content you want for your site and how you want it
to look and operate. Contact us for design, implementation, consultations, or any part of sharing the tasks of launching your media successfully.
TO PREPARE FOR BUILDING A WEB SITE
- Goals! Why do you want a web site?
- Have a web site so your company looks professional and is not embarrassed
- Provide information: Portfolio, catalog, maps, tutorial, FAQ
- Customer service & support, technical information & downloads
- E-commerce, take orders, provide pricing (note that there's quite
a range of solutions from passively showing prices to an elaborate
interactive product selection E-commerce site)
you expect to view your web site and what response you want to evoke from them ("call to action")
- New clients
- Existing clients
- Consider the demographics of your target audience
- How do you expect people to find/know about your web site and/or
- Printed Collateral (brochures, ads, cards, literature)
- Correspondence and specific announcements that point to your
- Web referral (links from web rings, industry lists, geographical-based
- Search engines (see below also)
- What materials do you collect for your site?
images, text, lists - hardcopy or in a file
- Existing brochures, catalogs, memos, marketing plans, ads, articles,
- Photographs, slides, audio files (CDs), logo, headshots, site/facility
pictures, maps, artwork, diagrams, unique perspective images
- Video, commercials
- Images sell!
- How do you organize your ideas and information?
course you'll have some version of "the standard stuff" (ABOUT,
CONTACT US, DIRECTIONS, PRODUCTS/SERVICES)
your materials into categories, perhaps using a hierarchical
outline, or pictorial (e.g., "mind map") approach. Use 3x5 cards,
WORD or POWERPOINT outlines, yellow stickies, "backs of envelopes"
major themes and sub-themes
your core competencies and what differentiates you from other
similar businesses-- what's your selling point?
- How to compare competitors' web sites to get ideas
out how both local and national businesses in your field have
developed their web site-- what are the best known practices
for marketing your products/services?
a list of URLs (web addresses) you like/dislike, with notes about
WHY. Include unrelated topic areas if you see something web-oriented
that catches your eye regarding design or approach.
at details like color schemes, typography, general layout, loading
time, site organization (is it intuitive)
out a competitor's web site pages and mark up (cut and paste)
to see what works for you and how you can adapt the positive
- How can you start small and then if it's going well, expand your site?
be intimidated by the web or you'll never get started at all.
just plan to do a "cover page" address, phone, and general information
single page to start. Then after you see how that goes, add some
the basic structure in place and all the information together
-- this is the single most difficult task for most clients. Once
you have the information, it's much easier to arrange and edit
- Should you (and how do you) introduce your web site
to search engines?
engines are great, and you will want to "work with" them to
- Think of keywords that are descriptive of your products/services
that your average demographic would use to find you, say,
in the yellow pages. Include common misspellings too! You want
to be find-able.
- Be sure to sprinkle these keywords in Titles, Meta Keyword lists,
and your web page text content.
- Clients of SherwoodPhoto.com and SherwoodHosting.com, upon request, receive
free access to a detailed article about a reasonable approach for
Search Engine registration at minimal cost - a 90% solution for
a 5% cost. We believe there's no need to spend big bucks if you
follow a few logical guidelines.
- See Search Engine information summary list
- How can you drive additional traffic to your web site?
addition to the traditional methods of using links, web rings,
search engines, self-promotion, and exchanging links (cross-referencing
with another site), you can consider the following:
- Include "interesting" and useful information or benefits on your
site to provide an incentive or reason people will use and return
to your site. Perhaps something of local interest (calendar listings,
regional information, activities, things to do); give away something:
recipes, coupons, maps; provide unusual information such as historical
perspective, tutorials; be a repository for clip art that you generate
relating to your business; sponsor a chat room or discussion group;
support charities and fund drives and provide them a page on your
- Regularly post updated topics from your site in your company newsletter
or bulletin board; send out postcards announcing a new update to
- Sponsor contests on your site
- How can I determine how much traffic is visiting my site?
- SherwoodHosting.com provides three free tools to analyze and
display your web site traffic. See additional
information on these
and our favorite, AWstats.
- How do you integrate your web site with your overall marketing campaign?
- How can you keep your site fresh and revitalized without spending
a fortune and taking a lot of time each week to edit it?
& MARKETING SERVICES
to the technical and aesthetic aspects of your web site, we are also
able to assist in other aspects such as marketing, photography, copy-editing,
and helping you get more presence on the web. See some of the details
below which highlight our graphic design, photography, and musical
for our graphic chart of services
.GIF .PDF (clearer
|Web & Email
Hosting & Consulting
||Marketing & Image
Authoring (DVD, CD, web interactivity)
(Digital & Film)
Editing & Web Rendering
(Quicktime, RealPlayer, Windows Media,
Web - CD - DV - DVD