Grace Magazine Web Site Design

Grace Magazine

I’ve just completed a redesign of the web site for Grace Magazine. They wanted to go for a more contemporary look than the previous site, whilst simplifying the access to the content of previous issues. The previous site was overly complex with some broken links, so we reduced the navigation to a small set of main navigation tabs. This makes it simpler to see what is on offer. The home page was to contain a description of the latest magazine with a link to previous issues.

As with all design work, it is often necessary to put something together based on an initial specification in order to allow the client to see and decide which direction to go. We went through a couple of design iterations that weren’t quite contemporary enough, but arrived at a bold modern style with direct links to excerpts from the magazines in PDF format. Take a look and see what you think…

Grace Magazine Iterations

What should your web site do?

Web-Site-Design

What is a web site, and what should it do for your business? For many small businesses there is a feeling that a web site is important, but not much of an idea as to why, or what it should do.

The most important consideration for the small business is what the web site will do for them. For many this is purely informational – an online shop window so that potential customers can find them and find out a little about them before picking up the phone or making a visit. For others it’s about relationship – regular communication about what the business is doing. For many larger businesses the web site acts as a point of sale where purchases may be made. The type of site depends very much on the type of business: often a business requires the personal touch, a face to face meeting before the sale of a product or service; for others with low value, large quantity sales this is not an issue, it’s all about making the purchase easy.

Before considering your web site it is worth asking the question for your business: What do I want this to do for us? If you don’t know this, then you will never be sure it’s achieving the end result.

The Small Business Blog

Expanding your network during the downturn

Expanding your Network

The small business has many advantages in difficult economic times. The lack of size enables a greater deal of flexibility. A small business can change direction faster and with less cost than a larger organisation. Costs for the design of a large business web site can also be prohibitive as the complexity of the site and the planning and permissions required for every change make updates a major undertaking.

For the small business seeking to reach out to its customers, to build and maintain a relationship a weblog is a cost effective tool for putting control in the hands of the business owner rather than the web designer. In order for clients or customers to return to a web site there must be a good reason: information, offers, advice, updates.

Where do your clients go when they require information? Do they pick up the phone, or email? Do they ask for a fax with the information they have asked for? It is a simple matter for the business owner to add all the essential information to pages on a weblog. It is also simple to add announcements, special offers and updates in a timely fashion when the business owner is in control.

The small business blog puts the power to communicate back in the hands of those who hold the information allowing a greater immediacy of communication with your customers.

Recently Datawise Computing was asked to help a local church with a very limited budget to revamp their web site. With a combination of a basic WordPress blog, some useful plugins and a free template communication has started afresh. The power is back where it belongs, with the providers of the information. A relationship has begun, the network is spreading…