Niche Web Design

I’ve been in the process for several weeks of coming up with a new design for my website.  What task!  Surely, I thought.  I know my business.  A website design should be easy.  Well, it wasn’t exactly, but I did want to share some insight I’ve gained while going through the process.

I browsed several website template sites.  While I found good things, after awhile they all looked the same.  I wanted to use XHTML/CSS for the design.  That requirement on my part eliminated a good portion.  I had at first considered a flash site.  They’re so slick, they are.  I didn’t mind the music.  However, Google doesn’t index flash sites or rather they didn’t until very recently.  The search engine apparently needs a bit of fine tuning though before all is well.

I had just finished another web design project.  Frankly, I enjoyed all the coding, the SEO work, everything.  I did a bit of work with some free Flash templates that come with my HostGator hosting.  If you want a challenge, trying learning Flash on the go.  That experience brought me back to coding my own site, but where to begin?

I stumbled upon a program called WebCeo.  This free tool helped me research my keywords.  Using what I thought were good search terms, I discovered that my niche hadn’t been developed.  I decided to dig deeper.  More fine tuning of keywords put my on the right track for the art side, but what about my image?  Again, just be chance, I came across another site that provided invaluable in terms of inspiration.  The BestDesigns site is loaded with nice, slick website designs of actual websites.  Heavy on the Flash, yes, but using the site helped me focus on what I wanted. 

I chose several sites that appealed to me.  I looked for the common tags for these sites:  aged, CSS, clean.  Using this information, I then brainstormed on what I wanted my site to convey.  After much discussion and probably boring my husband to tears, I’m confident I have a design.  Now comes the fun part–coding.

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