The old saying 'fail to prepare, prepare to fail' rings truer in web site design than it does in most other mediums. Knowing who your audience is and doing your research before you go about setting up a new site are crucial factors in creating a good website.
There are as many styles of sites as there are types of literature or types of art. Styles are there to appeal to your particular audience and a good web design company will offer you ideas to help you fulfill your web site vision.
Website planning may take some time, but it will save time in the long run. This means that you also will save on cost if you are paying for someone to create your site.
Get a clear vision of what you want to say. This clarity will mean that the site shows exactly what it is about and will really pay off in the long run. Then decide on who you wish to appeal to.
The first thing to do is to determine who the audiences you are selling to are. If you are selling youth orientated products, perhaps a fun site is in order. Use a funkier and jazzier style, perhaps one that has a sense of humor, all of these things gets a message across.
If you are more business orientated, you may need to create a more professional, austere image. Discuss these requirements with your web designer. Even low cost web design should be able to meet your requirements in this area.
Look at different sites that relate to yours, this will give you an idea of who has a good site and what you should aim for.
Draw a sketch of the structure of your site. Write down the headings and sub headings and how you want to organize your site. This leads you to have an even clearer picture in your mind, and now on paper. This means you can add links between pages and help direct people where you want them to go when the site is up and running.
Look at where you want content on each of these pages to go. Draw out text, images, videos etc and you will get a clearer idea of how best to lay out your page.
Doing this and discussing it with a web designer, means you get what you want, you have a clear view of what you're trying to achieve and if there is a problem with your design you can change ideas with the designers recommendation. This also saves time and so money as you are not paying for needless amounts of time for you web design.