Here's a free checklist to use when planning your web design.
Its useful to organize and make sure you have everything you need and can present to your designer. If you have a logo it's a good idea to have that ready also. When I design sites, I like to use the logo to inspire the overall look. If your business needs a logo I can design one for you.
Here's some other points to keep in mind:
Make it obvious what your site is offering, in other words, make it easy to find things. I have the tools to help you design a friendly, easy to use and affordable website. Don't let customers waste time hunting around your site for something simple, like how to contact you.
Now for the actual design ...
Your visitor comes to your website for ONE reason only ... they think you have what they want. DON'T distract them with blinking or scrolling text, animated GIFs, or some kind of sound or music. It's not only confusing but a sign of an amateur website.
The most important thing to remember is always keep your visitors' interests in mind. Just because you like the scrolling text, doesn't mean your visitor will. They are there for information not to be impressed by special affects.
When your visitor comes to your website give them what they're looking for right away. Excess clicks of the mouse can often drive customers away from your site. Have obvious links to products and services. Describe what you do and how you do it better and show them where to go to find a product or service or contact you ... with ONE click. I know the best strategies to keep your customers on your page, and to keep them coming back.
Make sure there's a way to get back to the home page, on every page.
Your navigation needs to be clean and easy to find.
Easy navigation on your site will play a huge role in how long your visitors stay and click to other pages. The first question to ask in planning your site is what do visitors want to do when they go to your site? Do they read articles, buy things, check for store hours, schedule an appointment, learn something ... whatever it is have it available on the home page with links to more information embedded in your text and placed in your navigation bar.
Professional Layout Design
This means something different to everyone, but in general a clean layout that uses lots of white space will enhance the look of a site and give a sense of spaciousness and professionalism. Focus more on your content and let your web designer do the rest.
Use Simple Rollover Buttons & Images
If you want some neat effects that don't affect load time and visitor's focus. A good web designer can make your text links change color and also create nice buttons that change when clicked. There's also nice interactive effects where a navigation button will change a picture on the top of the bar when it's clicked. Just keep the special effects simple as to not be too distracting.
Fast Loading web site
Test your site when it's done, if it takes forever to load then you'll be losing visitors. Even with a great design few people will wait around for it to load and will never see it.