Typically, the most challenging part of developing a website for clients is the generation of content assets, the text, graphics, documents and so forth that will be needed to populate the site. Here are some brief suggestions for developing useful and usable, high-quality assets:
First, identify which pages you'll need to develop, then start writing copy. It's best to use a professional word processor such as Microsoft Word, but it's perfectly OK to simply use paper and submit your copy to us manually. When drafting your pages, DON'T use a lot of copy--nobody likes to read gobs of text online. Keep your pages to a few paragraphs.
Not sure of what to write? No need to reinvent the wheel--go look at your competitor sites and see what they've developed. Compare and contrast your business, and document why your organization is better, faster or cheaper in some way. Again, keep your content concise and to the point; that way, more folks will read what you do provide and you'll have less to write (a win-win approach!).
Finding high-quality images can be tricky; billions of images exist online through popular search engines such as Google, but much of it is licensed in some way and can't be used without payment or permission. There are websites where you can purchase stock images, but those can be expensive. Microsoft Office provides free access to a large library of photographs and clip art, so that's a good place to start. Of course, photographs taken with a digital camera can be adapted for the Internet as well, but let us process your images first--there are techniques to the process.
Virtually all organizations need to put documents online for their clients, partners or site visitors. The standard format by far is Adobe Acrobat (PDF), so even if you're using a word processor such as Microsoft Word, you'll want to first convert those files into PDF format before uploading them to your website. If you're looking to provide fillable forms that folks can complete online, you'll need to save your PDFs in Acrobat Professional version 8 or later (fillable forms get tricky, so contact us with any questions).
Multimedia assets (especially video) are best handled these days through dedicated cloud-based applications such as YouTube and Flickr. If you're planning to make audio or video assets available on your site, create a YouTube channel and upload them there first, and then embed references to those assets within your site. YouTube, Flickr and social media sites like Facebook offer nearly unlimited storage capabilities, so take advantage of these systems.
Of course, when it comes to preparing your website assets, you're not alone--we can help! We've been doing this sort of thing for a long time and we know how to develop rich and engaging content quickly and efficiently. Contact Us if you need any help developing your site assets!