Having your own website is one of the best ways to secure your online presence. It serves a direct platform of access for consumers that might to find out more about your company or brand. All they need to do is search the internet or type your direct URL and they get immediate access to your brand.
In practice, there are brands that would separate their consumer website from the corporate website, while there would be some that have both in one website. Those that have separate consumer and corporate websites usually employ this tactic to build strong brand identities for both entities independent of each other. On the other hand, those that merge the two would like to leverage of the strengths of one or both, so they house both names in one website. These are both valid strategies, whose soundness will be determined by the goals they want to achieve.
For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the corporate websites. What makes a good corporate website? Moreover, how do you come up with an effective one?
A good corporate website acts as a good public relations platform. In a nutshell, the website should be able to communicate to its audience what the company is about and what is the story or key message that it wants to communicate.
What makes a good website? There would be several things that could contribute to a good corporate website – a good story and a design that will aid that storytelling. The good story has be clear and the design has to be intuitive.
Firstly, the story should be clear. How did the company start? The history of a company says a lot about the identity of the corporation. Having a clear story on its beginnings is a good way to establish rapport and credibility with its target audience. It also gives the employees a good sense of origin and pride, knowing how their company started. Secondly, what is the story about its reason for being? The mission and vision of the corporation is an important part of the corporate story. It provides the compelling reason for believing in what the company offers. Where is the company going? What are the initiatives that it seeks to undertake to fulfill its mission? All of these are good guide questions that can guide the content of a good corporate website.
Apart from having a good story to tell, the design of the corporate website should be intuitive. It should aid in telling the story, not in muddling it up further. Not common to most people, the way the website is designed plays a vital role in how the story of the corporation will be communicated. From the way the pages would be categorized, to the website flow and add-ons, everything about the website should and would speak of the company. This is precisely the reason why any corporation that would want to have a properly designed website should consider the right kind of designer.
In this case, the storyteller that will weave both content and function is the company’s chosen corporate web design company. This may be an individual or business entity. There are different kinds of corporate web design companies. There’s the freelancer, the small agency, the big agency and the hybrid. They all have their nuances that depend on what they client wants to get done and how. So in a way, they have their own ways, techniques and styles of telling a story.
The freelancer usually works on his own in creating a website. His free times depend on his availability, but he might also be easier to talk to in terms of flexibility in design changes and revisions since he deals with fewer contingencies that a big agency would have. When choosing a freelancer to create a corporate web design, it helps to find out about his portfolio and the scope of work he has done for each project in his file. This is crucial because unlike established agencies, a freelancer might have a more limited pool of ideas to bounce from and limited capabilities for the simple reason that he works alone, instead of a having a team. Small agencies on the other hand, can be more flexible than big agencies, but would have more talents to contribute to the creation of the site than say, a freelancer would. Big agencies on the other hand have complex and dedicated teams that can do ideation, design, development, testing, and post-launch requirements separately. Big agencies usually have to partition work in stages and teams due to the scope and number of the projects they handle. Lastly, there’s the hybrid type – wherein an agency would contract freelancers to do specific stages of the web design, depending on what is needed.
That being said, choosing the right kind of web design company to create your corporate website will depend on how well they can meet your requirements. To do these you will need two things: their methodology, and their creative execution. The methodology of the agency or the freelancer is important. This will give you an idea on how they work and how they intend to get the job done. Some designers can create visuals and mocks, while that’s great; it is but a piece of the total project scope. The web design company that will fulfill your requirements would be that one that can see the project from end-to-end, and know how exactly what their role is in its completion. This will also help you manage the project better. Secondly, you will need to have a grasp of their creative capability or skills. You can let them present a pitch on their creative executions. Out of fairness to their intellectual properties, they don’t need to present final artworks, but sample works or ideas that can show how they think and create ideas will help you decide.
Overall, it is about method and style, married with good content and smart design that make a good corporate web design. It should one that tells the story of the company loud and clear, with the web designer as the artist behind the narrative.