When I look for a host, most of my concerns are with price, service, and support but I won't even get that far if the design looks shoddy/cookie cutter. Since it is so easy to start up a hosting business (get a server or two and a domain) I am pretty critical. You gotta put in the money to make the money. If they look good then I'll trust them more as they seem to care about every aspect of their business, and not cutting down on one. If they impress me with the design, however, that doens't make them an easy choice, I still look for support and services. The way I see it hosting has 3 peices that define who they are. Image, Services, and Support. Services and support outweighing image, though if there are a few choices on my plate with simmilar services and support, i decide based on who impresses me most with their image.
Usually, people are attracted to professionalism. And with a slopy-half assed design, most people will not be satisfied. I know when I come upon a site that has a poor design, I am detered right away...
Beauty will save the world. Design isn't only nice pics and bright colors, it should be functional. What I mean the more it is in line with the functions of the site the more beautiful it seems. And beauty attracts attention and arises positive emotions.
Design is good, but I notice the companies load times on their own site before I notice anything else. Also, if the company has a custom made template that looks professional, I'd assume it cost a fair bit of money...if they just got a $10 template off template monster I'd think that it's just a kid in his bedroom running the business and that it won't last a week.
The key to really good design, is having your audience not even notice the design at all. But instead they recieve the message. There are many companys that make things look aesthically pleasing, and after you go to that site you say to yourself, wow that looks really cool... but did you capture the message of why you were there. The answer is a bit of both... A good looking site , with a clear message. You draw in your audience with a professional look... but you only have a second or two to get your message across.
Right, Actually the design needs to follow a certain amount of convention. The bigger company like Pepsi, spend lots of money on advertising to create an aura towards their product but the smaller or a mid size company can not enjoy that luxury, they have only chance to convey right and clear message with good looking site to the customers.
Last edited by etechsupport2; 07-19-2005 at 01:33 AM.
Frankly I think design is pretty important but perhaps not in the sense others might. A site that is hard to use or looks of poor quality may likely cause visitors to click elsewhere. I frankly get nervous about buying from websites that have an unprofessional or canned look just because it doesn't seem like I'm working with a reputable company.
I affiliate with a number of different web hosts. I've noticed a significant difference in conversion rates for "like" products that can only be attributed to the content and the site look and feel. Some that even seem professional distract with certain elements that depress a person's willingness to buy. I've noticed from experience that design and content differences alone can double or triple conversion rates for almost identical product offerings.
Also, it has been discussed many times on this forum that there are "process" costs sometimes when you don't do a custom design. Not all web design people can do it but there is something to be said for figuring out your business process and designing a site that enhances it. You may actually find your business more profitable or more efficient based on design factors you cannot get out of a template.
Just some food for thought.
Rich WebsiteMaven - Web Hosting Reviews, Guides, and Advice to Build and Promote your Web Site
I have a follow-up question which seems to fit this thread. I am in the process of redesigning my site as a result of changing the knowledge base. The old kb was ok, but was getting too unwieldy, with just over 100 articles in it. So, I have a smart, new kb which fits well with the overall look and feel of the site.
Now, one of the things I am considering is placing all the kb, with the exception of pre-sales FAQ's, in a customer-only area.
The quandary - having the kb visible to all visitors means they can all see the type of support we offer, at least in terms of an extensive kb and tutorials.
Placing most of it in a customer-only section removes it from general view (and stealing).
So, my question is - is having a good, sound knowledge base to look at actually a selling point which we would lose by protecting part of it?
Looking for input on which is the best way to go in terms of attracting new customers who stumble across us.
I would definatly like to see that if I were looking for a new company. That's an easy way to demonstrate how you support your customers. I wouldn't put it as the primary selling point but once people get to the site provide a nice link to the kb.
I agree the good design and good contents both are most important part which is a sort of craftsmanship and the creativity of a designer; both are the centre of attention which can create choreography in the eye of viewers and spellbound him or her to click.
Last edited by etechsupport2; 07-20-2005 at 09:16 AM.
In web hosting, being that so much emphasis is put on support - I now see many hosting company's just use average looking templates. Is design really a big issue anymore?
I think they're important, although web hosting 'companies' and a dime a dozen, properly formed web hosting companies will rarely see the same business model.
A website design should be carefully crafted to suit both the clients wants, and the business' needs. This is why hiring a web development company to research into all this and develop the 'perfect' solution is ideal, and a lot more preferred amongst larger webhosts, over purchasing a template, or hiring a freelancer. You will probably also find it'll cost you a good few grand more.
Content and design must continue a fluid theme throughout the website, although in my experience, I find websites look best if layout is changed through sections, not per page basis, or simply replicated with the same design on every page, or a front page and a single subpage layout.
Support in the web hosting business is always crucial, unless you offer no-support packages for the less technical-challenged clients.
Here's a scenario to consider, you build an ok website that looks the 'same' as the majority of other hosting websites, you place your plans on the front, and like templates/hosting company designs, the end user cannot change preferences without screwing things up - Why choose your company over the others? Price? But if your site breaks and a competitors doesn't, would they pay that extra 1$ for viewing the content on a well layed out, well built website? I think they most probably would.
I personally leave all websites if I see a single break in my browser. I just simply can't be bothered dealing with a company that says they care about clients but refuse to present their websites to a wide market of people.
Design is important, but it needs to be done correctly, and this can only be achieved by a company or person(s), that understand your company, how it works and where you want to go. They must also understand the neccessity to cater for the widest market possible, and why doing things properly is imperitive.
Originally posted by Equentity - Pauly I personally leave all websites if I see a single break in my browser. I just simply can't be bothered dealing with a company that says they care about clients but refuse to present their websites to a wide market of people.
I leave any site that is slow to load and the minute a pop-up or pop-under appears, that's it, I'm gone. The other thing that puts me off doing business with a company is poor navigation on their site. I assume that if a company cannot be bothered to design their site in a logical and useable manner, then they are not people I with whom I want to entrust my business.
If a company professes to be professional then I expect their interface with the public to reflect that.