"A website I am
extremely proud of. It far exceeds
my expectations"

Denise Plumpton, The Process Doctor

useful websites

A marketer's guide to planning a website

You will already have much of this in place. We're here to help fill in any blanks.

Clear the room!

What do people say?

Testimonials are powerful in establishing credibility and overcoming objections. We're listing them first because they take time to collect. Consider video and pictures to add a new dimension.

Be careful what you wish for!

Be specific with goals. Success can be a subtle thing. eg :

  • Increase revenue generated by the website by %.
  • Increase orders from PPC campaign to landing page by %
  • Get X new subscribers to your mailing list in Y months
  • Increase average order value to £X
  • Reduce home page bounce rate to %

Choose, brief, book

Any good web designer will get busy, so book studio time ahead. See 10 questions to ask your web designer.

Contact us today!


To construct and create without obstacles, we have one strict rule... everything and anything goes, however unfeasible, contentious, ridiculous or disagreeable. There's plenty of time for reality later.

It's easy to destruct, hard to construct. Brainstorming is impossible for some people.

Do it at the pub! A drink, a fresh atmosphere and a treat can really inspire and get people's minds (and projects) moving.

We love Post-It notes!

Perfect for planning any project, writing text or creating keyword lists. Brainstorm with them liberally on a large table with colleagues, then move and reorder them to make sense.

bespoke website design for tradesmen carpenters, flooring and kitchen suppliers

"Attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile to make sure our website was exactly what we needed."

Sarah Gooding
Corey Gooding Carpentry

Build the wardrobe

This section will help with the brief.

What's it for?

Commercially, there's little or no point having a website that just says what you do. Be clear about its purpose...

  • Sell stuff online
  • Get people to phone
  • Collect people's details
  • Save staff time

Who are you?

What you do and how are you different?
How do you look?
What do you have already?
Where do you want to be?
What do you need to get there?

Who are your customers?

What do you know about your customer/target?
How are they visiting? Smartphone, desktop, laptop, tablet?
What are they searching for?
What sites are they using?

What could it do?

What do you do time and time again that could be automated? Web applications save save time and cost. We can make anything happen online!

What can you give?

Let's be practical with social media. Your articles and content are relevant and useful. We provide easy ways for you to publish these things on Facebook, Twitter or Linked In, to find more followers and keep them coming back to the site. Content that teaches and entertains is particularly relevant.

What can you take?

What's being talked about that would provide strong content for your page and add to it as a respected source of information?

Call to action!

Have a clear and consistent CTA on every page - a funnel, the goal of every visitor's experience. It could be a phone number - or a small form.

What can you offer in return for name and email?

A free trial, top tips, 10 worst disasters, brochure, instant access, report, ebook, website critique, video course, VIP membership, exclusive offers...

Choose more exciting words than 'subscribe' or 'newsletter'
Split-test variations of the CTA to tweak it once the site is live

Edit yourself!

Consider - what content will you need to edit regularly? How will your site grow and evolve over time? What will you add? We think this is a requirement of every good website.

Every Shine website comes with Pagechanger, our new click-to-edit page editor. See a demo on your own website...
pagechanger logo

bespoke website design

"Jon pays high attention to detail and has been a pleasure to work with. He genuinely cares about his customers, putting in that extra discretionary effort."

Andrew Ward,
Managing Director,
Scorchsoft Ltd

website and application app design for online sharing concept

"Creative, clear thinking in the way it looks and works. Right on the nail."

Ros Adams

Hang the clothes

This section will help during and after the design process.


What are your customers typing into Google? Create a select, realistic list of keyphrases in order of importance.
More information : SEO : the 'dark art' of getting found?

'Above the fold' is the prime area of the page, seen before clicking or scrolling. Online, its size varies from device to device.

Write the greatest copy ever!

Read 'How to write the greatest copy ever'

A picture is worth a thousand words!

We've learned that pictures make or break a website. We do recommend Fotolia and iStock, but beware of stock photography. Much of it is terrible. We beg you, please don't choose...

  • Men in suits on beaches, especially in the sea.
  • People shaking hands
  • Lots of very white teeth
  • Stick men in any pose
  • People walking up or down graphs

Ask your designer to help. Take photos yourself or commission a photographer. Nothing beats real pictures of real people who work with you or use your products. We recommend both Phil Millership and Lewis Wileman.

A video is worth a thousand pictures!

It doesn't have to be expensive. It should autoplay.

Use PDF downloads

They can be easily kept, printed and updated.

bespoke website design

"a real understanding of website functionality at technical and design levels. No frills, easy to understand, highly recommended."

Phil Millership, Owner, Complete Photography


First impressions

Your home page has about 10 seconds to answer (without scrolling or clicking)...

  • Am I in the right place?
  • Does this solve my problem?
  • Is it credible and trustworthy?
  • Do I feel welcome?

Squeeze pages

This is a page with the sole aim is to get you to complete a form. There are no other buttons or navigation other than the 'send' button. Effective if irresistible, but risky stategy!

Driving traffic to specific pages (not just the homepage) means marketing efforts become measurable.

Landing pages

Contain keywords that wouldn't necessarily be on the rest of the website, to boost search engine rankings.

Sideways selling

What might your potential customers be searching for when they stumble on you?

Website for Outeractive Outdoor pursuits stag and hen parties canoeing and gorgewalking

"When Jon started, Outeractive was just an idea and a plan. His work fleshed out the look and feel of the company.

We rely on the website to get found by new customers and book our outward-bound trips."

Hugh Durham
Outeractive Ltd


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