I think it was Thursday a couple of weeks when Aisling Larkin of Foodoppi let me down gently with news that we hadn’t made the shortlist for the Eir Spiders. Needless to say – I was a bit disappointed because I do think the Foodoppi website (it went live in May 2017) is pretty special. But who needs awards right??

Less than 24 hours later though I got a jubilant email to say that she was had been entirely mistaken and the website had in fact been nominated 5 times!!

Needless tosay – we were absolutely delighted and, we feel, pretty deserving of the nomination (I know I know we haven’t won yet!).

We worked so hard – and put in a lot of extra hours on the project. Even though I’m just the hired help I really felt committed to Foodoppi because I could see how much of their own time, money, life and overwhelming passion both these women were pouring in to this project. I believed in them, I could see them sticking their necks out – and I went the extra mile with them for that.

It made me start thinking about what makes a great website – and you know (I hate to say it) but while a beautiful looking design is important it’s not the most important thing.

So what are basics you need for a great website??

1) A good idea

I can help you brainstorm a bit but the idea, and the business model behind it is up to you my dear client. Foodoppi turned their passions for cooking and education into a vision, then a company and backed it up with a business plan.

2) Understanding who the audience is

Not as easy as it sounds. The original Foodoppi website was pitching to an entirely different audience – kids! Now the tricky thing is that kids are one of the target audiences for Foodoppi. But kids don’t visit websites. Mums and Dads do. It completely changed our whole approach to content and design.

3) Content Content Content

Ya’ll know this by this stage right?? It’s about creating great content – and it should be easy if you’re passionate about what it is that you do. If you’re not a wordsmith then hire some one. Luckily Aisling likes writing a word or too.

& Great Photography

The photography by Brian Clarke and Harry Weir on the Foodoppi website is stunning. It take the website to another level. Both Louise and Aisling have a great eye for style and photo design and got the very best out of their photographer.

Getting photography done makes a huge difference in the website style – even you are a very small business you should invest in professional photography of yourself and your key staff and for your key products.

It’s worth noting that the video on the website is great too – and it was nominated for an award too! Those girls know how to work the camera! I wouldn’t say it’s essential for a great website but if you can – you should definitely include video in your content strategy.

4) A good looking brand

When you’re starting out it’s probably ok to whip up a logo in a couple hours just to get something your first business card. When you want to get serious about your company and your online presence you need to spend the time (and a bit more money) getting a proper brand. Logo, social profile avatar, colour palette – minimum. You don’t have to spend thousands but generally you do have to spend a bit more than €150.

5) A great web designer!

Look no further! 😀

But do your research – look at their portfolio! Do you like their style? Have they made similar websites before. Do they have testimonials on LinkedIn? Talk about money early on and what your budget is. Spend the time early on going through exactly what the functionality of the website entails and get them to give you a proposal with a cost breakdown listing the types of functionality and features.

Proof is in the pudding!

Taking the time to develop these fundamentals and spending money in the right places means that you have the best possible foundation for your website to be a success. Louise Lennox and Aisling Larkin looked at each of these and worked and worked until they were right. And yes I know we haven’t won anything yet but the nominations are fantastic!!