Designing an affiliate website can often feel overwhelming if you have never used DecoNetwork’s content management software (CMS). By breaking down the website design process into simple steps, the software starts to become less intimidating.
An Introduction to Creating the Perfect Website Navigation
When it comes to designing the perfect website, there are many variables to get right, but perhaps the most important is creating an ideal navigation system for the customer. It does not matter how great your marketing, content, or website design itself is if your customer can’t find what they are looking for on your site. Creating the perfect website navigation for your customers is not difficult, it just takes a little bit of thinking and putting yourself in your customer’s shoes.
The type of website and what products are primarily going to be sold will often dictate which pages should be turned on or off. There are many different types of affiliate clients / types of websites, but at the end of the day either a website sells decorated retail products or custom decoration services. The majority of affiliate websites sell retail decorated products, which revolve around using the “Products” and “Designs” pages. Whereas a custom decoration business will definitely want to use the “Create” page and maybe the “Products” and “Designs” pages if they are going to also sell retail products.
The Home Page
The “Home” page is typically the most important page on a website, as it is more often than not the first page a customer lands on when coming to the website. The home page is typically a “snapshot” of what the website is about and often contains several links to help a customer navigate to the right page. The content within the top portion of a page that can be viewed before the customer has to scroll down the page is referred to as “above the fold”. It is very important that the “above the fold” on the home page contains some type of call to action (CTA) to grab the customer’s attention. This prevents the customer from bouncing (leaving the website immediately) because they don’t like what they see in the first 30 seconds of being on the website.
The Big 3 System Pages: Create, Shop, & Designs
The Create, Products, and Designs pages are all a special type of “system page” in which the content on each page revolves around a “listing” widget. Each of these 3 pages has at least 2 unique widgets that are designed to work ideally on each page. These unique widgets are used to list either individual listings or categories categories for products/designs. The widgets can be used on other pages, but what makes the 3 default system pages so powerful is they can auto-generate sub-pages based on product/design categories, which makes updating the website much easier.
The “Create” page displays blank products so the subpages/categories are based on the blank products made available by the fulfillment center. The “Products” page displays “Pre-Decorated” retail products that are created in the back-end settings of the website. The “Designs” page displays designs that are uploaded in the back-end of the website, just like the “Products” page. The designs page revolves around the customer first choosing a design and then the product they want it decorated on. If you decide that you don’t need one of the three core pages in your navigation, then it’s a good idea to simply “not show the page in menu” instead of “turn off page” as the unique widgets will not work if the default system page associated with them is not on.
The 3 Communication Pages: About, Contact, & FAQ
Outside of the 3 default system pages, there are three commonly used company communication pages: Contact, About, & FAQ. These three pages are primarily used with websites that focus on selling decoration services and not so much retail pre-decorated products. The “Contact” page by default includes a “form widget” that allows a customer to send a message to the owner of the website. The “About” page does not have any default widgets on the page but does have default subpages that revolve around the “commercial terms” of the website. The FAQ page has to be created from scratch and is used to answer the most commonly asked questions by customers.
The About page used to be one of the most important pages on a website as it was often how consumers would decide if a website was legitimate when eCommerce was still finding its way. Now that so many transactions are made online every day the about page is not as important as it once was because consumers have a lot more natural confidence when making an online purchase. A good idea is to sometimes combine the “Contact” and “About” pages into “About/Contact” which takes up less space and often leads to one great page instead of two ok pages.
The 3 Widget Based Pages: Designer, Quick & Request a Quote
Just like the three communication pages, there are 3 widget-based pages that are primarily used by fulfillment center websites that revolve around selling custom decoration services. The “Designer” page contains the website’s online design tool for creating a custom decorated product. This page is in the main navigation menu by default but is most often made so that it is not displayed in the menu as it typically makes more sense to make a customer select the product they want to decorate before leading them to the design tool. The “Quick Quote” page features a widget that will produce an immediate quoted price for the customer based on the product they choose, the quantity of products being decorated, artwork, and other variables associated with the decoration process that will be used. The “Request a Quote” page features a form widget that allows the customer to state what they are looking to order and then wait on a response from the website owner.
Just like the about and contact pages, it’s a good idea is to sometimes combine the “Quick Quote” and “Request a Quote” pages into “Get a Quote” and then create links to each of the two pages. This is a good idea because 2 types of quoting tools in the main navigation don’t always make the most sense and can be confusing for the customer. By taking them to a “Get a Quote” page, we can explain the difference between the two types of quoting tools before forcing a customer to make a decision on which one they want/need to use.
Author: Zach Dewhurst
With over 10 years of experience, Zach has deep knowledge in Embroidery, Screen Print, DTG, Sublimation, Wide Format, Heat Transfer, and Offset Printing. Zach also consults businesses through DecoNetwork’s DecoPro services. Get in touch with Zach by requesting your DecoPro consultation.