My neighbor today is redoing his front steps. They tore out the old one last week, and built a frame, and today they’re pouring the concrete. One step at a time. It’s the same for anything you build in real life, be it steps, or even a whole house. If you ignore the foundation, the structure, and the usability of the house and what rooms it has, you WILL have problems. You can build the coolest exterior of a house, but if it’s built on a dirt foundation, with no rooms, no bathroom, no kitchen (or the kitchen consists of a firepit), you might have problems selling it. Regardless of how cool it looks on the outside.
It’s the same thing with websites. A cool exterior, that is the brand, the logo, the colors, the graphics, the pictures, the layout, etc, is important. If the place looks like crap you’ve got the problem where people aren’t even going to bother digging for information, or to see what you have inside the house/website.
However that gets built AFTER the foundation. No matter how cool your website looks at first glance, the GOOD ones get built on a solid foundation.
So what’s the solid foundation?
1) CMS. That stands for Content Management System. It can be a third party program, something like WordPress or Drupal or Joomla, or something custom built, but your website needs to at it’s core, underneath everything, have a sold stable structure that allows YOU the restaurant owner to change the information on that website. If you don’t have a login to your website that allows you to change menus, pricing, contact information, add a blog, etc, then you have no foundation. It has nothing to do with how your site looks, or exactly what information is on it, but without it you’re already on unstable ground.
2) Information Architecture. This is more like the layout of the house. It’s WHAT information you’re going to get across to your customers on your website, and organized so you know where it is, and how it connects with everything else. It’s what rooms your house is going to have, and how big they’re going to be and what it leads into. This would be things like knowing you’re going to have a blog, and a menu page, and a locations page, and a page with a photo gallery of your bar/lounge area, and an events calendar, etc.
Those two things form the basis of your website, they’re your foundation. You simply can’t have a cool restaurant website without a solid foundation. All our websites are built on a CMS system, so that you can change your information at any time, and all of them go by a customized information architecture that we tweak for each customer. Architecture’s based on a decade of experience building websites for restaurants, and even more years prior to that building websites for other businesses as well.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how a cool restaurant website needs a good foundation, and how oRestaurantDesign can help provide you one, contact us today, or sign up for a free 14 day customized demo website trial and see with your own eyes.