There’s a lot to think about and plan for before starting a website. From the color palette to your keywords, understanding your audience, and the purpose of your site is essential before diving in to the look-and-feel. Our 15 helpful tips will get you started on what you need to know to create the most successful website for your business.
1. What is the point of the Website?
The absolute first thing to know is the actual point of the website. What is it being designed to do? What would you like to get out of it? What is its very reason for existing to begin with? If you don’t understand it, then there is really no way that you can design a website as it will be aimless right from the outset.
2. What is your online brand name?
Another important thing is to know is what you’ll be called online. Many people use their regular name or business name, but sometimes these domains are taken. You can check quickly if a domain name is open here. If your first choice is taken you may want to brainstorm a memorable domain name, and don’t be fooled into thinking that your newly desired name is going to always be available either. Instead, check it out, and also look at whether it ends with .com or .co or anything else. This then allows you to start to design a website around the domain name so it can be associated with your business.
3. What content do you need?
You should also have an understanding of the various content that is going to appear on your website. This makes it easier to create the overall structure leading to a site that flows far more easily than it otherwise would have done. Think about your goals and the information you want to provide to visitors and begin to formulate how that relates to individual pages.
4. What’s your Branding?
Your website is similar to the proverbial shop window for your business on the Internet. This means that your branding has to be well thought out before starting a website. It should flow perfectly with the other forms of marketing that you do for your business as continuity is everything in this business.
5. What’s your Color Scheme?
When starting a website, it can help to have some concept of the colors that you plan on using as that can have an impact on the overall layout and design of each page. Your brand may already have an established color palette or you may want to test new colors for this website. Color plays a big role in how a user feels and how your brand stands out from the crowd. Also, the colors should reflect your brand as it comes back to that consistency that was mentioned in an earlier point.
6. What’s your Menu Structure?
A website is useless if nobody knows how to move between the various pages or how to get from A to B. You need to understand that the navigation needs to be clear or else people will just click off and go elsewhere. Questions that can be helpful to ask include:
- Which pages are most important?
Which pages can be emphasized less?
What does my audience want to see?
Is there a way to simplify?
7. How often will you update your Website?
You need to decide if the content on your website needs to be updated on a regular basis or if it can be left alone. If you’d like to make regular updates, then it would be best to utilize a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress or Shopify. These tools make it simple to make ongoing changes.
8. Who will write all of the Content?
So, you know what your website is about and the next step is to understand your content. This includes text as well as images and not forgetting any products that need to be on there as well. Knowing your content in advance, and then making various aspects a priority, does then help you with the design as it has a direct correlation to the layout and even how big a page needs to be.
9. What Keywords are you going to target?
Keywords are phrases or individual words that people will use in order to find your website. Understanding the keywords that you are going to target provides you with a more focused audience. This is something you should get some professional help with as getting it correct can boost the number of visitors that you receive.
10. Is it secure?
Do you understand the importance of security with your website? The level of security can depend on what it is that you are doing, so seek some professional advice before you go any further. If you are collecting details of any kind, and don’t forget payments, then there are certain rules and regulations that you must follow or run the very real risk of being sued. Google even recommends websites be secure to combat the rise of phishing and other tricky websites.
11. Who will build your Website?
You basically have two choices when it comes to building a website. You either use try to build one on your own or partner with an expert. While building your own website with the many website builders seems like a cost-saver, anyone who has done this will verify it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Websites are complex, and factoring in all of the different web browsers and potential devices means they can break too.
12. What’s your budget?
It is also reasonable to say that you need to know your budget before starting a website as this influences the size of site as well as the quality. If building on your own it would be a good idea to limit the hours you will spend creating it, because your time is valuable too. You may need to shop around as the costs can vary or, alternatively, you might have to tone down your ideas for launch.
13. How will you market the Website?
All of the points listed earlier are going to be useless if you don’t understand how you will market your website. Just building it and hoping isn’t a great move. There is so much competition that the chances of people just finding you without you doing anything are very slim indeed. You must have a workable marketing plan ready to put into place even before the site is designed allowing you to take action immediately.