The 7 (Simplified) Steps of Website Design
Having a website for your business is crucial in this day and age to thrive in the market. Website design put very simply, is the design of websites that are displayed on the internet. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Well, there’s a little more to it than that.
Think of your website as a ‘store front’ for your business. When you walk down the street, think about what stores catch your eye? Is it the cluttered, outdated storefront with no colour scheme or the one with a minimalistic layout showcasing their best products? I’m going to guess the latter. Although, the real question here is, what store are you most likely to walk into? The same goes for designing a website. Having a website that’s inviting and easy to use is key for running a successful website.
This is all great, but you’re probably wondering how do I make this happen?
Website design has many aspects to it which can make it seem daunting to get started. Read along to see a simplified process of designing an effective website for your business.
1. Define Goals
The first step in designing a website is defining what goals this website needs to fulfil. This will lay the foundations for the website and give direction for the rest of the process. In this step, think about what purpose this website will have for your business. Research the benefits of having a successful website and match them with goals relevant to your own business.
2. Make a Plan (Defining a Scope)
The next step is all about making a plan on how you are going to design a website that will fulfil your business goals. This includes planning what web pages and elements your site needs, a timeline to build these and much more. Once you have defined the scope, it is now time to design a site map. A site map must interrelate with the content and features on the website to make it easy for users to navigate their way around a site.
3. Creating the content
The third, and most exciting step is creating the content that will be displayed on your website. This is usually the step people jump to. To create effective content, it must help you to achieve your goals. To do this, you must first have an objective and some form of structure to ensure the content you are writing relates to the goals you are wanting to achieve. This is why the first two steps are important to do first.
Another aspect to remember when writing content for your web pages is search engine optimisation (SEO). This is where it can get a little complicated. SEO can be daunting to learn and understand. This is why it is highly suggested to get help from the professionals when it comes to SEO. Marketing agencies can help you use SEO to your advantage without having to do hours of research trying to understand what it's all about.
4. Creating ‘the look’
The FUN part! This step is where you can get a little creative. Once you have some structure to your website and a bit of content to work with, you can now start to think about how you want your website to look. The first thing to think about is what are your businesses values? You may already have a ‘look’ for your brand established which is great! However, for some businesses, this may not be the case. This is where getting some professional help can come in handy. The most common are marketing agencies. These agencies make your brand come to life through sets of colours, fonts and images that reflect what your business is all about.
This stage is where it can get a little technical. Testing is where you see if the website runs smoothly on all devices including links, imagery loading properly etc. When there is an issue, it could just be the result of a small coding mistake. These are usually quite easy to fix but sometimes the issue can go deeper than a spelling mistake. This is also where a professional can help. Coding can be complicated, especially when trying to fix errors with unknown sources. Having a website that runs smoothly is crucial for the success of a website. This is why getting a professional to take care of getting your website running properly is a great investment.
6. Launch it!
IT'S GO TIME! Once your website is ready to be up and running, it is now time to get ready to launch it. However, there are some things to do before you let loose online. The most important step before launching is letting people know about it! The way you go about this is obviously based on your situation. If this is the first time your business will be getting online, then it may be appropriate to put up some posters in your store to let people know that come into your store. Some may already have a social media network that they can share the exciting news on. The point here is to get people excited to be able to use your website. Once this is done, launch it!
The last step is ongoing. You want to be constantly finding ways to improve your website to reach those goals. There are many ways to do this. SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing), Email Marketing and many more. This is also where it can be helpful to get some help from a marketing specialist. These people are trained and knowledgeable about how to improve your marketing strategies to achieve the highest of your goals.
So, there you have it! A simplified step by step process on how to design a website. The idea of designing a website can be daunting but fear not! The amount of support and information available these days makes things a lot easier. So, jump online, do your research and go design a great website for your business. Don’t forget about the marketing agencies out there who can make things a whole lot easier for you!
Written by Arny