Things to Consider Before Designing a Website
Designing a website is never a simple process, a lot more thought and effort goes into the development process than meets the eye. If you really want a top tier website with longevity that will improve your online presence, it is important to spend some time in a planning stage before diving in. Rome wasn’t built in a day after all.
A successful website design project can be determined by a few different performance metrics:
- Traffic Increase
- Decreased Bounce Rate
- SEO and Visibility Rankings
- Website Loading Speeds
That being said, here are a few things you should think about before designing a website that may influence its success in a later stage.
What does the Business do?
A fairly simple question I would think. Especially if you are building a website on behalf of a client or partner, it is crucial to know exactly what the business does, its target market and any operations that may influence content.
What is the purpose of the website?
What would the business need from a website? Is its purpose to inform users of a service or should it be an E-Commerce site for products and used as another sales channel? Defining the purpose early, based on any relevant information about the business, can help determine content and direct the design process.
Competitor and Industry Analysis
Making an attractive, functional website is great! But does it fill a gap in the market, or is another business already established in your sector doing the same stuff? Its important to research, not only the target audience, but other competitors to see what they do and what brings in the most traffic and profit. There is little point in making a quality website, only to include the same features and services as multiple others in the market. To really optimise your growth, analyse competitors websites and be original!
Budgets, Content and Resources
Time is money, money is money and content costs money. Some websites can end up with too many features and overinvestment for what they are, and on the other hand, too strict of a budget can hinder the effectiveness of a website. Finding the middle ground with a strong budget and time management strategy is important.
Features and Functionality
Firstly, what main pages will you want? Contact forms, review sections and Social Media integration, maybe a blog? Find a balance between features, functionality and time/cost. Going overboard with too many features can reduce performance and increase costs, whereas adding too little to your site can decrease traffic. Responsive design should be a top of your functionality list, considering how many devices are available these days, someone might even view your website on their fridge!
Brand Guidelines and Consistency
Perhaps the business already has an existing website or Social Media presence, it can be important to maintain consistency in colours, imagery and general content posted across all the channels. Establishing brand guidelines to follow when creating anything related to the business improves your appearance across all your channels.
In short, planning is one of the most important aspects of a project. Going in blind, without a sufficient plan, is more likely to hinder a business than benefit. Luckily you’ve just read through some tips to get yourself started!