Planning a Website
June 11, 2013 § Leave a comment
In this article we are going to discuss what you should take into consideration when planning your website. We will explore things that are essential and things that could be of major significance later on in the build.
Even if you are going to pay a professional to complete your website its still important for you to plan your website properly. As you will read later on, it could even save you money!
Any website development company should understand who their customers are and what they look like in terms of profile. For example, it’s simply not good enough to say that everyone who eats will be a target audience of a Bakery. Yes everyone that eats could consume the food from a bakery but that is not defining your target audience. A person who lives in the area or who drives past the bakery is a good start, then you could look into more details about the people that live nearby or who drives past to get an idea of who your target audience is.
You need to know who your target audience is because the website will need to be targeted specifically to them in terms of design, content and features. For example, a bakery might have a page dedicated to van drivers and food available to people on the go.
Again every business should know their ‘Unique Selling Points’, what makes your business unique, this will help your customer decide why they should go with your business rather than your competitors. For example, if you offer a free quotation through your website and your competition does not, then that could be a USP.
First of all, a professional designer is the best person to make design decisions not you. You may know what you like and you don’t like but a professional designer will know about design rules, business concepts surrounding design and how people behave according to design.
However, if you do have design constraints, make sure that you have written them down on paper ready for the designer. For example, no other colours should be used other than the ones contained in your logo. You want a website where the main navigation menu is located horizontally at the top.
Try to refrain from stringent design requirements such as you want the website to have a picture of an eagle etched into the background with stars around it etc etc. The chances of you thinking of a concept that meets professional marketing and design principles are limited. Feel free to mention something in passing conversation when you meet the designer but nothing concrete.
Make a list of features that you would like your website to cover and split them up into things that you definitely require and things that you can add later on.
For example features are things like, revolving banner with a text over lay, content management system, blog, contact form, quote form, user login, members area, member admin area, member sales history, member print facility, member order form etc.
Text, Images, Videos
The content for your website is by far the biggest factor in websites being delayed. Make sure that you have properly thought about what you want to say in your website. For example, you may want a page called ‘why choose us?’, write the text that will appear on this page.
You should also think about things like the details that the website asks for on an order form, i.e. name, address, tel etc.
If you are going to use images or videos then get them together, make sure that you have named the files properly, a video called vid1 is no good to anyone.
You may have login details that will be required for domain names or payment systems. Make sure that you have these details because you may need to give them to your web designer. If you have not yet arranged things like social networking accounts then get them setup ready.
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