Designing a website can seem like a fun process, but for many knowing where to start is daunting. A lot of thought and work goes into creating an optimal website for users. To ensure that you get off to a good start, we’ve made a checklist of things you should consider first:
1. An estimated budget
Before you start planning your website, it’s important to consider how much you’re willing to spend. No one likes going over budget and this helps to narrow down features and other extras.
Prices can vary depending on how complex you want your website to be. Consider whether you’re going to hire others to help you design, develop, and make content or if you’re going to do it all yourself.
Carefully consider what features are essential and what features you can live without. Remember you can always add extras later! So set an estimated budget and keep this mind in during the entire process.
2. How your website should look
The design of your website is your visual identity, it will affect how your customers perceive your brand, so it’s crucial to consider things like:
- Colour scheme
- Landing page design
The decisions you make here should differentiate you from your competitors, so go for something simple and clean, as this will be more appealing to your audience and make them focus on your brand values.
3. Mission, Vision, Values
Speaking of values - being able to convey your mission, vision and values is something that will only benefit your business.
These three core parts of your business should explain your ethics and principles. It is key to explain the purpose of your business and what you wish to achieve, as this will make it clear to your customers what you sell and most importantly what you stand for.
4. Make it easy to use
Having a website that can be used in any browser, and that is easy to navigate on all devices is essential for your business.
Most people own a mobile phone nowadays and mobile devices are now more widely used than desktop devices to search the internet in some countries. Making a website that is mobile-friendly is imperative to the success of your website. Likewise, it’s helpful to consider the number of different browsers that exist.
You never know what search engine or browser someone will be using. Having a website that is consistent no matter what device or browser you’re using, will make your business come across as more trustworthy.
5. Figure out who your audience is
One of the most important things to keep in mind when you’re creating content for your website is to consider whom you’re making it for.
Identifying who your customers are will help you get the most out of your website, as this will be significant to how you communicate effectively and engage your audience.
Your website should reflect exactly what your end customer wants to see, so designing solutions specifically for your audience is key to increasing brand awareness and getting more traffic.
6. Efficient Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is what will make your website more visible, for example when people search for keywords or topics related to your content, if you’re using the correct keywords then you will more easily be found.
One of the key principles that can be important to focus on, is having high volume keywords with low competition. This can contribute to having your website listed higher when people search for keywords related to it.
It’s important to keep your SEO efforts up to date as digital trends and algorithms are subject to frequent updates.
7. The Content Management System
Considering what content management system (CMS) to use is significant as this is where you get to create and manage your content once your website is up and running.
Using a CMS doesn’t require any specialised skills, making it quite easy and beneficial to use, because it allows you to continually update your content so it’s always relevant to your audience.
There are many different CMS on the market, for example, WordPress, Drupal and Umbraco. Deciding on which one that’s best for you depends on your criteria and preferences.
8. Clear Call to Action
A simple call-to-action for your audience to reach out to you, such as “Sign up here” or “Get in touch” is crucial for you to interact with your customers.
Ideally, you want it to only take a few seconds for your customers to reach out to you as this will be a lot more encouraging and will give you more leads in the end.
We’ve all tried going through several pages just to find a contact form that takes forever to fill out – This is not very motivating when it comes to reaching out to a company, so keep it straightforward and make sure you comply with GDPR!