Getting your first website or redesigning an existing one is an exciting time. A world of possibilities is in front of you and one of the worst things you can do is begin to design. It is easy to want to start there. It is fun to pick out colors and pictures, but if you want an effective website don’t start there.
- State the goal for your site: Sell a product or service, Gain a lead, Share information
- Determine the visitor’s flow from start page (not necessarily your home page) to goal
- How many clicks does it take to get from beginning to end? Can any be removed? It is estimated that each click loses 50% of your audience.
- Determine the elements you need to have on each page: search field, shipping rates, promotions, login fields
- Determine what about your site is unique. What will drive business to it? Can you enhance this page(s) further to get people into the flow of your goal?
- Write the copy for each page
- Find websites that appeal to you and determine what makes it appealing: colors, navigation, tone
- Finally! Design
- Develop the site
- Test the flow
- Redesign and modify as necessary to achieve your end goal
- Launch the site
Building a website is like building a house. A lot of prep work has to be done before the first nail is hammered in. The objective needs to be determined; blueprints created; planning, organizing and restructuring need to occur and finally the house can begin.
Build your website with a solid set of blueprints and you will be much happier in the end.