Rome wasn't built in a day. Neither are websites. The planning and crafting of a website will take a considerable amount of thought before you even get to the start of designing and developing it.
I’ve put together a comprehensive list of questions you need to know before you get started on your website. It can be tempting to jump right in and quickly hire someone to develop your vision or tinker away on it yourself on a website building platform, but there is a considerable amount of value to be derived from taking it slow and making you sure you understand every aspect before you jump in.
Let's get started.
First and foremost, your website goals are the most important aspect that should be reflected on. Most people are wanting a new or updated website to help strengthen their businesses, but that comes in the form of wanting more customers, sales, or inquiries?
Your customers are the most important stakeholders of your website. Every design choice you make should be in favour of making it a better and smoother experience for them. You want to get into your customer's head and try to imagine every decision they make, and why they make that decision.
It's vital to know who you're competing against, and what leverage you have to win customers over the others in your industry. It also can help you get an idea about what customers are already used to so you can either fit in professionally or stand out to get the upper hand.
Many businesses completely skip planning content and focus more on the checklist of what they want to see on their website. Most of a websites design is based around its content, and simply thinking you will fill out the content later is a dangerous plan.
Your design style should be consistent through every interaction a customer has with you, whether that be on your website, your social media profiles, and your marketing. It's essential to know what you want customers to think about your brand through your brand style. Do you want your businesses to look confident? High-end? Trustful? This can be portrayed through using the right colours, icons and imagery, but first, you must understand what you are trying to portray.
Having a beautiful website means nothing if you haven't set up the process of why customers want to come to you, and how you will convert them into a sale or to becoming a client. It's not enough to think that throwing content at your website will be enough to convince your customer, you want to understand each step you are taking them through before you sell to them.
Aside from your website, it's great to have other places where your customer will come across your businesses that helps to strengthen your brand in the minds of your audience. Keep in mind the social channels you are currently on, and why each one is important for your businesses. It's better to focus on a couple of avenues than to get lost trying feeling like you have to be on every new social media platform that comes up.
If you go into a website project without a budget, you're setting yourself up for a website that doesn't make sense for you or your business. The worst thing to come from this is "feature creep" (just one more page, ooh and one more section, and I might just change these colours...) that ends up wasting your time and money. Because of this, it's important to set a budget and understand when the website will pay itself off from the return of investment. An $8,000 website might sound expensive, but if it helps leverage you get $80,00 more in sales in the first year, it seems a whole lot more affordable.
It can be tempting to jump right in and start designing, but there is value in making sure you sure you understand every aspect first.
Before you start your next big website project, it's always important to grasp what goals you intend to get out of it.
Thinking from your point of view rather than the perspective your customers could be losing you sales.
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