So you’re gung-ho about your new business idea and you need some visual representation, but before you decide to pick up some new fancy CMS software, there is much you’ll need to consider before you start creating your masterpiece.
Your website is owned media meaning that everything that you apply and create from scratch is all yours and you have complete ownership of it. In fact, an organisations website is the face of the organisation and every touch point is crucial to make a lasting impression on potential customers and clients. It’s a hugely competitive out there so you’ll need to stand out, have a unique selling proposition (USP), if possible create your own niche and do what you do well. Remember, first impressions count so be sure you get off on the right foot.
Mandatory steps in building your website
Website design is a large and complex process. The better your website is, the easier it will be to convert your traffic into customers, so be sure to follow all the necessary guidelines. Keep in mind, if you're wanting to personalise your site, you may want to consider approaching a professional one on one web designer to construct it for you. However, in many cases a pre-made template from a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, SquareSpace, or Wix could suffice depending on your website’s purpose and structure.
Courtesy LCN Ltd
The 7 Phases of Web Design
Phase 1 – Discovery: Website Purpose, Online Value Proposition, Website Goals, Target Audience.
Phase 2 – Planning: Sitemap, Website Structure, Technologies Used, CMS or Web Designer, Register Domains and purchase Security (SSL Certified).
Phase 3 – Design/Aesthetics: Dynamic Design and Personalisation, Overall Website Colour Palette, Navigation, Wireframe Models, Visual Style, Usability – UI & UX, Mobile Design.
Phase 4 – Content Strategy: Page Design, Interactiveness, Usability, Accessibility, Copywriting, Photos & Videos, Content Optimisation (SEO).
Phase 5 – Development: Navigation and Structure, HTML, CSS Coding, Database/CRM, Responsive Design.
Phase 6 – Testing: Technical Testing, Browser Compatibility. Does the site fulfil its purpose?
Phase 7 – Deployment: Monitor Site, SEO, Social and PPC Reports, Fix Bugs.
Check out this clip from Thundera MultiMedia for more insight.
Once you have your website up and running, you may ask yourself; what should I do now? You probably want to start by updating your site with fresh, relevant content regularly and ramp up your SEO where possible. Adding keywords throughout your site can also help your rankings within SERP results.
Testing your page load speeds and checking for broken links regularly will also reduce the chances of Google penalising your rankings. We will look into site management in another addition, but for now taking these tips onboard should help guide you through the creation of and launch of your site.
In the next edition, I’ll be looking at content and how to come up with fresh ideas. I’ll also be looking at why you should consider including guest writers and how they can add a breath of fresh air to your site, boost your SEO rankings and compliment your writing style.
If you enjoyed this article you may also like part 2 of this series on Search Engine Marketing (SEM).