Planning a Website

Before creating a website, there are are some planning steps you need to follow if your site is to be successful. Plan carefully to ensure that people are able to use it easily.

Create Some Goals

Step one is setting your site goals. What do you hope to accomplish by having a website? Keep a list of your goals handy as you go through the design process. They help you focus and align your website to your specific needs.

Organize Your Site Structure

Organize your site carefully from the very beginning and save yourself time and frustration later. If you create content without considering structure, flow, and hierarchy, you may end up with unrelated materials scattered through numerous poorly named folders and categories.

Create a clear path to action, e.g. purchasing a product or subscribing to a mailing list.

Creating the Design “look & feel”

Your website should reflect your company identity and maintain consistency in the page layout and design to ensure a good user experience.

Navigation

A visitor should be able to click through pages and never get lost and they will quickly become frustrated if navigation changes unexpectedly. Navigation must be consistent throughout your site.

Think constantly about your visitors and the experience you want them to have. How do they move from one area to another? Consider the following:

  • Visitors need to know where they are in your site and how to return to the home page.
  • A search box makes it easy for a visitor to quickly find information anywhere on your site.
  • A contact form lets visitors connect with you on any subject.

Collect Assets

Once you have a clear picture of your sites goals and the audience you are targeting, you can begin to create and collect all the assets you need. These can include:

  • Texts
  • Images
  • Graphic files (company logo in vector format, etc.)
  • Media (video, slideshows, etc.)
  • Downloadable documents (PDF, Word, etc.).

All these items need to be ready before you begin developing your site, so that you won’t have to hold up the process.

Note: Be sure to make your texts easy to read on a monitor. Use short paragraphs and bullets.


 


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