Thursday, 12 November 2015

The Most Important Phase of Website Building

If you were to build a house now, what is the first thing you would do? Would you go and buy all the materials and start building? Or would you sit down and plan first? I am pretty sure your answer is the latter. Proper planning will save you from lots of issues in the future, and make sure that the house will have the look and the functions you wanted it to have. Building a website is no different, before you start the actual doing, you need to create a plan. Here is a list of five things you should consider before starting to build your website.


1. Define the Target Audience and Goals

Your target audience and your goals are the basis of your website. Everything from the content to the aesthetics should be planned for your target audience to help you reach your goals. Write down on a piece of paper who you want to come to your website, what you want them to do there, and how that will help you get what you want. Then stick that piece of paper somewhere where you can see it every day. Keeping your audience and goals in mind will help you avoid losing the focus during the project.


2. Plan the Content

You probably want to include at least written content and high-quality images to your website but you should also consider other types of content. Video content is more engaging and can help the target audience spend more time on your site. 3D animations are another way to help visualize the content. Also, if your business is present on social media, you may want to add the newsfeeds to your website to show a little bit more personality.


3. Decide on the Technology

The decisions you make on the technological aspects of your website should be based on your target audience and your goals. If you know that the majority of your audience is mobile users (which nowadays is often the case), you absolutely want to make your site responsive for mobile devices. Furthermore, as you probably want the search engines to find your site, make sure your platform supports your SEO efforts. Also, make sure that the site will be easy to update. This will save you from lots of headaches in the future!


4. Decide on the Aesthetics

How do you want your website to look? Decide on the colors and fonts you want to use, and on the overall feeling you want the website to transmit. List adjectives to help you describe how you want the website to look like. “Joyful”, “fresh” and “young” sounds different to “traditional”, “serious” and “straight-forward”. Again, keep in mind your target audience and goals.


5. Plan the Site Map

After you have made the basic decisions on your target audience and goals, content, technology and aesthetics, it’s time to plan the site map. Draw a picture of your site map using paper or any image editing software, whatever technique works best for you. Start by defining the main menus on your homepage and then add subpages under them.


Properly planning your website may take time but it helps you keep the focus throughout the process and avoid issues in the later phases. If you need help with your website, reach out to us at 832.831.7592 or info@swagger-media.com. We will help you create a plan for your website, execute it, and make sure that you get a website that fits your needs.


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