Advice:Ten things to consider when planning a website

By , published on 5th August 2010

Your website could be the best tool for promoting and growing your business. However planning a site can be a daunting task. Here’s a checklist to keep in mind when planning your site.

  1. Plan you website the right wayThink first about the goals and direction of your business. By giving your web developer the ‘big picture’ he/she can best create a website that helps to meet your business targets.
  2. Users, users users! Think about why users will come to your site, and what they will want once they’re there. Try to avoid the website coming across as a CV; it should be about benefits to users. Plan the site from the users’ perspective(s), rather than your organisational structure. Consider the type of design that will work best for your users; corporate, informal, quirky?
  3. Will you need to update your content? For most sites this is a necessity, and to keep costs down it’s best if you can do this yourself, without going back to your developer/designer. To do this you will need a Content Management System (CMS). Talk to your developer about which CMS they use, and see if it’s easy to use. TIP – ask for a test drive!
  4. Keep it simple. Try to convey your key messages quickly and clearly. Tell visitors: Who you are / What you offer / Why it’s good /What to do next.
  5. Get to the point, quickly. Studies show that most users simply don’t read long passages of text. Good web copywriting is key to converting visitors into customers. How you write can also affect your search engine rankings (SEO).
  6. Does your website need to scale? Will your requirements and features develop over time? If you think there’s a chance you’ll want to add features later, make sure you tell your web developer at the start – it could affect the decisions s/he makes now.
  7. Ok great site! … but how will you tell people about it? Consider email campaigns, e-marketing, social media, press releases and don’t forget good old word-of-mouth too.
  8. How much do you want to spend? Everyone needs value-for-money and there’s a balance to be found between something that just ‘does the job’ and a site which you can easily update and that can grow with you. Also, consider the level of support and service you may need in the months and years ahead.
  9. Think about an appropriate domain name – we can suggest some if you’re stuck. Avoid hyphens, strange spellings and overly-long names.
  10. The best websites are continually improved – starting with great content, regularly updated, and including search engine optimisation

Hopefully this guide has given you some food for thought if you’re planning a new website. We all know people who have made mistakes which turn out to be costly in the long run (when the site has to be rebuilt!).  Time spent now thinking about what you and your users really want from your site,  could avoid potential problems later on. Good luck!

Looking for inspiration? Siteroom web templates offer fantastic designs at hard-to-beat prices.

< See all advice

Post a new comment