Designing a website is the first step in developing your online presence. Designing your new website can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these steps, you will design an effective and user-friendly website that will grow with your business.
So what should I consider during the website design process?
Define your goals
It is important to know what you want to accomplish with your website–whether it is to increase revenue, provide information about a new product or service, connect with customers on social media platforms, etc. Defining these goals will help guide the design process and subsequent steps in order to ensure that they are met after launch.
“Before you sit down to make your list of website goals, you need to know why your site exists. What action do you want your site visitors to take? What do you want them to do or know after they’ve left your site?”
Define your budget for the investment
The average website design project starts at about $10,000, but the cost can be as low as $5,000. This money covers design and development of your website (development includes coding), any additional programming needed for specific functions like e-commerce systems.
Put together the scope of the project
The website design project scope will likely include the following:
- Site architecture and design
- Content creation
- User experience
- Design elements
- Content management once the website has been launched.
- Ecommerce, if necessary And more. It’s important to map out these details early on in order to prevent any surprises that could derail your project goals.
- Much More…
Identify the audience
Your target audience is the target of your website. Who is visiting it? What are their needs and expectations for the site? Answering these questions will help you design a website that gives visitors what they need in order to accomplish their goals with the least amount of effort on their part.
- Do you know who the audience will be?
- Is your website design for a specific type of person or group, like different age groups or genders?
- How many people are the target audiences?
- What is their level of expertise with technology and web browsing?
- Are they primarily using computers to access websites from home, work, school, public spaces like libraries?
“Clearly identifying your target audience—sometimes called customer persona modeling or customer journey mapping—enables you to assess demand and modify to better meet customer needs.”
Research competitors and their websites
- Who is your competition?
- What types of websites do they have?
- Do you want your website to look and function similarly or differently from theirs?
- How are their sites performing in search engines for the keywords that drive traffic to them?
- If you’re designing a new site, use the competitor research as an opportunity to brainstorm design ideas.
Keyword Research & SEO Strategy
Once you know who your audience is and what they’re looking for, it’s time to think about how you can create content that will rank highly in search engines.
Keywords come into play at this stage.
It is important to have a keyword strategy and plan as early in the process as possible so your website isn’t just full of keywords without substance. Keyword research can help you define the parts of the website.
“Keyword research is how we keep our ears to the ground. Can you afford to fall out of touch with your audience?”
Your website sitemap will help you define the design of your website.
It is important to keep an eye on this document as it will reflect changes in layout and navigation throughout the process. It should be updated anytime there’s a change that affects how visitors find what they’re looking for on your site, such as adding new pages or changing existing ones.
Create a content strategy for your website
- Your website is nothing without content. What content do you want to include and prioritize on your website?
- What are the most important pages for visitors to see when they come to your site?
- Do you need a blog or other types of content that change frequently, like news articles, recipes or event listings?
- How often will you publish new content items in each type of posts?
Develop a style guide for fonts, colors, images, etc
Your style guide should include a library of fonts that you want to use for the site.
If possible, stick with Google Fonts because they are free and easy to implement.
Include specifications for colors so all designers know how things should look on screen as well as in print. You’ll also need an image library that includes your logo, website and how to use images.
“It is important to ensure that design is consistent and optimized to meet business objectives and create enjoyable experiences for users.”
Design wireframes to map out the layout of the site
Starting with wireframes will help you to visualize what your site will look like and how it should function.
Wireframes are a great starting point for website design because they’re simple visual representations of the content that is going to go on each page, where it’s positioned, and how links from one page to another work.
Take the mockups from the design process and build them into live website pages
The next step of the web development process is to take the mockup and create the live website. The website development process is a fluid one, and as you work on each of these tasks it will impact the next step in some way or another.
The Website Launch is one of the last steps in website design. This section includes final tasks such as optimizing photos, uploading files and finalizing a sitemap to help with search engine optimization (SEO).
Should I DIY The Website Design And Development Process?
The website development process is not something to be taken lightly. You can get overwhelmed, and it’s easy to spend a lot of time on things that don’t matter.
The website design process is not something to be taken lightly either: where you position your content, how links from one page work with another are all important questions that need answering before the site goes live for visitors.
It is best to leave this process to the professionals and reap the benefits of their experience with website design.