Posted on February 3, 2022 | Category Websites | Length 3:44
Alright. So you’ve started a website development project… but what’s step one? Where do you start? Create pages? Write content? Pick a theme?
There are many ways to build a website but in order to build an effective website here is my tried and true method that ensures your end result is a beautiful, functional, and most of all, effective website for your business.
Step 1: Research + Discovery
Yeah, I know. It’s not the most glamorous phase but it’s a necessary one. And the most important. That’s because during this phase it’s all about determining what goals need to be achieved, who your audience is, researching your competitors and discovering ways to optimize your website’s sales funnel.
This information is commonly gathered through worksheets, questionnaires and when necessary strategy sessions.
Step 2: Structure + Design
We’re in a visual world so while form will always follow function, there is importance in making your new site look good. The research and information gathered in step 1 helps determine the structure of your website. For example, if your number one goal is to increase sales of your new product the website’s structure should reflect that by making it more prominent throughout the site. Or if a large portion of your audience has vision impairments, the site’s design needs to address that.
And because consistency is king, creating a theme that follows your existing brand style is also crucial. A good way to start this process is by referring to other marketing materials you have.
Step 3: Content
A story is nothing without words. So tell your business’s story through captivating images and text. This is by far the hardest step in the process and frankly this is where a lot of businesses wave the white flag. But don’t give up, and don’t think people won’t read it. Not every visitor will read every word on your website but Google will, so don’t shy away from getting long winded. You can style that 1200 word page so it flows easily and avoids that wall of text feel.
Oh and when writing content, act like you’re talking to a friend. Say, “we’ll help you” instead of “we help clients”. Use words they know, even if it’s not grammatically correct. By sprinkling in terms they use shows you pay attention and better establishes trust.
Step 4: Development
It may feel like a long time coming but because we figured out and organized all the pieces up front all that’s left is putting the puzzle together. This process can still take time depending on the size and complexity of your website but by doing the other steps first can reduce this timeframe up to half.
Step 5: Launch
This can feel like the scariest part of the project as you are revealing all your hard work to the world wide web. However, if step one was done properly your brand new site should be well received by your audience.
I do have one important tidbit. During launch, your website will take roughly 24-48 hours to reach all of the known web universe. So I advise you to wait till after that time to make the big announcement, otherwise folks may still see your old site or no website at all.
Now, there is a bit more to the entire process, including an entire step 6 which includes post-launch stuff. But this gives you a general understanding of what to expect during your website development process.