Not everyone is into web design and knows about the processes behind developing a good website. Be aware, it’s more than coding and downloading a nice template. The key points of a website design process:
The first thing to do is gathering the information needed to realize the project and achieve the goal. Which brings us directly to few core questions to be answered:
- What is the purpose of the website – does it inform, sell, entertain?
- What is the goal of the website?
- Who this site is for?
Further things to be taken into consideration, like who are the competitors and what they can offer, how you can stand out; maybe there are already buyer personas available, research, analytics data and other information. In general the rule is straight forward, the more information is available, the better the site can be planned for what it’s supposed to do.
The best piece of content or offer has no value if users can’t access it easy or in worst case not at all.
That’s why it’s best to plan the website in a way that allows you to user friendly structure and deliver your visitors the best user experience (UX) possible.
The next step is to define the scope of the project, what sites, content and features are needed to achieve the desired goals. Subsequently we also can determine the time needed.
Based on the gathered information the Sitemap is created. It allows to visualize and better understand the structure of the website. It helps to judge how good users can navigate on the website and how easy and quick they can find the desired information.
Sometimes it is useful to take things a step further even and develop a preview structure for each single website and landing page. For instance to get upfront a better understanding of where to place each element, like content, offer, Call-to-action and so on. In this case, a mockup or wireframe is created. It’s a visual blueprint of the user interface.
Content is king, it’s not just a phrase, it’s true.
- Content drives engagement and action.
- Content can boost your site’s visibility on search engines,
if the content is containing SEO relevant keywords and phrases. There are several tools and techniques to get this done. The art is here to find the right balance between valuable and readable content versus the more technical focused search engine optimization.
Mostly the client is providing the ready content, depending on project it might make sense to involve a copywriter or additional SEO services. While often these services also are provided by the developer when it comes to smaller projects.
Design & Development
Now the development process of the website can beginn. The visual content, like photos, graphics, banners and more, is created at this stage. Also the layout needs to be designed. This includes colors, fonts, rules for the sizes of elements to keep consistency and more. At the same time functions and features are implemented. This can be contact forms, online calculators, database and CRM connections, up to more complex things like a complete online shop or integration of a payment gateway for instance. There is a wide range of possibilities which usually include plenty of set up and also coding work to make things run smooth.
Testing & Launch
Do not publish anything before you reviewed and tested it. It’s always worth to do this time investment as carelessness can cost money or damage the image.
The whole content should be checked to avoid typos, each link to be tested and make sure there are no broken links, any kind of forms to be tested that they’re working properly and you will not lose any leads or potential customers.
To be on the safe side, it’s recommended to repeat the whole procedure for the most common browsers and devices, as desktop and mobile experience is very different.
And in the future?
Ensure to keep things running and secure
Be prepared to make changes to your website in future. Trends change and so do products, services and needs. And the internet itself – there’s all the time development with new technical innovations. This also contains possible security risks through hackers or a virus. Regular updates and maintenance are essential to keep your page running and offering your visitors a great user experience.