- 8th Jan, 2014
So, you are thinking about building a website? But you have no idea where to start.
The idea of this document is to explain in several simple steps how and what you need to know to design and develop a successful website.
The first question you should ask yourself is: “Why Do I Need a Website?” and “What Do I Hope to Achieve, By Launching a Website?”
If you cannot answer these questions decisively and accurately, it might be that you need to do some more research and planning or it might be that you don’t need a website at all.
“There is no point in investing in a website if it’s likely to give you little return on investment!”
Step 1. Domain Name Registration.
What is your preferred domain name (URL) whilst good domain names are getting harder to find, it’s important that you select a domain name carefully. Don’t register a domain name that is difficult to spell or is too long. Most web development companies will be able to register your domain name but make sure that the registrant’s details are yours with your email address. This is especially important with a .com. What if your developer goes on an extended holiday or simply disappears. This being the case you have no way of managing your domain name.
Step 2.Simple Website Layout
Think about the design and layout carefully, which includes navigation structure but don’t over complicate things. Keep things simple! This can be done in word or even draw it on paper. By doing so will give your web design company a good idea of what you want.
Step 3.Menu Navigation.
It’s important that visitors can easily navigate through the whole site via your main menu without having to double click deeper to find what they are looking for. Obviously on bigger sites this is sometimes not possible but certainly for small sites this is very easily achievable and should be a prerequisite when discussing and planning your website with your web developer. There are many navigation options but no need to go crazy with secondary menus unless the site is large enough to warrant it.
Most websites have what is known as a home page. This is the page people will see when visitors first come to your site. Once again keep it simple with some rich content and images so that clearly tells your story, with a call to action that grabs potential customers attention and makes them want to learn more about the products or services that you are selling.
Step 4.Content – Copy.
Make the effort and put a few hours into providing content. This will definitely save time and money and make the job go smoother! The copy that you supply does not need to be brilliantly written, but it will tell the story, allowing for the web development company’s copywriters to tweak it and make it read as it should.
Most websites require that there be images embedded into the content or maybe an image gallery. Carefully select what images you would like displayed on each page. Make sure the images that you supply are of good quality and don’t try to resize unless you know what you are doing. Often for best results it is best to leave manipulation of images to the website designers.