I need a website. Where do I start?

All that you need to consider before building a website or hiring someone to do it for you

Do you need a website and have no idea where to start? No matter if you are going to develop the site yourself or if you plan to hire someone else to do it for you, here are four tips on how you can prepare.

Multiple devices where your responsive website could be displayed

1. What type of business do you own and what purpose will the website serve?

Knowing how to describe your business in a few words is essential in being able to promote it. Write down the field your business is in, describe your target audience, and explain your business's mission, vision, and values. Now, scratch all the unnecessary words. You should be left with a few sentences that describe the core of your business.

Every website needs to have a SMART website goal. SMART goals are:
  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable)
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
  • Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)
One website page usually has one primary goal. That goal should be related to:
  • Marketing– drive traffic, engage prospects, generate leads, and re-engage existing customers
  • Sales– help close sales by validating and supporting sales team communications
  • Customer Support – improve customer satisfaction through better service
  • Webmasters– simplify and optimise content updates and website management
  • IT– integrate with other systems; meet security, performance and scalability requirements
  • Operations– reduce costs by streamlining and automating workflows and tasks
  • HR– attract and recruit new employees and support current employees
  • Other

Create realistic website goals using the examples above. Having this information readily available to you, your employees, the developers and designers of your website will lead to a better, more reflective, characteristic website that reaches its goals effectively.

2. Content first approach: What do you need on your new website?

Consider what static content do you want to display. Content that will not be changing or added more than once a year. Think about the dynamic content you need on your site. Content that you might want to change or add more often than once a year. If you want a website to display the details of your company, this information will most probably be static. If you add a blog, reviews, social media posts to your site, this information will be dynamic. Having a more static website can greatly decrease the price of the site development as well as the price of its maintenance and hosting. The more dynamic content you want, the higher the overall price will be.

Plan if you desire your site to have more than one language. Even if you wish to have this functionality in the future and not right away, it is better to plan ahead. Decide on what features you would like to see on your site. A couple of them are: Bookings, Chat, Online Store, Blog, Video, Music, Events, Projects, Social media feed, Pricing plans, Forum, Subscribe form, Reservations, Orders and Menus.

Having great assets will elevate your site to the next level. While there are royalty-free assets all over the internet, consider producing your own or buying professional images, videos or music. Even if at least a part of your site contains original assets, you will see a huge difference in conversion. The truth is, people visit sites every day. Most of them look more or less similar. The only true way of standing out is by bringing your business character out as much as possible. Original assets is a huge stepping stone here.

3. What pages do you want to have on the website?

If you wish to save some money, consider having a single-page website. A single-page website will cost little to maintain, compared to a website with multiple pages. It is much cheaper to have it translated to multiple languages as well. On a single-page website, all of the information will be displayed in sections as if those were pages. The menu part will simply navigate the user up or down the site to the corresponding section of the page.

Consider these pages/sections for your site: Home/Landing page, About, Services, Contacts, Blog, Recent Work, Clients, Get a quote, Meet the team, Terms of use, Privacy Policy.

4. What style would you like the site to be?

Look up a few sites and make a moodboard. A moodboard is a collage of different elements, colors, textures or typography that reflects the character of the future site. Often, our company uses common sites like Pinterest or Dribble to gather inspiration. But it does not have to be on any platform. In fact, whatever you see in a digital world or in the physical world can be captured using a camera and placed in your favorite notes app.

A great way to find what you like is finding out what you don't like in websites. Look into colors, fonts and other design elements or layouts in other sites. Try to define what you  do not wish to see on your site.

Use Google as your inspiration. Look up "Minimal/Breeze/Chic/Luxury/Timeless/Soho website style" on Google or Dribble to understand what styles can you choose from.

If you already have defined brand identity, make sure to follow the style of it or make sure your hired developer will. If you need help in developing a brand identity, a logo or any other assets that will be used on your site, don't hesitate and contact us. We will do everything we can to help you!

Let's sum up!

You have some work to do before you get to designing or coding. Let's recap:

  1. Explain in short what the core of your business is. Consider what goal will your website needs to accomplish or what its purpose is.
  2. Think about the content you want to see on your website. Consider what you can generate yourself or your team. It will pay off at the end!
  3. Single page website versus multiple pages website? No useless bloating is needed! Keep it simple.
  4. Have a clear vision of what you want and what you don't before you start developing a website.

Conclusion

At first sight, it might look like there is a lot to do on your own as a business owner. The truth is, you can go to an agency and ask for a website without ever considering the above tips. And you will do fine. Mostly. But having in mind the basics that we covered in this article will upgrade your website from a generic site to something that brings value to your business and makes you proud.

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Once a month we release a new blog post with tips and tricks to any business owner regarding: digital marketing, product creation, and brand identity. It's meant to be a fun read while drinking your morning coffee!

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