12 May The process of creating a Website
Creating a website isn’t just a case of designing something nice to look at – there is much more to it. Think of it as a digital representation of your entire business. If you want to target a specific audience and get traffic to your website to boost your business, then you need to have a plan in place. A successful website should have a clear purpose, be SEO-optimised and look and act the part, and yet even when it does go live it should continually evolve to impress search engines and keep on top of modern website standards. In this blog we look at the process of creating a website with six crucial steps.
Establish what you want
This is one of the most essential planning stages where you need to establish what you want to achieve with your new website. Who do you want to target? What features and functionality do you want on your website? The functionality of your website will have an impact on the type of website platform you will need, whether that is a bespoke or a templated website such as WordPress. You’ll also need to think about the design style of the website – the look and feel you want, colours you like (or dislike), other websites that appeal to you and so on. This said, it’s vital you heed professional advice in this area because what you like best might not work best.
Website structure and wireframe creation
Once you know what you want on your website, a website structure should be put together outlining the page navigation – this will include top level pages as well as sub-pages. From this a wireframe, a sort of two-dimensional ‘sketch’ of your website, will need to be created focusing on the layout of each page and the elements included, such as content, features and images. This skeleton design really helps visualise how your website will look and its usability.
The next step is to get writing to create the for each page. Content should be tailored for your audience and should answer what they want to know. The words also need to be SEO optimised to help organic traffic to your new website. This applies to the content on the front-end of your website but also the words used for SEO tasks undertaken in your Content Management System (CMS). It’s important to consider the type of content, and this in turn will determine the amount. Your website visitors will not want to be overwhelmed with words on the home page; it is important to take them on a journey, using content lightly to attract and draw them so they want to buy from you. Essential technical or other detailed content should be accessible in an appropriate part of the site.
By this point a website ‘template’ that meets your criteria will have been chosen. The visual design work can then begin taking into consideration your brand, colour palette photography, video, graphics and illustrations, as well as forms of movement and animation and so on. First impressions really do count when it comes to a website, so getting a user’s attention from a visual aspect will really influence whether they stay or go.
Testing and going live
Once complete and before launch, your website should be fully reviewed and tested on different devices, ensuring everything is working how it should be. Check all links are working, both internal and external links, as well as testing forms and login areas (if you have them). If you are happy, then all that is left to do is set a date to launch your website. Voila!
Refreshing your site
So you might think all the hard work is done and you can sit back and relax. Wrong! If you leave your website as it is, it will soon disappear on search engines. Regular new content is key to keeping search engines happy. Google for instance, is constantly crawling the web to index websites, however it will only visit websites that get their attention with new stuff! So, it is really important to update your website regularly – a blog or news section is one area where you can make a big difference.