Planning Your Website


It’s easy to come up with a business idea, but it’s a whole other ball of yarn to actually sit down and plan out all the details of how your business is going to function. Before you take your idea to a website developer, there are several things you need to take into consideration first. It’s always smart to have done your homework and be fully prepared before calling up a designer and saying you want a website. 

1. Domain. Take into careful consideration what your domain name will be. You will want to choose a name that is memorable and easy to remember. Also, think about whether you will want to use .com, .org, .net, or something else entirely. Times are changing and it’s no longer necessary to always use .com. 

2. Hosting. You will want to choose a reliable hosting company and find out just how much capacity you will need. 

3. Technology. Your website developer will be able to help you with this, but depending on the visuals you want for your website, along with all the bells and whistles, you will be able to choose from CSS3, PHP, JQuery, Javascrpt, HTML5, etc. Find out what language your developer works with. Depending on what you need for your website, you may need to talk with several in order to find the right fit for your website. 

4. Purpose. What is the purpose of your website? What do you want to convey to potential customers? Why do you want to set up this business in the first place? Once you know those answers, it becomes much easier to layout the function of your site. 

5. Layout and Color. A clean and easy to read layout is always preferable. Don’t crowd your web pages with too much clutter. It’s best to choose colors that match well with one another and are pleasing to the eye. Try and avoid jarring color combinations as it can make your site look too busy. 

6. Sitemap. Always create a sitemap with a clear outline that explains the flow of your website.

7. Content. You need good content! Your website should have content that is relevant and informative for your users. Be selective with your keywords and choose certain phrases that you would like to highlight for SEO and higher search rankings. Please don’t stuff keywords all over your content. A few well chosen words will do nicely. Content can mean more than words - don’t forget to include images, video, and so on. 

8. Audience. Who is your target audience? You need to figure that out before you can even write your content. When you know who you are building your website for, it’s a lot easier to build content that twill attract customers. 

9. Pop Up Messages. In a few words: don’t do it! Make sure you have no pop up messages on your website. For one thing, they are terribly annoying, and for another, it can deter potential customers from staying on your site. Not to mention that it can slow the load time of your pages.

10. Attractive Design. Work with your designer to come up with a design that is simple and professional.

11. Buttons. Your buttons should be large enough to catch the eye and colorful. Oranges and yellows are great choices.

12. Background. Depending on the type of website you are creating, you can choose a clean look, colorful look, or even a patterned background. Your type of business will usually decree what type of background you use. For a professional website, a clean look would be more suitable. If you are a children’s website, obviously a more colorful look would be appropriate. 

13. Easy Navigation. Your site should always be easy to navigate and users should be able to find what they are looking for with relative ease. 

14. Fresh. Make sure to keep your website up to date with current trends and information that is happening within your business. 

15. Optimize. A good website will be search engine friendly. It’s a good idea to learn a few SEO basics in order to optimize your pages for ultimate rankings in search engines. 

16. Browsers. Your website should be properly viewed in all types of browsers such as Google Chrome, Modzilla Firefox, Safari, etc. 

17. Social Media. Implement social share buttons on your website to easily share your content. Develop social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. to make it easy for your customers to interact with you and find out the latest news. 

18. Typography. Choose a legible font that will be easy to read. You don’t want people to have to squint in order to read your content. 

19. Tracking and Analytics. This is an important item to have. For example, Google Analytics will allow you to track who visits your site, which pages are visited most, which pages have higher bounce rates, etc. With analytics, you can see what is and isn’t working on your website. You can fix issues right away in order to provide the most optimal experience for your users.

20. Provide Security. If you have an e-commerce site, customers want to feel safe. If they are leaving important credit card information, you need to make sure that your site is secure and protected.