When you want to take advantage on the marketing and sales potential of having a website, there are a few questions you have to answer before you start. While there are lots of ways to just jump in and go, taking a moment to get yourself organized will make your web design more effective in achieving your goals. Once you know the basics, such as where the website will be hosted, here are the core questions to ask before building the site.
Step 1 – What is the purpose of your Website?
Why do you want a website? Is it to do direct online sales, advertise a service or a brick and mortar location, or basic brand promotion? Those are the three main types of websites and each uses a very different type of website design.
Step 2 – Free or Pay?
The next step is to decide if all the functions and pages associated with your website design are going to be offered free to visitors, or if some of the pages will require a paid membership. Think about this question carefully, on the surface it may not make sense for an online sales site to require a paid membership but that allows you to open the door to special discounts and offers to members. This is an innovative way of creating an extra revenue stream and increasing retention.
Step 3 – Choosing the Name
Choosing the right name for your website is one area where it pays to invest in an SEO advisor. Having a name that maximizes the SEO potential of your website design is very important to increasing your page ranking.
Step 3: What do you need the Website Design to do?
Once you know the purpose of your site, what do you need visitors to be able to do while on the site? Your web design not only has to be able to accommodate graphics and style, but a website design includes consideration of the backend elements of the overall functionality of the website. Online shopping requires a shopping cart plug in. Contact forms or forums also require special programming scripts and different types of web design are more suited to different functionality levels. The simplest landing page type web design can be done easily in HTML. More interactive website design may use a more complex language like CSS. Knowing what you need your web design to do is also going to determine what type of content management system you need.
Step 4: What do you want it to Look Like and How will it be Viewed?
While we are used to putting a lot of emphasis on the visual aspect of web design to bring our vision to life on the web, knowing how the majority of your customers or visitors will be viewing your site has become increasingly important in website design. If you expect a high mobile, smartphone or tablet based demographic you may need to use a responsive web design that can adapt to the visitor’s technology on the fly.
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