All website projects are different.
Size of budget.
Range of features.
Successful web projects should all start in the same place…
So, here are 7 planning essentials before starting up a new website design project.
1. Research your competition.
You don’t want to launch your project and realise you aimed too low to compete in your market.
- What are they doing on their site?
- How good is their design?
- How much content do they have?
- What features have they added?
- What are their calls to action?
It sets your benchmark to be competitive.
2. Focus on your target audience
Without a clear understanding of your ideal visitor, your design and content will be too general to make an impact.
- What location defines them?
- What are their pain-points?
- What do they value?
- What are their associated interests?
Marketing success will depend on how well you know your audience.
3. Establish your goal.
What should your website do for you?
How will it create value in your business?
- Generate leads?
- Process orders?
- Rank in search?
- Members portal?
- Improve your reputation?
Clarify how your website should perform and how it should be measured.
4. Plan your content.
Don’t think about design until you have clarity on your content topics.
Organize your topics into categories: products, about, work examples, resources, etc.
Content building often takes more time than building the website.
Start planning to fill the gaps in your content ASAP.
5. Find inspiration.
You’ll need to convey your design ideas to a creative-type person. That isn’t easy for most.
Find inspiration in other websites and marketing materials.
Focus on shapes, colours, styles, and features.
List brands that you like and why you like them.
Describe what you want in your words. Let the designer translate.
6. Set realistic timelines.
Quality work takes time, and is worth the investment.
Give yourself enough time to properly review the website.
Think ‘months’ not ‘weeks’.
Be clear about your expectations, but give space for adjustment.
7. Set a realistic budget range.
Your budget should be a clear range that you’re comfortable paying.
Underpaying is more problematic than overpaying.
Focus on your goal and the added value over the next 12 months.
The added value should be 10x the cost of the website budget.