Building a great website and making it friendly to its users is a painstaking process. During the web design process, a web designer focuses on technical things, like clean coding, content arrangement, attractive and relevant images, wireframes and more. But, they often forget that a website is way more than aesthetics.
You have to face several challenges along the way. Thus, having a tested, proven website design that aligns with your strategy is crucial. Below are nine simple steps to design a website that can help your site to function well:
Identify Your Goal
While it seems like a cliché statement, setting your goal before you begin the process really works. There are many reasons why you should identify your goal, such as:
- A goal keeps your focus clear.
- It helps you decide if the web design process is a success.
- By setting a goal, you can plan better to achieve it.
This is the stage where the designer needs to figure out the website design’s goal in collaboration with the client or other stakeholders. Some questions a designer needs to explore at this stage of web design and development are-
- What is the purpose of creating the website?
- What will your target customers want to see there?
- Will you use the website for ecommerce or other online businesses?
- If any competitor sites to your website exist, how should your website be set apart from those competitors?
If you have vague answers to these questions, the whole project will be set off in the wrong direction. Thus, writing clearly identified goals will help you put the web design process on the right path.
Have A Look At The Websites You Like
Competition is the best source of information. Thus, having a look at the websites in your niche will give you an idea of how they did it and you can note what you want to do differently- and better. Take note of what you like – and dislike specifically about the website. And make these notes relate to your goals.
Understand The Scope Definition
Perhaps, the most common problem surrounding the web design process is scope creep. Though the client sets out with one goal in mind, it expands gradually during the process. Another thing to consider is that you are not only building or designing the website, but also emails, push notifications, and a website application.
It isn’t a problem for the designers; it leads to more work, though! Moreover, if the increased budget or timeline doesn’t meet the expectations, the entire project may turn into an unrealistic process.
Work On Branding Elements
Working on the website’s branding elements is the fun part of the web design process. Pick a catchy name, compare different colors, fonts, and get your brand’s logo designed. Go with your domain name first.
Start with listing all the names that come to your mind and search which options are available. Once you find a domain you like, register it immediately. Define your brand’s identity. Get a logo designed professionally or get the one generated by an online tool.
Create Your Website Copy
Many people leave their website copy for last, but it isn’t a good idea. If you skip creating the written content of your site’s pages before starting on the design, there will most likely be redesign involved as web design revolves around the content of the page when its done right.
So, if you want to create a great website both aesthetically and functionally, pay attention to this step. First, create content for the must-have pages of your website. However, keep your website’s main goal, and goals for individual pages in mind.
The best way is to use placeholder content for things, such as:
- Blog posts
- Contact information
- Content of your checkout pages
- Individual product descriptions
- Social media links, etc.
Video content marketing is gaining grounds these days. According to the stats, 54% of the consumers prefer videos rather than written content. So, include video content in your marketing strategy too!
Consider Wireframe And Sitemap Creation
A sitemap is the foundation for a well-designed website, which gives the web designers a clear idea of the site’s architecture. It also explains the relationship between different pages and content elements.
Once you have prepared the sitemap, the next step is to find some design inspirations and create a mockup wireframe. It provides a framework for storing the website’s content, visuals, and lets you identify the potential challenges with the sitemap.
Focus On Content Creation And SEO
Now that your website’s framework is in place, the next step is to create unique content that drives traffic and interactions. Dull, lifeless, and copied proses won’t keep the visitors’ attention for long. In turn, short, snappy, and engaging content gets them to click through the pages.
Besides, getting the keywords and phrases right is crucial for the success of any website. So, focus on your site’s SEO. Also, mobile-friendly sites show up in the search results. So, understand the necessity of mobile optimization for your website and make your site customer-centric.
You can use Google Keyword Planner to find the search volume for the target keywords. This helps you know what human beings are searching on the web.
Design And Develop
By now, you have set all the steps to creating a website. It’s time to get your hands dirty and build websites! You know your goals, who your audience is, and who your competition is. Also, you have a mockup and the navigation structure ready. It’s high time to put all these things to work.
You can either code things yourself, or get it done by professionals. If you are a newbie, choosing the latter is the best. One benefit of opting for a professional Orange County Web Design Company is they will help you build a website that specifically caters to your target market based on sound research and current design principles.
Make Your Site Visible
It’s time to go live! Install your website on your final production server and hook up the domain name. Further, if you have been developing the site locally, you can use plugins to move it to the production.
Some hosts also offer migration services or recommend specific migration plugins. Stick to those recommendations. With this, it’s time to conduct final testing or checkups to ensure that you are setting your website up for success.