STEP 1. DEFINE THE PURPOSE
What is the purpose of your website? This will dictate the structure of the website.
Is your website a:
1. Brochure – a few pages to create an online presence. Most small service based websites fall into this category
2. eCommerce – purchase a product or service online
3. Portal – brings together information from different sources usually for internal use ie. schools/universities often
4. Community Forum – collaborate online and write content together
5. Social Media – platform for the sharing of images and content to encourage online interaction ie. FB, IG
6. Business – represents a specific business. Usually for large businesses and corporations
7. Entertainment – visit purely for entertainment purpose
8. Portfolio – showcase work example
9. Media – collecting and reporting information
10. Non Profit – online presence like business/brochure
11. Educational – offering courses
12. Infopreneur – overlap with business and eCommerce sell online information & courses
13. Personal – quite often a blog, vlog, personal diary
STEP 2. RESEARCH
Create a list or a Pinterest Board of competitors and websites you like. What do you like about these websites? What do you think does not work. Using this research work out what you would like to include on your website: Shop, About, Blog, Contact, Calendar, Mailing List, Chat Bot, Member Area etc
STEP 3. WRITTEN OUTLINE
Create a written outline. Work out what pages you need. What is the purpose of each page? What is the end call to action of each page? Finally write down exactly what you want on each page (in order starting from the top of the page).
An Example Home Page would be:
• Toolbar: ribbon with quick links inc. phone, email cart etc (not essential as toolbars are not great for mobile)
• Hero: Image with Main Statement, Supporting Statement & Main CTA
• Intro (sometimes this is in the Hero, sometimes not)
• List Services / Products
• Email sign up form
• Written content: blog posts or info to help the audience, could be events
• Media Badges: you can build trust with logos of qualifications, awards, who you work with etc
• Footer: Contact Details, Menu, Social Media, Mailing List, Upcoming Events
STEP 4. CREATE THE CONTENT
Now that you have an outline of your website you identify what content you need. This is where you can start writing the content, find or commission the imagery. If words are not your thing contact a copywriter to help you.
STEP 5. DESIGN
Who is going to build your website? You or a website designer? How complex the website is and how proficient you are with web builders will help you decide.
If you are confident in building the site yourself explore site builders such as Shopify, Squarespace or Wix. They operate on a subscription service and whilst are cheaper to set up they do work out more expensive in the long term.
If you wish to hire a website designer (depending on requirements):
• Freelancer/ Micro studio will charge £500 – £2,000+
• Small Agency will charge £1,000 – £5,000+
• Large Company will charge £5,000 – £100,000+
Whether you do it yourself or hire a designer the first stage of the design process will be to create a visual layout of the entire website, including the user experience path through the website.
STEP 6. BUILD
Once you are OK with the designs build the website!