Here’s 5 top things to consider when building a new website
Planning. The first step, and the most important one is planning. Create a basic site structure that quickly shows the top navigation and sub navigation for your new website. These represent all the pages on the website and more importantly, it shows how the pages are categorised; logically and methodically. It’s important to get this stage right, as it is the foundations of your new website.
Content Strategy. Now that the site map is complete, think about what type of content is going to go on each page of the site. It needs to be in a logical order so make sure you look at this from the viewers perspective. If necessary, get someone who knows nothing about your business to look at it to make sure it flows well. Google judge websites on the user experience and user interface, so it’s important that whatever is on that page, is topical to what the title of the page is and that it’s relevant. There should be no less than 250 words of written content per page.
Wireframing. To check what you’ve done in Step 2, it is a good idea to create wireframes for each page. The term wireframing is basically a quick ‘mockup’ of each page to show where the images and text will be positioned on the page. It is not a finished design by any means, but simply a great way to plan on how the page is going to look, how much written text there’ll be and how many images are needed.
The wireframe will help the copy writer understand what has to be written, how much for each section and the relevance and importance of that text. It also helps identify what type of imagery we‘ll need, or the photographer will refer to this when photographing the products and or services.
Development. Development of the site can now begin. This is where the wireframes in Step 3 come in really handy, as you now have a plan for what’s going on each page.
Now, there are typically two types of websites. A brochure site and an eccommerce site.
A brochure site is just what it implies – information about products and/or services along with some nice photos and diagrams. This type of site does not allow you to purchase products online.
An Ecommerce site is where you have a range of products or services that can be purchased online. This is where you add products to your cart and then proceed to checkout and delivery. This type of site will also have a brochure component which is usually on pages like the ‘About’ page, Contact page etc.
In terms of time frames, you should allow 2-3 weeks for a brochure site. If it is an ecommerce website, you should allow 7-8 weeks. This can often be done in a shorter time frame, but if you set your expectations at these time frames, then you won’t be disappointed. These timeframes do not include content creation, so you’ll need to allow additional time for that.
Checking and Proofing. Once the development of the site is complete, it’s important to check it very carefully before going live. Go through the site carefully and check all the written content, photos, diagrams, tables etc. Make sure all the buttons take you to the right place and make sure the forms work properly and are sent to the correct email address. Make a list of any changes and implement them and recheck them.
Your site is now ready to go live!