Tips For Planning Your Website Development

Planning Your Website Graphic
When it comes to planning your website development, you want users to be clear on what kind of content they will find on your site.  Define the objective of your website and develop around that objective.

Ask Yourself  These Questions:

  1. What is the one central message of your site?
  2. What do you want your site to do?
  3. What do you want people to do when they get to your site?
  4. What do you visualize your site looking like?
  5. What type of site will you have? (Informational, interactive, functional, portfolio, eStore, etc.)

These are basic things you need to decide up front and it will help with the planning of the site.

Planning For Design Layout and Content

Decide what elements you need in your site: data-driven pages, applications, multi-media, e-store, advertising,  a blog, news, or a combination of elements.  The creative team can help you get to this decision.  Use only what is necessary and pertinent to getting your message across.

Decide who is responsible for writing copy or the written text on your web pages.  It may be the design firm you chose to develop your web site, an independent consultant you hire, or someone from within your organization; or you may choose to write your own web copy.

Your Website Marketing Plan

Consider how you will market your website as you are designing it.  Web site design that includes a marketing plan usually involves carefully selecting and researching your target audience and communicates to them accordingly.

Many small businesses will look at another website and decide they want a website that looks like one they saw.  Every company has its own business objectives.  What will work for one company may not make sense in another company.  What are you selling? Who is your target audience? What do you want to say to them? How should this message be communicated? Why should consumers choose your product?  How will you get people to visit your site?

The Marketing Plan requires a team to help put the message together.

  • Copy Writer: The copy writer considers how the text will be written.
  • Designer: The creatives or design people consider how to make the message come to life.  They can also create the brand. Brand is image; usually defined by a logo or symbol identifying the company.  When starting to brand, consider the image that people will remember.  Your image defines your company.  Choose your logo, your branding carefully, as it is something you will want to remain constant throughout the life of your company.
  • Developer: Once you have all of your written content, layout and design, the marketing team can pass this information to the web developer to make it all come to life.


Working With The Web Team

Web Design Team Collaborating
You will go through a series of approvals and dialog back and forth between your web development team and you.

  • Communicate clear project specifications to the design team. Provide examples when necessary.  Design will be created from what is communicated.
  • The creative team will come up with at least 3 design concepts based on the client specs. You will select and approve one of the designs.  (1st approval)
  • The web team begins to create the website based on your design specifications (specs).  The design team’s job is to bring to life the client’s message in the form of a working website model and present it back to the client for approval.  A complete working model of your website is presented.  (2nd Approval)
  • The client begins to forward content to the team. The content is loaded into the site and coordinated with the scheme of the design(2nd approval)
  • The creative maintains control & responsibility for conveying the message but in the end, you as the client ultimately makes a determination of what “fits” and represents your company brand.