Before designing and publishing your first site or blog, it is important to develop an effective website plan that will focus on, and meet all the needs of, your customers. By initiating and drafting a plan, you can easily avoid many of the pitfalls of a poorly designed site. With proper planning you can determine the site’s purpose, set goals, assess the needs of your customers and include the best content, before finally developing a timeline to create, design and publish your site.
Determining the site’s purpose will be based on the focus of your business. If you are intending to fulfill the purpose of providing information, you will need quality content. For the website to be a moneymaking concern, it will require specific tools to market and sell goods or services, along with a shopping cart capable of accepting currency to complete the transaction.
With specific goals, you can transform a mediocre site into a phenomenal one. Your goals should include every conceivable avenue available to create the best site in your niche. An effective way of determining the best goals for your site is to look at other competing sites for ideas. Evaluate everything you see, and incorporate only the best of each website into yours. Developing a website based on your goals will help in its success.
The Customer’s Needs
If you are building a website for sales, you need to establish exactly who the customers will be. If you are developing a blog site, you will need to assess what demographics will be used to attract the target audience. Your site plan should include detailed information on exactly who the audience consists of, including their age, income, job titles, hobbies, and any other pertinent data that makes them unique. Although there might be a wide range of people actively participating at your website, you still need to understand the target audience.
If your site is already published and live, harvest its existing data regarding your current audience to determine exactly who they are. The website content is the most important component of your website. If it fails in meeting the needs of the customer or visitor, your site will fail.
Only after you have determined the site’s purpose, its goals, the customers’ needs, and the content required for success, can you begin to develop a quality site design. Before creating your design, select a popular website or blog platform, such as WordPress. Once you have selected the platform, study its boundaries or limitations.
After you have acquired a firm understanding of all the things you can and cannot do with the site, you can begin its design. Based on the type of website or blog, you will need to select a WordPress theme that meets all of the requirements of your online website.
Next, choose the colors that best represent your site. The color and design should be based on the demographics of your audience and visitors. Choosing the right selection of graphic elements, fonts, topography and colors is essential to the success of your website. The more of the design you plan ahead of time, the easier this phase of the plan will be to perform.
After you have all of the pieces in place, your plan can be initiated on a scheduled timeline. You should schedule enough time for testing, revisions, re-testing and making adjustments based on user feedback. Never publish your website before you are 100% satisfied that it operates correctly, and that it meets the needs of your goals and purpose.
Writing Down Your Plan
Part of your planning process should include sessions of brainstorming before building a comprehensive plan. Brainstorming will allow you to capture your ideas before their final formation. Once you have listed all of the critical factors necessary for the success of your website, you will be able to formulate your plan to its ultimate shape.
Publishing Your Website
Now that your website is up & running, and has been published to the Internet, it is time to consider marketing strategies to attract visitors. Using proven methods, you can easily enhance your presence within search engines.