Have you ever wondered what it takes to build a successful website?
Website design is a skill that requires plenty of creativity and technique to get it right. While some people are natural builders, others need a little more encouragement to get there.
Whether you’re a beginner or a perfectionist, every designer needs to follow these 7 major steps to building a beautiful yet functional website.
Define your goals for the website
The first step in creating virtually anything is to first plan out your goals. In some instances, you might already have a brief of what you need to do but more often than not, you have to plan out your moves before you make them.
Here are a few vital questions to ask yourself during the goal-setting process :
- What do I want my website to achieve?
- Who is my target audience?
- What am I selling to my audience?
- How do I want my website to represent my brand?
- How is my website different from competitors?
- What elements do I want my website to have?
- What are the negotiables and non-negotiables for my website?
Set realistic steps and timelines
Once you’ve established your website goals, the second major step is to create a realistic timeline for your web design project. Breaking down your project into steps and setting timelines for your work helps keep you accountable and is a great way to visualize your progress.
If you’re a beginner designer, you might need to set aside time for research and a few extra youtube tutorials. If you’re an expert designer, you might need to liaise with clients and go through a feedback process to accurately relay their vision.
This is why you need to plan out your time and visualize your outcomes before the actual work begins.
Develop and build your sitemap and wireframe
A sitemap is a blueprint or rough draft of your layout design and how the web pages you’ve chosen (homepage, about us, contact page, etc.) will flow together.
If we think about it in the context of building a house, a sitemap is the foundation and support beams that keep the house in place.
A wireframe is a more visual outline of how you want your website to look and is a build-up of your sitemap design. If we continue with the house analogy, it would be the sketching out of the kitchen, bathroom, and other elements that you want in your home.
This step helps you test out whether the goals and objectives you’ve set for your website are viable and realistic for your brand.
Integrate an SEO strategy into your web content
Once you’re happy with the structural and visual elements of your website, you now have to consider the type of information you want your site to have. Content writing is a crucial step in creating a successful website because it determines whether or not people will stay on your site.
Well-written content inspires people to engage more with your site, make a purchase or even contact you with follow-up questions about your product or service. It’s also a great opportunity to add some SEO techniques and increase your site visibility.
Some people prefer to start content writing in the goal-setting process so that their website design aligns with the content they want to share. Others want to build a visual and engaging site first and then focus on the written elements that complement that visual design.
There’s no right or wrong answer here, it simply depends on what your needs and objectives are.
Optimize your site with engaging visual elements
People are visual creatures and we’re naturally attracted to things that capture our eye. Adding visual elements to your site is the fastest way to boost your appeal to customers and have them engage with your site.
If you’re a beginner, you might want to play it safe and choose elements that are within your means. For instance, you could use Canva’s graphic design templates and free stock photos that you can easily compress without losing the image quality.
If you’re on an expert level, then you know the importance of investing in the Adobe suite and hiring a professional photographer to enhance your site’s visual appeal. This step is where you get to be creative and innovative, whilst also promoting your brand.
Invest in backend web development
This step is the critical and technical aspect of making sure that your website actually works. It involves a bit of knowledge of HTML and CSS practices, which are the backbone and skeletons of any professional website.
We recommend investing in a web developer to iron out the kinks for you and code in any additional items that would increase your website functionality.
But if you want to take on the challenge of website customization, you can use web page builders such as Wix and WordPress which have a pre-built website framework.
Test, review, and launch your website
The final step in designing a website is to introduce it to your audience. If you decide to invest in backend web development, then the developer will likely take care of the performance tests and review that every item and element (links, images, plug-ins, domain) is optimal before you deliver the site on your hosting platform.
If you choose to use WordPress or Wix, then you can use Youtube tutorials on how to manually check on these elements and maximize these hosting platforms to upscale your website.
Our Final Thoughts On Designing A Website
Website design is not easy and mainly works on a system of trial and error before getting the results you want. If you’re willing to put in the dedication towards getting your site off the ground, we’ve got plenty of tips to support you.
If you get stuck along the way or simply want some expert advice, contact us so we can help you create the best site for your brand.