The key to successful website planning lies in knowing what you want visitors to take away from your website. Here are six crucial steps to help with the process of creating a website.
1. Define goals and successes
The first step in website planning is thinking about what you want people to do while visiting your website. Do you want them to learn something from you, buy your product or service, or something completely different? Whatever the goal of your website happens to be, it’s important to define it upfront.
With your goals in mind, you’ll need to determine how to measure your website’s success so that you have an idea of whether or not you’re achieving those goals.
Success can be as simple as obtaining one new client per month, or as complex as generating one million dollars in revenue during your website’s first year. As long as it makes sense to you and is realistic, your success metrics are totally up to you.
2. Choose a domain name
You may have a domain name in mind, but is it already owned by someone else? Using domain name search tools from services like GoDaddy and NameCheap are quick ways to check whether the domain you want is available, or view possible alternatives that might work well for your brand’s site.
3. Choose a web host
The right web hosting provider (the company that hosts your website on the internet) is a subjective choice. Make sure that the host you choose has a proven track record for success and reliable customer support tools. Remember, the most cost-effective solution is not always the best one, so do your research.
4. Determine your design
You’ll need to determine what site tone and design you want to implement. This is primarily dependent on your visitors. Does your site need to be lighthearted and fun, or are you focused on corporate entities and therefore need a serious enterprise feel?
If you’re not an experienced designer, looking at other successful websites or browsing through WordPress.com themes is a great way to glean inspiration. The simplest solution is to find a WordPress.com theme that conveys your website’s intended tone.
5. Plan your site’s functionality
Functionality relates to the elements that you want visitors to interact with on your website. Building a great site that doesn’t convince visitors to interact with it — by signing up for future updates, purchasing a product or service, or submitting a contact form — means that you will never reach the goals you initially set. If you’re building on WordPress.com, there are a wide range of plugins that can assist you in adding these functionalities to your site.
6. Define your content
Now that you have a design in place, you can begin planning your content strategy. It’s a good idea to plan out which pages you want to include. For example, an “About Me” and “Contact” pages are always useful choices. You’ll also need to decide what you want to present on these pages, including any images you might want to use. Think about what content types you want to post. Zero Gravity Marketing suggests using original content to increase your search engine optimization.
If you’ve covered these six steps in your website planning, then you’ve laid out the foundation for your future business decisions. You’re that much closer to ensuring successful user experiences, which increase your chances of reaching overall site goals.
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