Planning is crucial for most businesses and organizations to be successful. When it comes to websites there is often a no proper plan at all. This guide will help you achieve that.
Who This Guide Is For
Written in more of a non-technical language, this guide will give you a step by step process of developing a website, from the initial assessment through the launch of site, maintenance and follow up. It is appropriate for:
- Small and medium-sized businesses;
- Web designers, developers, and design/development firms.
Recognize the purpose of your Website
- The purpose of most business websites is to drive sales. While successful sites engage, inform, and educate visitors, their end goal is to convert visitors into leads and leads into customers. In some cases, visitors may purchase tangible or digital products directly from the website, while in others they may engage in some way with the business, eventually purchasing products or services from the business.
- If making sales is the end goal of your website, you must always keep this in mind. Too often this key point is forgotten in the quest for design features, boatloads of content and lengthy text descriptions of products and services. Don’t forget the reason you’re building a site in the first place.
- If sales are not the goal of your site, determine what is. In most cases, you will still have an action you want site visitors to take: donate, request more information, or volunteer.
- Additionally, investing in a website means investing in something that grows with your business. Plan for your website to change over time.
Plan for building a Website
There are many ways to write a plan, but a good one will cover the following, incorporating some of the elements you’ve ironed out previously:
- Brief background on the company and the problems they face.
This is important as it helps remind everyone why they’re doing the project in the first place.
- A site map to show the organization of pages and their approximate number.
- An outline of the design process, including allowances for revisions, and what the design deliverables will be.
Are you presenting Photoshop mockups or functional design prototypes? How many are you allowing for? (See Design section for more on this distinction.)
- A list of site features, including clear definitions for each, and notes on where they will appear.
The term “features” is understandably quite vague. A feature is simply a component of the site that provides some specific display or functionality. It may present a type of content from the Content Checklist (see below). Because websites vary so widely in scope, it’s not possible to provide a complete list of all the features that ever will be. But here are a few common ones to get you started:
- Slide show
- Staff directory
- Contact form
The main thing is to provide a clear idea of what the feature does, and if possible, link to an example of the feature in use.
- Day 1
Discovery meeting (designer and client)
- Day 7
Content strategy session (designer and client)
- Day 21
Initial designs presented to the client
- Day 28
Design feedback provided to the designer
- Day 35
Designs (with revisions) presented to the client
- Day 40
Designs approved by the client
- Day 42
- Day 63
Setup CMS and integrate front end assets
- Day 84
CMS setup complete; CMS training; content entry begins
- Day 100
- Day 107
Since all Content Management Systems are not the same, each with different programming languages and ways of doing things internally, you’ll need a CMS developer who is skilled in using the CMS you’re creating your site with. A CMS developer can be really fluent at creating sites with WordPress, but may not have a clue what to do with Drupal.
A CMS (also called Content Management System) is a software program that allows you to publish, edit, manage and display your website’s content. Typically you will integrate your approved design into the CMS via some form of templates that ultimately display (“serve”) functioning web pages to site visitors. All these templates may be written in any number of web programming languages like PHP, Ruby or Python, or use a tag language like Smarty or Twig. Again, each CMS uses its own language.
When choosing a CMS, there are four key questions to answer:
- Is it widely used and supported?
- Is it relatively stable? Is there known security or other stability issues?
- Does the person or team developing in it have the necessary expertise?
- Will it support the layout, features, and functionality the site requires?
Compared to other CMS, WordPress is the most popular open-source CMS in the world — there are more installations of WordPress running than any other CMS. It is free to download, open-source, and was originally developed as a blogging platform. For some websites, it is an appropriate solution, but for many, it is not.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive Web Design is an approach to presenting content and design that allows text, images, video and other elements to change in size, appearance and layout according to the capabilities of the device on which they’re viewed. The changes appear to happen “automatically,” though, of course, a developer has specified exactly when and how these changes should happen in every possible scenario.
A simple set of breakpoints, and their target resolutions, may include:
- “Big screen”: 1100 pixels wide or wider
- Tablet: between 400 and 1100 pixels wide
- Smartphone: between 320 and 400 pixels wide.
Although having the ability to execute front-end development make a better designer, but you don’t have to go deep, all you have to is to learning some basic coding language to communicate with the web developer well.
Web Fusion offers Web Designing, CMS Web Development, Graphic Designing, Digital Marketing Services in Hyderabad at affordable prices. Contact us here.