It is now largely unthinkable that a business will operate without an attached website that users and customers are able to visit in order to gather further information about the company, employ its services or contact it directly. However, building a website, whether it is for business or personal reasons, can pose a great number of challenges, each of which needs to be carefully considered in order to ensure a successful product. Here we take a look at some of the most important factors involved in developing a website and what you need to think about as a designer.
Why Are You Creating A Website?
One of your first considerations should always be to question exactly why you are creating a website. Is it purely as a means of promotion? An additional point of sale? A way to contact the business? A combination of factors? Understanding why you are constructing the website will give you greater insight into what you need to do. If the site is merely a way of explaining what services you offer and how to get in touch with the company, you’ll be able to keep the design simple and minimalist. However, if you consider the site as a means of making sales, you’ll have to begin thinking about factors such as payment technology and security. Always have a good idea of what you want to do in order to ensure that you don’t over-complicate things or under-achieve.
Who Will Create It?
When thinking about the actual practicalities of building the website, you’ll need to think about who will do the creating. There are a number of different options, each with their own cost, standard of quality and specialty. You can go it alone, using tools such as the free Website builder from Webeden, pay a company to provide you with a fairly standard website design that you can then develop with them, or employ professionals to create a site tailored to your precise specifications. Which option you choose will largely depend on how much you’re willing to spend, what you need your website to do and whether you feel competent enough to design the site on your own. With the help of tools, such as the Webeden software mentioned above, the job is made far easier and may be a good option.
Early on in the design, it is incredibly important to think about exactly who your audience is. Most businesses will have a good idea which demographic(s) they wish to aim their product at, but it is very important to consider whether your website should be aimed at the same people. If your product sells to those that aren’t computer literate, the elderly for instance, should you think about aiming your website at a different audience? Though the answer may be ‘no,’ it is important to consider how the virtual world differs from that of the traditional and ‘real’ business world.
How to Stand Out?
Issues that cannot be ignored include the need for both originality and individuality. The chances are that there will be a great number of websites already in existence offering the same services as your company. How will you make your website stand out? This can be achieved in a number of ways, such as utilising different website structures, interesting images and introducing further interactive elements, but will ultimately come down to creating a website that works well and looks professional. For a number of reasons, many websites are difficult to use, cumbersome, slow and unattractive. One of the best ways to stand out is by simply avoiding all of these mistakes.
How Will It Grow In The Future?
When constructing a website, you want to think in terms of two timescales. The short term, or the period it will take to design, build and get your website off the ground, and the long term, which revolves around how you will help it to grow and develop. A good website will not just be built and left to sit on the internet awaiting views, but will be constantly updated, modified and changed, with new content and information being added regularly. Ensure that you have a plan for what you want to do with your website in the near future.
Evaluation of Performance
An aspect that many website owners forget when creating a website is the need for some means of measuring its success. Once again, this will depend on what you have set your website up to do, but should be fairly simple. If it was created as a new point of sale, its success can be measured in terms of how much revenue it has generated and how many sales it has made. If its purpose is promotional, are you seeing increased traffic online or in-store? Remember to include evaluation mechanisms in your design.