When a client or friend tells me they are planning a new website design, I can’t help but get curious and excited. What colors are they going to go with? What are their SEO goals? What layout are they using? Creating a personal or business website requires serious thought and attention; in other words, it’s more then what font you plan to use. In order to help you be a bit less overwhelmed, here are some critical questions to ask yourself before, and while creating, your new website design.
1. What is the purpose of your website?
It seems obvious, but knowing the true purpose of your website will determine everything that it does and how it looks. Make sure you lay out clear objectives and goals for your website before you start on the design.
2. What will your domain name be?
Your website title needs to be memorable, catchy and easy to remember. Also make sure you know which domain will be appropriate (.net, .com, etc.).
3. What technology will you use for your website design?
Find a platform you’re familiar with and that is easy to use (I recommend WordPress and/or HTML5) to build your website. If you understand how to do the basic coding then you will be able to make minor edits without the help of a website designer.
4. What will your content be?
A personal website will usually have content that is more about blogging and personal tastes and interests. A business website will feature content about the business itself: An “About Us” page, a blog, contact information, and pages devoted to products and/or services. It’s critical to feature content that is SEO focused, such as vivid images, creative videos and keyword-friendly copy.
5. Who is your audience?
Every website design is a little different, and you can always tell who knows their audience well and who doesn’t. Website designers who understand their audience use appropriate colors, targeted SEO (keywords, images and videos perfect for that audience) and a clear layout. Make sure it’s immediately clear who you’re trying to reach when your website pops up.
6. Is your website able to be viewed in all browsers?
Your website should not become distorted depending on the type of browser someone is using. Be sure to test your new website on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer.
7. What social media channels will you promote?
Linking to your social media accounts will not only boost website traffic, it will also give you some major SEO points.
8. How will you track your website traffic?
You can’t increase SEO if you’re not clear about where you need to make changes. Try using Google Analytics to see where you can improve and where you’re doing well.
These are just a handful of the many questions and decisions that go into building a website, whether it be a personal website or business one. What other questions do you think are important?
Photo Credit: StartUp Stock Photos