You’ve made the decision to go digital and build a website for your business, but you may be thinking what should I do now? Beyond the initial desire to create a site you might be unsure where to begin the process. Here are some helpful steps to guide you through the website production process.
Site Definition and Planning
The first step in the process is the concept and planning phase. This is an important part of building a website where you need to think about the overall appearance, what it will look like, what information you want to display and how you want your audience to interact with the site. Defining your goals and objectives is an important first step and builds a good foundation for the entire process. Some questions to think about in this initial phase might be: What is the basis of your site? Are you featuring a product of service? How do you want your customers to view your company? Sitting down with a creative marketing team to discuss the overall look, functionality and content of the site will help guide you through each step and lay strong groundwork for the road ahead. During this phase, you need to think about what exactly to include on the website – amount of information, how it will be displayed, imagery, etc. You will also need to think about how you are going to generate content for the site, both written and images. If you are selling a product you will need to think about a product shoot and if you need written content, you might need to hire a copywriter. Thinking about all the pieces of the puzzle at the beginning will alleviate some later headaches and set you on a smooth path.
Content and Organization
The next step is to plan the overall organization of the website; you can think of this as the architecture of a website. You will need to think about your landing page – the first page a customer sees when entering the site, what other pages you want, and the order in which a customer moves through the site. Organize the information in a way that will make sense and create the best experience for a viewer. A creative marketing team can help with this step and make suggestions regarding the best layout, functionality and interactivity of the website. Part of this process will also be gathering all the written content for each portion of the site.
After the initial concept and organization phases, the actual design process can begin. A design team can create a mockup of the website so you can see what it will look like, decide if there are any changes, and fine tune all the design aspects. Once approved, the site can move onto the coding stage.
The final stage is the coding process and actual construction of the website. This is when your website finally takes shape – the web developer codes pages, plugs in content and designers chime in to implement all the design aspects previously discussed.
Finally, your website is ready to launch! Now it’s just a case of maintaining, updating when needed and keeping your customers engaged!