Planning out your website can seem daunting at first so it’s important that you take a step back and evaluate your goals for the site. You should ensure that both your website and brand align and have a clear purpose, so set aside a bit of time to look for some inspiration.
1. Generate Your Ideas First
When you get started it’s a good idea to research the layouts, themes and colour schemes for your website that might interest you. You should then compile your favourites into a mood board but it’s important to make sure that you don’t overdo it. Putting your mood board together will involve general internet research and then placing a few ideas in a document, but it might be easier to use boards on Pinterest instead. Generating ideas will help you visualise how you want your website to look and how that aligns with your goals.
2. Create a Physical Plan
Make a physical plan that consists of a few key points which will allow you to establish the goals you have for your website. It’s important to have a notebook or even just a word doc for this as you’ll want to make the following clear: what you want to achieve through your site (consider creating a mission statement) and the details about the person you’re appealing to, so, in other words, who’s your audience and what are they interested in?
3. Consider an easy-to-use Structure
It’s important to jot down a few rough sketches of what you want your site to look like with inspiration from the moodboard while considering your audience and goals. Keep in mind that it should be easy to use to avoid visitors getting frustrated and leaving. For instance, Go Wind has two main buttons on their homepage which, when clicked, clearly state what they are about and their services so customers know exactly what to expect straight away. The catchy visuals like the windmill animation also help to explain who they are as a company.
4. Don’t forget about Design and Colours
Hopefully your mood board will also be beneficial when it comes to colour schemes and design. Consider using a minimalistic design for your website because cramming in too much can confuse visitors as they won’t know where to look first! Colours should be complimenting each other and shouldn’t be clashing. You’ll also want your site to be eye-catching to users so it might be a good idea to take a look at our visual tips on web design.
5. Consider the Tools available
You should research a handful of online tools that will be essential when your website is published. Google Trends is useful for SEO as it enables you to see what people are currently searching for and will therefore help to narrow down topic ideas. Another useful tool is Google Analytics. It’s important that you sign your website up with this when it’s live as it will tell you how many users are accessing it, where they’ve come from and loads more.
We hope this has given you an insight into how vital the planning process is and what should be considered before building your website.