From personal to professional, small business to enterprise, everyone needs a website. The purpose behind your website and your budget, however, are what will determine your site’s design and function. You can succeed regardless of your purpose, but you need to stick to your goals and know how to succeed, rather than try to follow a path that does not apply to you.
To help you design your first website, you will need to have the answers to these top five questions first:
What is Your Goal and Purpose?
Knowing what your goal and purpose is will help you choose the right design features. A personal blog won’t need an e-commerce platform, but a small store or business will. Know what you need your site to do so that you can choose the right features from the start. It will always be easier to get it all right, rather than have to go back and revamp your site to accommodate what you need it to do later on.
What CMS Is Right for You?
For most, the content management system they will use will be WordPress, but if you need to sell products, you will instead need to look at options like Shopify or BigCommerce, which specialize in product management and sales, rather than articles and blog pieces.
What E-Commerce Platform Do You Want to Use?
The right e-commerce platform will depend on your needs and budget. If you are serious about your store, then you will need to use a platform that can offer you the customization features and the ability to scale as you grow. Unless you have web design experience, you will then want to go to professionals like those at blackbeltcommerce.com to set up and optimize your site so that it looks and functions exactly the way you want it. A well-designed store is key to sales, so never underestimate its importance.
What Aesthetics Suit My Brand?
Color theory, shapes, trends, and even symbols can all tell a story bigger than a whole page of text and faster than the blink of an eye. This happens because of the power of association. We associate green with nature, with the environment, and with life. We associate red with passion and love, and so on. Know what associations come with your design choices, and double check that what they say reflects your brand and your values.
How Does SEO Fit Into the Picture?
Finally, remember SEO. SEO should be at the forefront of everything that you do, because today that means so much more than appealing to an algorithm. Google has made updates to its ranking system so that today it looks for factors that would indicate a great user experience. On-site, this means a fast, secure, and well-designed site will rank higher than one that hasn’t been updated in a decade and has security risks riddled through it. Off-site, real articles that offer key information will rank higher, and consequentially, are also the content that is more likely to be read by real people. Increase your chance or organic reach and engagement, increase your search engine ranking. Focusing on SEO, then, is killing two birds with one stone.
Creating a website that works requires a lot of thought and planning into its design and function. You want to pay close attention to user experience and aesthetics, and, of course, check on your analytics to monitor usage and tweak your design to improve performance on a regular basis. Do this, and you can create a beautiful, great site that will help you succeed in all your goals.