Web Design: Preparation Steps
1. Strategic Planning
Without a plan, it is certain that the website project will not fully benefit the company compared to it’s potential. It’s important to have strategies in place before we move into action. The reason many web based projects fail is that it is easy to make a website than to plan a for a successful one.
Here are some questions to answer in coming up with a strategy for your website project:
- Why do would you want the website? Why now and not later?
- If the website is successful, what should it do or achieve?
- Which of our services or products are we going to propagate with this website? Some services are not worth even mentioning on the website e.g. EcoCash agency.
- Who are the visitors we need on the website? Group them into categories.
- What do our visitors expect to find on the website? Each group of visitors should be well fed with content on the site.
- What actions should each group take on the website? These are the actions we need our visitors to take become business lead.
2. Choosing a name
The name of the website should be derived from the company name or one of the products/services this website will be pushing. The question of domain extensions also comes into play here. What is the difference between .com and a .co.zw website extensions?
The name of the website affects the website’s performance on search engines. It’s important to come up and verify the name of the site early enough. It’s even wiser to register the domain
as well as soon as we discover its available.
Choosing a designer & developer
This person (or group of people) will provide you with two critical services other that the creation of the website and guidance plus consultation. It’s important to choose somebody or a company that you are confident about their services. Most of the failure and confusion in the websites project emanate from lack of trust between the two parties involved. Clients must learn to be great ones too to receive excellent service from their designers and developers.
The constraints of budget and time must be made clear on the onset of the website project. No one should have an unrealistic expectation of the payments or the time the project will take to complete. It’s important to have clear communication in giving specification and expectations. Some designers are cheats and armatures, and they are trying to get deeper into your pocket. Therefore, give attention to detail and hire only people you are confident in or referred. If the company is new and you like it, it’s wise to contact its current clients and get real comments and reviews.
Testing the website.
After the developer finishes the project, it’s time for testing. Testing must include:
- Whether the links take you where you want them to or not. Whether they open on the same page or another tab as intended.
- Whether they are saving data from forms to a database or sending to emails.
- Any other feature on the website needs testing by the owner.
- Also, the writing on the website needs to be verified for correctness, validity and relevance.
Hosting is to do with the placing of your website online. Who hosts your website also affects the following:
- The uptime of the website. Uptime is the time the website is available for visitors.
- The speed of loading of the website. The geographical location of the servers has an effect on the speed of loading. The closer the hosting server to you the faster the website loads.
- The number of emails associated with your domain. There is a limit on many hosting packages, so carefully read the limits and make wise decisions.
When set, it’s good to tell the world that your website exists. All the visitors the website in the early stages are those who know it exists. Launching maybe a formal event or just a set of activities.Posted in Web Design