Before you jump right in and put up a website, you need a plan. Just like you created a plan when you started your small business, you need a website plan. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to help you create a solid plan for your new website.
Choose a Purpose
Is your website going to be for business purposes or personal? Will it be built around the company brand or around your flagship product? The purpose of your website will have an influence on the domain name you choose.
Before you get too deep into the process of starting your own website, you need to have a purpose. This actually needs to be done before you choose the right website hosting, as the purpose may influence your hosting choice, as well.
Start with the Hosting
You cannot put up a successful website without good website hosting. Your website plan needs to include the right choice for your hosting. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive choice, but it should also not be a cheap, fly-by-night hosting company you cannot trust.
Take this part of your website plan very seriously. You can find a great hosting company to provide cheap website hosting, if you do your homework. Check the support, features, resources and online reviews before you finalize your decision.
Your website will require plenty of different tasks. If you are running a business website, you will want to assign roles for the website. They don’t all need to be in-house, but you want to figure out who will handle the SEO, the content, the images, the updates, maintenance and all other tasks associated with your new website.
Who’s your Target Audience?
Before any design or content is added to your website, you need to set a target audience. The design won’t be the same if your target audience is females from age 15 to 28 compared to a site targeting male sports fans between the ages of 30 and 50.
Defining your target audience will allow you to better define the right design and the right content strategy. When you know who you want to visit your website, you will be able to create a better site and marketing strategy to ensure those visitors love your new website.
Set Your Goals
Every website needs goals. Whether they are set with content in mind, visitors in mind or income in mind, you need to set goals. The purpose will help to define what your goals should be, but you want to make sure you have well defined goals for your new website.
Create the Structure
After you have your plan created, it’s time to start creating the structure of your website. This may include the static pages you want to use for important content, such as services, products, about, contact, terms of service, careers, frequently asked questions, history and more.
Along with the page structure, you may want to use a blog page for recent news and industry tips. A blog can be very powerful and allows you to better connect with your audience. If you plan to use a blog, you will need a content strategy as a part of your structure.
Creating a website isn’t an easy process. However, when you have a website plan, it becomes a much easier process. Use this step-by-step guide and you will be better prepared to build your new website.