A Step-By-Step Guide For Website Planning

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Planning a website plays a very crucial role in its future success. Some coders may build a website based merely on what they think a website should look like or by putting in the latest code lines they think would demonstrate knowledge of high-tech features.

Whether you’re new to website design and development or just surfing for new ideas and techniques, you might want to learn from this step-by-step guide for website planning. For instance, did you know gathering content is part of the planning stage? You can read the full details here.

1. Imagine Your User

The first thing to consider when you’re creating a website is having a clear and vivid reference of what your imaginary website user is like. This is important because your entire website has to be designed around the needs and wants of this imaginary user. Some website developers call this ‘creating a user persona.’

Adopting a user-oriented mindset in website design, planning, and creation is crucial in ensuring the website is responsive to what the user needs. It’s important to figure out what the imagined user intends to do whenever they log on to the site.

2. Know The Competition

The second thing to remember is knowing your competition. Your competitors, especially the established ones, already have a piece of the market for your niche. You can figure this out based on their number of followers, site traffic, and ad revenues, or if they’re an e-commerce website, their fulfillment orders, or monthly turnover.

It’s best to know the competition and find out and learn all the good things about them. Knowing the competition is also crucial in getting a clear grasp of what the market wants. The existing players already have their share of the target market. There are solid reasons why a certain segment likes them. It may not be easy for their customers to readily shift to you once your site is up.

3. Learn How SEO Can Put You On Top

As early as your planning stage, you may need to decide on the search engine optimization (SEO) strategy you’d adopt and implement for the website. It’s important to take this into account during the design process. You don’t want to wait until you’ve finished the website before crafting your SEO strategy.

Your site map and content have to be carefully designed based on the keyword search that would be recommended by your SEO agency. There are some nuances in designing websites for beginners, but SEO strategy still plays an important role.

4. Go Over What You Have, Make A Content Inventory

If your website is already up and what you’d be doing is a rebuilding or revamping project, consider doing a content inventory for the entire existing website. Content inventory is basically auditing all the contents of the website. When doing this, you might need to go through each page, article, link, form, and button or call to action and decide whether to keep them, change them a bit, or scrap them altogether.

5. Schedule The Card-Sorting Session

The next step in your website creation project is scheduling the card-sorting session. This is a great way of harnessing the preferences of your participants as important feedback on how you design and build your website. It would be ideal if your participants are a mix of some of your existing clients or customers, staff, and even family and friends.

During a card-sorting session, the participants would be asked to organize your website content into categories and groups that make sense to them. The various parts or topics of your website would be written in sticky notes or index cards. They would then sort all these cards by putting a card under a group until all the topic cards have a group or category.

6. Finalize Your Site Map

After you’ve learned from the card-sorting session what your stakeholders want to find in your website, your next step would be to make a final version of your site map. When you’ve reached this stage, it means you’ve already organized the information and feedback you received from your stakeholders into a sensible logical framework of what your website would look like and how it should be organized.

7. Choose An Appropriate CMS

Selecting a content management system (CMS) is another important part of your web-building process. The CMS is basically the framework upon which your entire website would be built. Choosing the appropriate type of CMS depends on the kind of website you’re building. If you hired a website development company, they could recommend the most suitable CMS.

Blueprint Of A Website

The best websites are built around what they think their intended or targeted users would need from the site. Careful planning is required to build something that millions, or probably even billions, of users might find useful.

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