20-step guide before creating a website (Part 1)
There is a common mistake many entrepreneurs make as soon as the idea of creating a website arises. They usually seal the deal with the first website builder they find, preferably the cheapest one. In other cases, they decide to create the website themselves without the necessary knowledge. As a direct result, these people fail to check whether their website meets customer expectations or fulfills their business goals.
Therefore, before creating a website, it is worth clarifying the expectations and goals. This way you can get a truly successful website. This is one of the many errors that can stop the website from functioning as intended but can also cause serious damage. In most cases, when it comes to creating a website there are no set expectations, which is a huge problem. Without proper planning, in most cases, you might have a hard time understanding why visitors don’t come to your website, or why they leave immediately once they have found it?
In this article, we are going to collect a few important elements, that are essential for your website to deliver results that meet all expectations. In the first part of the article, we are going to discuss the first 10 steps. Don’t forget to check back for the second part in a while!
#1 No strategy and no planning ahead
The very first and indispensable step in creating a website is to be aware of the specific purpose for which you want to use the website. There are 3 key points you should be focusing on:
- Who it will be for: do a target audience research that defines design elements and communication
- What it will be about: define the identity, goals, and strategy of your business
- Who are we going up against: do a competitor research – what kind of website and communication is necessary to achieve our goals and get ahead of your competition.
#2 Choose a domain name and hosting provider wisely
You must choose the right domain name for your website. In the past, it was important to include your main keyword in the domain name, but today the algorithms are much smarter than that and the focus is more on branding. However, what is worth paying attention to is that your domain name should not even accidentally be confused with your competition – unless that is your goal.
There are many free or very low-budget hosting providers on the market. The first step when choosing a provider is to ask for the opinion of a specialist to determine the resource requirements of your website.
#3 Responsive appearance, design
In 2020, when it became clear that Google prefers mobile appearance, there was no question that your website must also be optimized for mobile devices. In other words, it must provide a suitable experience for the user on both mobile phones and tablets.
You’ve probably also noticed that wherever you go, people are hunched over their mobile phones while browsing with bleary eyes. They need to be able to read your content, so it’s worth choosing the fonts accordingly, and it’s also worth keeping in mind that they won’t wait endlessly for the page to load.
#4 Use of logo and favicon
In most cases, your logo determines the image of your website. Its colors, and style, all reflect the creed of your business. And what’s more, your logo is what you should look at in the upcoming decade – ideally. Moreover, and this is key, you don’t have to like it, your customers do. Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to overcome this issue, even though a lot depends on it.
Now let’s take a look at the importance of using a favicon. The vast majority of users open and keep multiple tabs open while browsing. If we fail to use a favicon, you not only make the user experience worse by not letting the customer know where to click if they want to return to your website, but you will also miss the opportunity to help them become aware of our branding.
#5 Plan the pages and content before creating a website
Before creating a website, list your questions and find the answers to them. Once you have all the answers, creating your pages will be much easier. Here are a few examples:
- What do you want to convey to your visitors?
- What piques their interest and keeps them on the page?
- How many pages do you need to create to do this effectively?
- How did your successful competitors do it for the right result?
- Perhaps you could achieve a more successful result with a professional copywriter?
#6 Don’t just focus on your service and product
In most cases, you are not the only fighter in the market. Make yourself special and justify how you are different from the others, and why it is worth buying from you. Make it personal, and try to create as much engagement as possible with the visitor. Build a brand, and increase engagement with micro-conversions and stories related to your company’s creed.
#7 Direct interested parties to the website
People have found your website. Great, congratulations! The next step is to not let users get lost. The structure of your website should be reasonable. Use a clear structure, links, and appropriate color, and size CTA (call to action) buttons. Use them to direct your visitors where you want them to click. Let them see exactly where and how they can contact you. It is also worth displaying a few customer feedbacks to get your visitors in the mood for further browsing.
#8 Does the changing main page image look good? Forget it!
Does it look great if the images above the fold (the view that appears when loading) change on the main page of your website? Well, here’s the deal. No one is interested in it. Honestly, how many times have you looked at them on other websites? The truth is that they only slow down the loading time. This might cause your visitors to leave your page before it has loaded. The same applies to videos. Pictures and videos related to your service can be presented perfectly on a dedicated subpage or YouTube.
#9 Analytical tools
Google Analytics and Search Console are Google’s free analytical tools, which by copying a few codes to your website, allow you to measure the behavior of your visitors. Moreover, you can see the keywords they used to arrive at your website, you can check where they left the page, or what errors they discovered that need fixing. These are the tools without which it is not worth running a website if you want to optimize its performance.
#10 Your general data must be up to date
Data such as the name, address, and phone number are very important, as Google connects your business with your online appearances based on these. Properly setting up LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google Business is also essential to increase and strengthen the online presence of your business. This data should be the same everywhere so that people can know for sure that it is you. This step is underestimated by many people, even though it is very, very important to increase your credibility.
We hope that the first part of our article has helped you understand the most important steps to complete before creating a website. Don’t forget to check back for the second part of our list, where we will discuss 10 more essential steps you should know about as a website developer or a business owner!