Blog > 6 Things To Consider Before Making Your Website
Posted By Poppy
Tags: website design
Dreaming of creating a professional website but not sure where to start? Follow our tips for a site you can be proud of.
Determine Your Focus
Setting up your own website can be done in minutes - especially with Create taking care of the technical side of things. Before you dive in, it’s a good idea to ask yourself: what do you want this site to do for you? Are you looking to generate interest in your product or brand? Is it primarily to make sales? Or is it a portfolio or information site? Whatever your main focus, keep this thought in mind at all times and it will help shape everything you do.
- Who are your customers? Really think about who you want to visit your site and let this set the benchmark for everything you do, from the colour scheme to the language you use.
- Check out rivals. The internet makes it ridiculously easy to do competitor profiling (ie. to stalk your competition). Don’t be afraid to look at corporate giants like Coca Cola, Apple or other big, popular brands for inspiration. You need to try out different things to find out what works for you.
It’s natural to want to jump straight into things, but, like any project, planning is of the essence. Grab a pen and paper before you turn on your computer and have a think about the content structure and navigation of your site. Think about:
- What’s the purpose of your site? You need to consider what people will get out of it. Is it for information sharing? A portfolio? Sales? An online community? Different types of website need different structures and navigation.
- Start with the main areas of your site. If you’re selling candles, for example, you’ll want to think about the categories you’ll have them in (for example, this could be done by colour or scent). Then consider a sale section, and what you’ll have on your homepage.
Get Started Today
It’s not vain to want your site to look amazing. People will be inclined to spend more time on it and to take it more seriously if it’s attractive; the aim is to make it as functional as it is pretty.
- Don’t fill your homepage with too many different fonts, images, colours or information, and make sure links aren’t placed too close together. Less really is more.
- Make sure the layout is crisp and clear - the simpler the better. Too much information looks cluttered and will overwhelm visitors. Sites like Bougessa are great examples of clean minimalism at its best.
- You want a few carefully-chosen, high quality images to represent your brand. You can take your own pics or use the vast library of free stock images available. If you’re selling products, that’s where the focus needs to be. People don’t want have to read loads of information while they’re shopping.
Now your website’s on its way to looking great, it’s time to build some integrity with great written content.
- Make sure the purely functional text (e.g. product descriptions.) is clear and consistent. Pay close attention to little things, like which words you capitalise, to keep your content uniform.
- All information should be concise and to the point.
- Make sure to include comprehensive contact details: this will improve your credibility and means that, once you’re set up, you can connect with the people that really matter - your customers.
- Don’t waste your time churning out insubstantial content for the sake of it. Write a few high quality pieces of text to add to your site once it’s set up.
- Make it conversational - imagine you’re talking to a friend or colleague.
- Avoid using formal language or too many long, technical words - keep it snappy and light.
- Engagement comes from emotion. Adding content like ‘our story’ to your site creates a comforting, familiar feel to your brand.
- Be informative. Include useful nuggets of information, interesting stats and relevant tips. For example, if you’re running a jewellery site, you could include tips on how to clean and look after sterling silver.
- This sort of quality written content adds depth to to your site and engages visitors by offering that little bit extra they won’t be expecting. Check out Create’s tips on Content Marketing for more help.
Even the most elegant and well-designed website is completely pointless if you’re the only person visiting it!
- Make it sticky! This means making it hard to leave - and not because the page jams, or they’re bombarded with popups, but because they can’t drag their eyes away from it. It’s all about finding the balance between being interesting but accessible. For example...
- Maximise your site’s Search Engine Optimization. Create has some great tips on how to maximise your site’s SEO, or if you need a summary, check out our blog post on the basics of SEO.
- Nowadays, you don’t need to be a business expert to start marketing your website: just hop on social media. If you already have accounts with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, you’ve already been developing the skills needed for social media marketing.
- There’s lots to learn about marketing and a lot of it will involve trying and testing a few different things before you know where best to focus your energy.
- Have clear goals - you need to make sure you have a clear call-to-action. It needs to be obvious what the point of the website is. Whether you’re selling products, promoting ideas or starting a conversation, you should be unafraid to ask something of your visitors.
There you have it. With good planning, attention to detail and quality content, anyone can make a great website. Create gives you the tools you need to get started - the rest is completely up to you.