Thinking of developing a new website? Need to redesign an old one?
The best way to ensure a smooth, stress-free design process, is to follow these ten easy steps to effective website development.
By considering these key questions, you are more likely to achieve the website that you want and need.
These ten stages will also help you to avoid endless redesigns.
Importantly, they will ensure that your new website will work hard for you and your business.
In this article, I will start by listing the ten questions that you should consider when designing a website.
I will then look at each of these questions in more detail. By the end of this post, you will know all you need to know before you start to create your perfect online presence.
Website Design:10 Key Questions
What Type Of Website Do You Want To Create?
What Websites Do You Love / Hate
Do You Have Any Brand Colours
Are There Any Fonts That You Want To Use?
Would You Prefer A Widescreen Or A Narrower Website With A Sidebar?
How Many Pages Do You Want To Create?
Do You Have Images For This Website?
Do You Have Content Ready For Your Website?
Do You Need Any CTA Buttons?
- Would You Like Any Widgets / Online Tools Added To Your Website?
#1 What Type Of Website Do You Want To Create?
When I start a new website design, the first question I ask is what the website needs to achieve once it is designed and developed. For example, does it need to be:
- a personal / CV style site
- a portfolio site (great for photographers)
- an online shopping site
- a blogging site
- a fun, informal site
- a formal, corporate site
- an event marketing site
Once I know what my client wants, I can start to visualise potential website layouts.
#2 What Websites Do You Love/Hate?
The next step in the design process is to consider what websites you love and what sites that you really don't like.
Have a look around the internet and make a list of the websites you like. In addition, note down the design elements you like/hate on a range of different sites. For example, you may like the use of images on one website and the page layout on another.
#3 Would You Prefer A Widescreen Website Or A Narrow One With A Sidebar?
If this issue has not been addressed in the first two questions, it is always worth asking yourself if you prefer a widescreen layout (such as the one I have used on www.picpresents.com) or a narrower layout with a sidebar (such as the one on www.jdjcompliance.com).
#4 Do You Have Any Brand Colours?
Do you have any particular colour scheme in mind?
You may have a list of the exact colours that you need to use. Perhaps these colours need to be taken from your company's logo. Alternatively, you may have an idea of a basic colour palate that you would like to use in your website.
Whatever the case, I typically advise choosing two striking, yet complementary colours and one colour that will stand out on screen for Call To Action (CTA) text and buttons etc.
#5 Are There Any Fonts That You Want To Use?
You may have an idea of the exact fonts that you would like to use in your website.
As with the colours, I tend to choose three fonts to use in my website design. I need a font for my headers, a font for my body text and a font for my images and CTA buttons.
Do not worry if you do not have a list of favourite fonts! Your website developer will be able to recommend some fonts and you can then decide if you like the look of them.
#6 What Pages Do You Want To Create?
Effective navigation is crucial for any website. If your visitor cannot find what they are looking for they will likely click away.
It is a good idea to draw a map to illustrate the navigation paths that you want your visitor to take. For example, having landed on your homepage where do you want your visitor to go?
Once you have created your website’s ideal navigation, you will need to choose which pages to feature in your navigation bar. This is the list of webpages that appears at the top or to the side of your website.
The key is to keep your navigation bar simple. You don’t want to overwhelm your visitors.
Then, make it easy for your visitors to find more information by adding links to other pages, buttons or drop down menus.
#7 Do You Have Images For This Website?
Do you have any photographs and images that you would like to use in your new website design? If so, it is a good idea to collate these images together and send them to your website designer who can then ensure that the pictures are of adequate quality.
Do not worry if you do not have any images. Your website designer will be able to source these for you if necessary.
#8 Do You Have Content Ready For This Website?
While your website developer is working on the visual style of your website, you need to consider what content should go on each of your new online pages.
This is always a time consuming task. However, your website designer will be able to help you and you can always edit and tweak your text before your site goes live.
#9 Have You Considered your Call To Action?
When potential clients land on your website you want them to:
Find out more about your business and what you offer
Encourage them to take action by, perhaps, subscribing to your email newsletter, buying your product or signing up for your
As a result, your website needs stand-out CTA buttons, text and images to drive your visitor to take action.
#10 Do You Need Any Widgets/Online Tools?
For example, there are a range of online tools that can add the following to your website:
Social media engagement and sharing
Online forms and surveys
Videos and audio
Customer service via live chat
Visitor engagement via commenting systems
Analytics to see who is visiting your website and what pages are proving more popular
Event marketing, registration and ticket purchasing
Online calendars and booking
Website search engines
Login capability or password protection
- Content translation
You may have noticed that I have not mentioned the issue of mobile-ready design. This is because all of my designs are compatible across all devices.
This is more important than ever following Google’s rules which penalise any website that isn’t fit for mobile consumption.
I hope that you have found this post useful.
Please do not hesitate to contact me, should you have any questions.