So you have a great idea for a website? Or it’s finally time to move your business into the 21st century and get a business website. Well, here are some pointers to getting off to the right start.
First of all, have a plan. Not having a plan is planning to fail. One of the best ways to plan your new website is with a white paper. A white paper is basically a website business plan displayed in an info-graphic. This can be very helpful for getting a overview of what each part of the website will do and how each page will interact with other pages.
White papers start by addressing the basic structure of your website. This is usually 4 to 8 pages that will make up the “back-bones” of the site. Some examples of these pages are “Products”, “Services”, “Contact”, “Home”, etc.
Once you have established the core modules for the site, it is time to fill in any extraneous pages that will be apart of the main core pages. Examples of these pages are “Pricing”, “Sizes”, “Colors”, “Sales”, etc.
Now create a diagram with the main pages as boxes with the links that will be connecting the pages drawn in as lines. After the main pages are created, add the secondary pages inside the main pages. It should give you an organized diagram of the site when finished.
With this simple diagram, you can now delve deeper into site style, content and functionality. Make several copies of the diagram you created above and label each one as “Style”, “Content”, and “Functionality.” Now fill in the details on each one of these pages with the appropriate details of how you want to stylize the page, what content will be on the page, and how the user will interact with that content, described on the functionality chart.
After you have finished with this process, it is time to put sales funnels into your design process. This is a key step that many site creators miss. Sales funnels are ways that your customer will be guided from a need or want to a satisfactory result on your website.
Start by thinking about the ways a prospect might find their way to your website. Now take that information and meld it with how that same prospect would be guided to a purchase on your website. The two of these concepts combined becomes a sales funnel to that particular product or service.
Try to create as many different sales funnels to your products or services as you can without diluting the process too much.
Once there is a plan like a white paper in place, it is easier to begin the development process. Using the created white papers, a developer should have a relatively easy time transferring your ideas from paper to the web.
Make sure to have all of the images and content that will go on each page segmented into their own folders. When transferring files to the developer, make sure to label each delivery as the page it goes with and only include information that goes on that page. This will simplify and organize the process for your developer, and limit your frustration with editing the site down the road.
Philip Agyeman-Budu founder and CEO of Authentic Imaging LLC, has for the past 7 years had the chance to work with highly reputable companies and helped with several online start-up companies.