One of the questions we get asked the most from clients just starting out with a new site build, is which factors are the most important to start with when building a new website. In response to those questions, we have compiled a list of 6 essential things that we think are key before getting started on developing your own site. Let's get into it!


Overall Objective


Even though seemingly obvious, we would be remiss if we didn't start off by mentioning how important it is to have a clear idea of the goal you're striving for, before starting to build your website. Is the point of this site to simply increase the online presence of your company? Or is it more personal like creating a blog or portfolio on a topic that interests you? If there are products being sold on your website then it will need to be eCommerce enabled. Is this website connected to a brick-and-mortar store? Will there be a blog? Without having those goals set from the beginning it will be harder to be focused on your ultimate goal.


Research Your Industry


Researching competitors, and your industry as a whole, is a great place to start finding websites you like. (You may already have a few in mind.) Taking the time to research the market will give you ideas of things you can incorporate into your own site and help to narrow down which things are most important for the overall design, as well as get an idea of style preferences that will help us make sure we create something you love!


Content


Having the perfect voice is important for any website. You need to have content that is engaging to your readers in a way that also forwards your brand image. Check out this amazing article from Semrush all about how to create great content for your website:

14 Tips for Writing Awesome Website Content

Need help? We have a network of brilliant writers who can take your ideas and bring them to life in written form!


Branding


A website without branding is easily forgotten. It may be functional, but it lacks personality and quickly fades from memory along with the thousands of other websites that are just as bland!

Check out our post, "9 Tips for Creating an Awesome Brand" for actionable insights to help you identify and strengthen your brand!


Branding is the process of creating a strong, positive, perception of a company, its products, or services in the customer's mind by combining such elements as logo, colors, images, the overall layout of the design, your mission statement, etc., and continually using those elements as a consistent theme throughout all marketing communications.


Interactivity


Interactivity includes things like video, forms, transitions and animations. It also includes smaller "micro-transitions" like movement, things sliding in or out of frame, changes to an image or button when you hover over or click on it. This area can be daunting to new businesses who may not be familiar with the various types of transitions that are possible and how to use them sparingly for maximum effect. It is very important to take your time on step two above and do plenty of research and keep notes on the different things that stand out to you on websites that you've seen. Having a working example of something you'd like to have on your own website makes things 10 times easier when it is time to implement it!


Functionality


Functionality basically comes down to: "what does your website need to allow users to do?" Things like forms to fill out, surveys to collect, user log-ins, etc.


A great way to start figuring this out is to group functionality into two main buckets; "must-have" and "would-like-to-have". "Must-have" items are features that your website absolutely has to have on day one. (If you sell products online you have to be able to accept online payments!)


"Would-like-to-have" items are features that would be nice to offer but are not crucial to the immediate launching of the site. In other words, you can wait to implement those features later. (A forum where users can discuss topics may not be essential to your business today, so it would go in the "we can implement this later" bucket.)


Categorizing them this way does two things; first, it helps you to identify which features are crucial must-haves right now today, and which ones would be great to have at some point down the road, and second; it allows you to manage your budget more effectively by starting with only the essentials and keeping some features as potential add-ons in the future.


Building a website is an exciting experience, but it’s also one that should be approached with care. We took a look at what we believe to be six essential considerations you need to make before launching your site and we hope our advice has been helpful in guiding you through these decisions.


Now that you have all this information, how can we help? Let us know! We offer reliable web design services for both new sites as well as site redesigns so get in touch today if there's anything at all we can do to help launch your online business or improve the look of your current site.