Lockdown has proven to be a major challenge for the majority of businesses. But one unexpected opportunity that this period of enforced solitude offers, is the chance to redesign your website.
So, with that in mind, here are the 7 key steps you need to take to create the ultimate website for your purposes.
Define the purpose of your website
When you’re considering how to make a website that will strike a chord with your target audience, the most important task is to establish the exact purpose of your site. Is it to collect potential customer details, such as email addresses? Or perhaps you want to drive your sales to the next level? It may be to provide information about the goods and services you promote, or could serve purely as a sales tool. But whatever the end goal of your website, you need to be sure as to what it is and how to design it to achieve that purpose.
Stay focused on the task in hand
Once you start rebuilding your website, it’s tempting to consider other aspects of your online operation. Perhaps you think that an app could be a useful asset, or you may be considering push notifications. But these are processes that can wait until later. For the moment, it’s advisable to stick to your core goal, which is to redesign your website.
Plan your website
Creating a site map, complete with a wire-frame of pages, is an essential aspect of any redesign process. You can do this on your own or in conjunction with a web designer if you prefer. Plan out how each page will look and work out a logical navigation process to guide users through your site. Think about how many pages your site will need to have and the sort of content that will be available throughout the site.
Create engaging and relevant content
Once you have your wire-frame or web template in place, you can start to think about your content. This will depend on your specific industry, but whatever niche you’re in, you should aim to become a go-to source of information and inspiration for your site visitors. The more you can show Google that your site is an excellent resource, the higher you’ll find your site climbs in the rankings – and that means even more visitors will find your business online.
Add colour and graphical elements
Once you’ve created the basic format of your site, it’s time to add some colour and graphical elements. If you want to learn how to make a website really stand out, it’s worth taking some time to read a few articles about the use of colour and how it influences the website visitor. Or you could stick with your current colour palette if you feel that it accurately reflects your brand.
Make sure that the images you select for your site really resonate with your target audience. Web visitors value authenticity, so if you can populate your site with your own photographs and imagery, then that’s an extra bonus!
Test, test and test again
Your website is going to be representing your brand 24 hours day, 7 days a week, so it needs to be robust and fit for purpose. And the only way of ensuring that every single one of your website visitors will have the optimum online experience on your site is to test it.
But that doesn’t mean viewing the site on your own desktop or laptop. Ideally, you need to check a wide variety of platforms and operating systems, to make sure that every visitor has the same experience. If necessary, ask friends and family to test out your site too, using a variety of devices. Your site should display seamlessly across every type of device and screen size, from the largest desktop monitor to the smallest of smartphone screens.
Check that your web pages load quickly too. There’s no point creating richly-detailed web pages if they take more than three seconds to load, as web visitors have little patience. Trim the pages down if necessary to make sure they load as fast as possible, keeping your visitors engaged and interested.
Publish your site
Once you’re completely satisfied that your website is as good as it can be, it’s time to publish it online. But this isn’t a time to rest on your laurels. You need to keep checking back on your site regularly, ensuring that it still works flawlessly across all platforms. Tidy up any dead links as soon as you come across them and keep a close eye on your analytics. You can use this data to tweak your site and make any necessary changes that will keep your visitors happy.
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