- Research: know your goal and audience
- Plan: collect your content
- Design for your users
- Develop it (write the code)!
- Test for user friendliness
- Launch the site!
- Maintain the site with regular updates
Many steps define a website development process. The designer must follow a defined and well-documented process that saves time and ensures a high-efficiency level. Whether they are planning to create a website with minimal graphic design or a modern website with animation effects, they need to consider the key ingredients of a successful website.
So, how can you create a good website? What are the steps that a web designer needs to follow to design a site five times better than before? Let’s dive in.
Know the goal of the website
Understanding the purpose of the website is essential to know the best ways to design it. As a website designer, you need to know if the site is for selling products or getting leads and people to sign up for the newsletter. It might also be created for converting visitors to customers, etc. As a matter of fact, the website’s goal can be to achieve all of this. Whatever the goal is, it’s an essential factor in creating a good website. So, it has to be at the back of your mind when creating a website.
You’re very likely not to create a website that’s good enough if you don’t know the purpose of the site in the first place. The success of a website is determined by how well it can reach its goals. So, it has to be explicitly created for that.
To determine this, you should ask the clients what their needs are. This will provide you with all the necessary information that you need to get started. Listen to what they have to say and the ideas they want for their site. This will save you the stress of going back and forth with them. In the end, you won’t only have a great website but a satisfied customer.
Take your time to plan before you start
Now that you have all the necessary information and know everything you need to know, the next thing is to plan. Like every other successful endeavor, planning is essential in building a great website. This is even more important if you’re trying to reach a large number of people.
You can create a list of all the pages that you expect to be on the website for a start. This will depend on the goal of the website. The idea of this is to determine the pages that are necessary for the website and make them easy to navigate.
You can also visualize how the pages will look. For instance, you can make a physical representation by drawing.
User experience is paramount
One of the factors that lead to the success of a website is the user experience of the website. The user experience is what they feel and ‘experience’ while going through the website. Some of the questions to answer in determining the user experience are:
- Is it mobile-friendly or not?
- Does it have a fast loading speed?
- Is it easy to navigate?
- Is the information clear to see?
- Is there a problem with visual clutter?
If your answer is yes for the first four and no for the last question, you are on the path to building a website with a great user experience.
If the user experience of a website is poor, it can’t achieve its goal. There are many websites on the internet for users to waste time on a bad one. So, this will only lead to a high bounce rate.
Website testing is essential in website design, and you need to run it concurrently with the development of the website. End-to-end testing includes a number of tests such as usability, functionality, interface, security, compatibility, and performance testing.
Thoroughly testing your website’s usability ensures that the users don’t experience any problems while going through your website. Functional testing also sees to it that the website features are validated against those ones in the document for the functional specifications. The compatibility test makes sure that it functions appropriately on different operating systems and devices, such as tablets and mobile devices. These tests help to improve your website’s user experience.
Launch and maintain
Website launching involves transferring the website to a live server from a local server. It doesn’t mean the process is over. There’s still a lot of upkeep to do to keep it running. You must continue to test the website at intervals and with a constant content update to be sure that nothing is broken.
The five steps mentioned in this article are a summary of the major things you need to do to create a working website. This will allow you to create a website of quality that makes both the website owner and users happy.
Lucas Smith is a content strategist and freelance blogger who likes to write on topics related to small business, social media and brand design. He would love to hear your ideas, connect with him!