Website development is an essential service of our company, which be engaged in web development since 2005. Adherence to the main stages of building websites is the key to the successful operation of the resource, and therefore ignoring them is usually expensive for owners.
There are still business owners who order websites on the principle of simply creating a website “to be”. “Once we have competitors, we need them.” In this case, the client does not participate in the process, and inexperienced professionals sometimes create a website within their world picture. After all, this is not their business, and they do not know all the intricacies of the case. It turns out a website about everything and nothing, which spends time and money on the owners. Let’s understand what you need to do before ordering a website, during its creation, and after to get the output of a working tool for business. We highlight the following stages of creating websites:
Step 1. Define goals
First of all, you need to determine what you need for a website. The structure and filling of a resource and also ways of advancement will depend on it.
Examine your audience: who your customers are and how they search for information about a product or service. It will depend on which website you need. If you are just starting a business, then look at research in your field to understand the big picture. For those who already have many customers offline, we recommend surveying customers and employees.
We recommend starting to study e-commerce to understand who and what orders on the Internet for online stores. And, of course, do not forget about competitors who have already created websites. Learn how they attract customers, what opportunities they have, or what mistakes they make. By understanding who your customers are, it is easier to formulate the purpose of the website, which may look like, for example, like this:
- You are expanding audience coverage. You want to go to other regions and expand your dealer network. Or you have learned that most customers are looking for information online and are willing to order online. You will need a complete website with information about all products and services of the company.
- Brand promotion. Your company already established in the market. It is suitable to create a business card website that will increase customer loyalty and help find company contacts faster. Still, it is unknown on the Internet: in various rankings, forum pages, or information websites, there is no mention of you, only of competitors.
- Reduce the load on support. After interviewing employees, it became clear that customers do not have enough information about the product, and creating a so-called directory would solve this problem. That is, you need a website with an emphasis on information content. Also, such a website is suitable for training new employees.
- Increasing sales of a particular product. For those who are not yet ready to launch a full-fledged website or would like to “feel” the audience, you should start with a landing page for one product or service.
These are just the most common options for reference.
Step 2. Choose a domain and hosting
It is better to choose the name of the website and the hosting company in advance. And feel free to consult with the developers of your website. We have already written about the selection of a domain name here.
Step 3. Make a technical task
As you can guess from the name, terms of reference are a document that will collect all the requirements for your future website. The level of detail depends on your wish list and the complexity of the resource. Let’s highlight the main sections:
- Description of the purpose and purpose of the website and brief information about the target audience. That website developers were with you on one wave and at the same time helped to choose a resource format.
- Requirements for website design. In general, describe how you imagine the design of the future resource, indicate the desired color scheme and, if any, corporate colors. Also, in this section, you need to specify the logo or indicate what it should be.
- List of website viewers. List the browsers and their versions from which the website should display correctly, especially if the specifics of the business require support for older versions (for example, for banking). And do not forget about optimization for mobile so that your website looks neat on any device.
- Requirements for the content management system. Define a list of critical features for the website administrator, such as adding photos to a portfolio or changing text on pages, creating new sections or changing the structure, etc.
- Description of the website structure. Think about the main sections based on your products or services, and indicate what will be on the pages (or page in the case of Landing). Do not forget when planning the structure to consider user requests to make the website easier to promote in search.
Most agencies will ask you to fill out a development brief. This will be a kind of technical task for the website. You can download our brief in the right sidebar on every page of the website, except the main one.
Be ready to answer all the questions in as much detail as possible, it depends on the quality of your website.
Step 4. Writing texts
Once you have finally agreed on the stream culture of your future website, you need to prepare texts for the main pages of the website:
- Home page. Be sure to prepare this text for website development to see how it will look next to other blocks. You may need to supplement the information with graphic elements or divide it into parts.
- Service page or product card. Write text for one typical page and then fill in the others by analogy.
- Company page. It is necessary to prepare the text in advance and to think over visual accents.
When creating texts, remember that they must be unique. We previously wrote about what is unique and how to protect texts from copying for Yandex and Google.
More texts need to be optimized. Therefore, before writing the text, you need to list keywords or semantic core, which will then distribute throughout the text. Also, in the text, it is necessary to specify tags Title, Description, and headings h1-h3.
Step 5. Design
But now you can think about the design of the project. Many mistakenly start at this stage, so the result is excellent but unnecessary websites.
Before contacting the designer, we recommend making a mini-selection of websites that you like, but do not forget about the features of the business. Focus on competitors and learn about design trends to come up with a unique and modern design. When choosing a company or freelancer, be sure to look at the portfolio. You should like it and, ideally, contain examples from your subject.
Step 6. Optimization
We have already mentioned the optimization of texts. Now we turn to the optimization of the entire website. A basic list of works to be performed:
- Compilation of a relevance map. Based on the previously collected semantic core, we create a plan to distribute keywords between the website’s pages.
- Register your website in the Google Search Console to customize the display of website information for search engines.
- Add a website map (websitemap.xml) to help speed up website indexing.
- Creating robots.txt. A file with instructions for search engines, which pages you need or do not need to index.
- 404 page settings. Helps to redirect users from empty sections to working pages of the website.
- Connecting an SSL certificate if you plan a personal account and/or order form on your website.
- Prescribing tags and metatags. Pages need to display in search attractively.
It is best to connect an SEO specialist to perform these works, promoting the website.
Step 7. Site layout
This stage is performed almost simultaneously with the previous one, but to facilitate the perception of information, we will highlight it in a separate step.
You have already done the main work as a business owner in the previous steps, so here you can only wait for the results. After sending an overturned version of the website, we recommend that you and your colleagues test the website on different devices and browser versions to be sure of its performance.
Step 8. Filling with content
Now that you have a working version of the website, you need to fill in the blanks and template pages. Including:
- Product card pages. You already have typical options.
- Portfolio pages. Choose only genuine photos and design them in a single style to make the section look presentable. Learn more about how to select and optimize images.
- Sections such as “Blog” or “News”. Add some material, to begin with (only if you do not have an information portal) to not empty the sections.
- Pages of guarantees or terms of delivery and payment. Be sure to fill them out before launching the website to increase trust in the website.
- Contact page. Specify as many contacts as possible for communication so that the customer can choose the most convenient one.
- Feedback section. Do not leave this section blank. If you already have customers, ask the most loyal to leave their opinion or send a letter of thanks. We also recommend that you encourage customers to provide feedback so that the section is regularly updated.
Ideally, you should have no blank sections left for customers to see that the website is working and place orders.
Step 9. Connect web analytics
To understand how effective your website is and understandable to users, you need to install web analytics counters. The most convenient and widespread system is Google Analytics.
After completing each item, you will get a working website ready to promote and run advertising. We hope that these principles of creating a website will help you avoid unnecessary costs and reduce the startup time of the resource.
If you do not know who to entrust the creation of the website, you can contact us. We perform all the work. When developing, we take into account all the nuances for promotion to the TOP.