Different sites would tell you different steps on how to design a website. A simple Google search would yield hundreds of different suggestions. Some as simple as 7 steps to as complicated as 27. Here’s the good news. Most of the time, it’s the same thing paraphrased into a hundred different ways.
Follow These Steps on How to Design a Website and You’ll be a Master in No Time 😉
In this post, we will make it less complicated and a whole lot easier for you. We’ll also throw in some of the website design industry’s best kept secrets (take it from the website design experts). You might even be designing your own website in no time after this. Interested? Read on to find out more.
Step 1: Know your purpose
Why are you building your website? For whom are you building it? These questions are great guides to jump start your design process. Knowing your purpose will help you narrow down your choices. It will serve as your compass and help you set a vision for your website.
Recognizing your purpose isn’t enough. You likewise need to know your consumers, the website’s end users. What language do they speak? Where do they live? What colors will most likely appeal to them? How old are they? What are their interests? The answers to these will give you a clue on who your end users will be. Knowing for whom you are building the website will enable you to tailor it to fit their needs to a T.
Step 2: Choose a platform
Choosing the right platform that suits your vision is easier said than done. Generally, there are 2 options when choosing a platform: use a website builder or code it yourself. Under these two options, there may be hundreds of various platforms you can choose from.
Website builders usually charge a site hosting fee while code-it-yourself platforms do not. If you are not much of a technical person and has no prior experience in building a website, the former is for you. If you have coding skills and want to personalize your site, the latter would suit you best.
One of the most popular website building platforms nowadays is WordPress. It’s an open-source platform thus everyone can contribute to make it better. The best part is, since it’s a community project, no one owns it so it’s free for everyone. It’s also very easy to find support when something doesn’t go right. So if you’re still testing the waters, this platform comes highly recommended.
Step 3: Develop a blueprint
A blueprint, in engineering, is a plan that details a building’s “skeletal system”. In website design, a blueprint is where you will
put all the specifications of your site. Various details from the number of pages to the contents of each pages has to be laid out.
Will it look strictly corporate or shabby chic? Should you put pictures of the founders in the about page? Do you need an online shop component? Show or restrict comments? Incorporate Google maps or list down your address? These are only few of the details that you have to consider in creating your website’s master plan.
Step 4: Personalize
After specifying your website’s must haves, you now need to pick a theme. If you use a website builder, chances are there are thousands of different themes you can choose from. Remember though that your theme must be appealing to your target end users. You cannot build a website targeted for teenagers then choose a corporate theme.
Personalizing your website does not end at choosing a theme. You also need to decide on the color combinations, fonts, photos and graphics. Likewise, you need to pay close attention to even the most trivial details. Your design has to be consistent, tight and most of all, unique.
Step 5: Publish
So now you have mapped out your website and personalized it. What’s next? Here comes the most exciting part. You are now going to publish it for the world to see. But before you get too excited, you need to test it first.
Like in product development, you need to see if it works before selling it to the masses. Testing your website is a critical step as this is where you will see what you did right and what you didn’t. It is your opportunity to fix the bugs, change the fonts and improve whatever is not up to your standards.
When all the issues found are addressed, then the perfect time has come for you to press that publish button.
Step 6: Optimize
Publishing your website is not the end but rather the beginning. Building a website is useless if no one will ever know of its existence. This is where the SEO optimization part comes in. In essence, optimization is the process of letting people know about your website. A good digital marketing company can help you with this.
The most common gauge of optimization is the number of organic visits a site receives for a time. People visit a site when it piques their interest. To do that, you must learn how to generate their interest. You also need to keep your site updated as people tend to lose interest if they don’t see something new.
Analyzing your visitor engagement data can also give you a better picture on how your site is doing.
Now that you know the steps in how to design a website, we are going to throw in some foolproof tips in web designing:
- Add videos
- Use bold colors, drop shadows and depths
- Cut back on the photos as this will slow down your loading time
- Don’t forget the “Contact Us” page
- Install a search bar so its easier for people to navigate your site
- Invest in your homepage
- Add plugins to keep track of your data
Milton Glaser once said, “There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW!” We for sure want the first, hate to get the second and should aim for the last.