How to Plan a Website and Avoid Headaches

how to plan a websiteWithout an online presence, you probably won’t exist for long out in the real world. These days, customers rarely know companies unless Google knows them, too, so your website is a necessity. If you’re wondering how to plan a website, you probably feel more intimidated than you need to be.

Goal Setting

If you don’t know what your site is supposed to do for you, your plan will disintegrate before you even launch. You might need a static web presence or a full-blown e-commerce site. You might use it to attract new buyers or users. If integrated extras like video content and articles are part of your goal, your site will need to be scalable to accommodate them from the start. Take a careful look into the future before you implement.

How to Plan a Website with a Firm

You need a developer whose goal is your return on investment, not his pride in the prettiness of his logos. References can help you to assess your firm’s ROI. Your designer needs to impress your users and be detail-oriented enough to draft glitch-free code. Backend development is critical, especially if you need a blog or e-commerce site.

Some developers maximize their profits by failing to make the site scalable. Make sure you’ll be able to easily add your own content and talk in depth with developers about your marketing goals. The most profitable sites on the web aren’t beautiful. Amazon, Google, and other top earners are simply designed and provide a user-friendly environment focused on upselling.

For more on finding the right fit for outsourcing web design, see our post on important questions to ask a web designer.

How to Plan a Website Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is less terrifying than you think now that Google Hummingbird and Panda have been released. These algorithms copy the way users engage, which means if you entertain your audience, you’re halfway towards achieving rank. The PageRank algorithm hasn’t died yet, so it’s still important to develop a good authority score and rank. Keyword analysis and link building need to be developed without creating the kind of web spam Google penalizes for, which is why you need to…

… Put Content First

You wouldn’t start building a house before you had the materials, so before you let your developer get to work, have your content ready. A sitemap will help you to establish the volume of information that needs to be included so that mock-ups can be created in an organized way. This will give you the breathing room you need to craft a streamlined conversion funnel that reduces your bounce rates. Your sitemap will prevent duplicate content from being generated and allow for optimized site sculpting.

Calendar Planning

Everyone from your writers to your developers need to have structured workflows that fit together as well as Lego pieces. Deadlines are easy to manage with tools like Slack, which put all moving parts in touch. This way, the overwhelming task of creating a site is cut into manageable chunks that don’t even require your go ahead. Now that’s web development the easy way!

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About the Author Casey O'Quinn

Casey founded Gravity Digital in 2000 after serving as the Internet Services Director for a Nashville-based Ad Agency. He's a rare breed that operates both left and right brain, so along with oversight of the company he's active in the creative process for our clients.

Follow Casey O'Quinn: LinkedIn |

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