Checklist: Creating a new website
An optimized website not only increases your online visibility, traffic and visitor engagement. It also helps you generate more business opportunities and grow as a company. A website is a long-term investment and if you play your cards right, you'll overtake your competitors in terms of SEO, navigation and load time. But what does it take for a website to be successful? Our checklist gives you the basic steps, from start to finish.
Building a new website can sound both expensive and resource-intensive. It's something that should be left to the experts, right? In fact, you have every opportunity to do the job yourself, as long as you're willing to put in the time. But, before you can take the plunge into the actual creation of the visual content and design, there are three tools you'll need to get started: Web hosting
1. Web hosting
In a nutshell, you rent your website's space on the Internet through a web hosting service. A website is a collection of files, which need to be stored on a server, i.e. a web hosting service. When someone visits your website, the browser downloads your files in order to display the content to the visitors. Of course, this happens on a second-by-second basis and the process cannot be perceived by the recipients. However, without a web host, there is no space for your files to be stored, which is essential for you to build your website.
The domain or domain name is the address that will direct users to your web host. Example https//www.weply.chat/blog. Here you can see a full URL, where www.weply.chat is the domain name. The domain is the address of your website while the URL will lead the user all the way to a specific page on your website. You can buy your domain name here. Ownership of a domain name ensures that users are directed to your site and no one else's. Other operators cannot use the same domain name as you. Domains are renewed annually, which means you will need to renew your domain for as long as your business is active. But don't worry, you'll be notified when the time comes.
3. Website tools
A website tool helps you build and create the content of your website. Depending on which tool you choose, there are different templates and structures for how you can build your website. Some prefer to do everything from scratch, while others gratefully adapt their content to a bank of templates. If you're a beginner, we recommend you read more here. Squarespace offers ready-made templates, where you can easily swap out images, text, fonts and colours, customisable to your brand profile.
Now you have the basics in place, the fun can begin - creating content and design. But before you start playing around with templates, images and eye-catching headlines, you need to have a clear plan of what your website should contain and why.
A successful website needs to have a well-thought-out structure, be easy to navigate, contain interesting headlines, clear calls to action and features tailored to your objectives. A pre-study lays the groundwork for what content is relevant to users, how you can create conditions for increased visibility and how you can communicate your brand accurately through the platform.
Focus on the target audience
When designing your website content, it is important to keep your target audience in mind. If your content is not relevant to the recipients, it won't take many seconds before they choose to click through from the website. What is important for recipients to know about you? What needs do they have? What motivates them?
Adapt your tone of voice, choice of images/videos and headlines to the preferences of your target audience. If you are unsure who they are, what they prefer and how they communicate, do an audience analysis and develop clear personas. This will help you get a handle on who you want to attract and how to go about doing it.
Reflect on the purpose
What is the purpose of your website? Do you want to inform and spread knowledge, inspire or create a need? What do you want users to do on your website? Contact you, book an appointment or make a purchase? Your purpose should be reflected in the structure. Reflect on what content will help your business achieve its objectives.
Make an outline of how the structure of the website should be designed. Which subpages should be included in the menu section, which headings should be exposed on the landing page and which CTAs? Think from the user's perspective. What is important for visitors to know about you and your service when they land on your website. Assume that they have never visited you before or heard about your products/services.
A short presentation about your brand, products and services is a good start to summarise what users can expect and why they should read on. A clear prompt in the form of buttons or registration should follow each part of the page. Your main job is to create interest and engagement with users. You don't want them to leave as quickly as they clicked into your site. Also, try to create a "uniform variety" on the web page as much as possible. That is, create a flow between sections and combine text, image, text+image, video, quote in a nice balance. It should be exciting to scroll down your site.
Think about what features you want the website to include. For example, search functions in the menu, registration for newsletters, contact forms and downloadable documents. Many of the features can help you collect valuable data about your users, such as email addresses, which you can leverage by communicating with them through more channels. For example, if you offer downloadable guides in exchange for an email address, or you present an offer in exchange for their contact details, you have every opportunity to send out news and offers to their email on an ongoing basis. We don't want to risk them forgetting about you, do we?
An important factor in how well your website will perform is how keyword optimised it is. You can make a big difference by optimising your headlines, images and meta-descriptions. Write down a list of words that describe your content and what you offer. These should be kept in mind as you produce your content. For more information on how you can work with SEO, read more here.
In order to visualise and create a clearer direction for how your website should look visually, you should look for inspiration from other stakeholders. Save down the pages you like, whether it's an image, font or structure, you can collect elements that you then break down into your own version. Create a moodboard with your collected clips and have it in front of you when you start creating your website. The most important thing is that your brand and vision reflect the design. Your website will be the starting point for other communications, where you can draw inspiration for consistent branding.
An optimised website allows you to grow your business through increased visibility, accurate communication and an easy-to-navigate structure that leads your visitors all the way. Invest in a new website today - it will pay off in the long run.
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