Web Design Basics
In the past, I have looked at marketing your website, a very basic HTML course, choosing images and fonts for your website. Web Design Basics is going to guide you through the whole process of designing a website. First things first, let’s get the planning started.
Before you Begin
When looking at web design basics we need to start right at the beginning and ensure we plan correctly and have everything in place.
Strategy > Plan > build > Promote
- Get your keywords in place (Google has a great tool to help with this here).
- What must brand rules must the website adhere to?
- Who will be your users?
- What is your marketing strategy?
- What information does the site need to give? Here you need to look at databases; what information/data does your website need to gather and where will it be stored.
- Create a sitemap for the website – this will help you determine the navigation structure
- Put a drawing together of how the overall website will look and any sub-page special features (be consistent though, don’t want your visitors thinking they are on a different website).
- What calls to action will your website include? Good marketing practice dictates every page that sells something (a service or a product) must have a call to action – don’t forget even pages such as your contact page may need a call to action, especially if you are hoping to encourage people to sign up to a newsletter.
- What is the brand identity for the website? This should match your company in the real world.
- Are there any special requirements for the code language? (Will your site be HTML, PHP, ASP etc)
- If you are using content-management or e-commerce systems do you require a bespoke system or are you happy to use a robust “off-the-shelf” system such as WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Zen Cart and so on.
- Valid code is vital – make sure that your developer adheres to standards established by the W3 Consortium.
- Content Management System needs to be put into place
- E-Commerce platform needs to be built
- Elements such as movies, buttons, banners etc need to be built a this stage
- The database/source needs to be built
- Test and implement the site.
- Search Engine Indexing – add your website to the major Search Engines (but don’t forget the smaller niche ones too!).
- Search Engine Optimisation – On page optimisation should have been completed in the build stage; but further enhancement of your site needs to be carried out here.
- Email and Mailshots are great tools to get the message about your new website across quickly – getting to the top of a search engine for your chosen keyword/phrase will be much more successful if your campaign includes real-world advertising thrown into the mix.
- Keyword research – recheck at this point to ensure your keywords/phrase are the most effective.
- Social marketing – will you use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc? You should use a selection of these in every campaign for your website – which you will choose may be down to personal preference. But also, consider which your target market is using – if the demographic group you are targeting tend to favour a particular platform you MUST also use that platform.