Most of us think that the process of website development is a stressful task that professionals can only do. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a small business owner, launching a startup, or a blogger, having a proper website is a must in today’s society. But entering blindly into the world of website creation is a little bit daunting and can cause failure. You know that website planning plays an important role in laying the foundations for the future success of your website. The launch of a new website is always a very exciting moment in the lifecycle of most businesses or startups.

By considering the many aspects of web development during its early stages, your business will be able to move toward success and achieve its business objectives. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with a detailed list of “7 steps of planning a website whether you build it on your own or hire a professional to do it for you.

You can use this template to outline each step of how to plan your website and then launch it into the market.

Steps in Planning a Website:

At first, the importance of planning a website may seem low or at the bottom of our priority list. However, creating a competitive and successful website according to market trends is not an easy job. By adequately planning a website, you ensure you won’t miss an important step that may make or break your online presence in the digital world.

So let’s dig in. Here are the seven main steps you need to know when planning a website.

1. Define your main goals: 

When you’ve decided to create a website, you should know why you need it and your goals for creating a website for your business.

Some people create a website to extend their business through its online presence. While the rest of the people just want a place to share their thoughts, ideas, and creativity with the world. Regardless of these reasons, to achieve your objectives, you should have to define a clear goal that you’re after and want to create a website for. I’ll make it easy for you to identify and define your goals. The very question you have to ask yourself is: What is the website’s purpose? Below are some examples you can consider when you’re planning a website.

Increase in business profit: It is suitable as a website goal if you plan e-commerce or an online business website.

Lead Generation: It’s suitable for small businesses and affiliate websites.

Informing visitors or readers: suitable for a blog website, a personal website, or for those who look for profit in advertising?

While your primary goal may be obvious based on the business objectives, it is best practice to divide your high-level goals into smaller chunks and execute them one by one. Take an example: You want to increase your sales. It sounds great, but how will you achieve it? For sales, first of all, you need to drive traffic to your website and build awareness about your products or services. You must build an audience, and then that audience must convert into buyers.

Another way you can easily measure your success, as in this smart world you should have to use SMART techniques, is to:

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Achievable
  4. Relevant
  5. Time-Bound

These are all the smaller milestones you can achieve one by one that is relevant to your main goals and objectives and is set in a given time frame. Other tools, like Google Analytics could help you track your progress according to the SMART goals.

It’s very important to note down all your specific goals before you start designing, as they will greatly impact the final view of the website.

2. Research Planning: 

Planning a website also means knowing your target audience and what competition you have to create to get their attention. One of the popular methods to define your targeted audience is to create a user or buyer persona. This will allow you to see how your business could help your customers according to their point of view. A user or buyer persona is a made-up character who is a representative. Creating a buyer persona will help you keep your users’ interest first instead of focusing on your wants and needs.

Once you know about your target audience, you must also check out the competition. No, I’m saying that you replicate what they already have. But, as a fact, whatever it is that you plan to do, there is a high chance that some other online business or one of them is already doing it and its ranking.

When you’re analyzing the competitors’ sites, there are several things you should look at:

  1. What strategies and techniques work best for them?
  2. What could you do better than them?
  3. How often do they add content to the site?
  4. Are there any trends you notice on other websites related to your niche?
  5. Are there any types of gaps that you need to fill for better results?

Compare what you already have and what you found during the research. Understand the industry trends and then plan to create a website. In this way, the website will be more useful and drive traffic.

3. Think about the budget:

When planning a website, the most important thing is to plan your overall budget. Setting a realistic budget is the most crucial part of planning a website. When you’re preparing the budget, you have to consider all aspects of the cost, as the budget is not only associated with the creation and launch of the website but also with the ongoing processes after the launch of the website, at least for the first couple of years, as the beginning website needs updating again and again for the ranking.

In the initial stages, your budget plan includes:

  1. Domain and hosting price
  2. Website design and development cost
  3. Graphic Designing
  4. Marketing research costs
  5. Content Writing

After the Launching of the website, the budget plan includes:

  1. Domain and hosting cost
  2. Advertisement and marketing costs
  3. Content Writing
  4. Maintenance

When you decide to assign some task to yourself for the betterment of your business, it’s better to consult with a professional and decide with them whether you’re working according to the best practices in the field or not. In another case, when comparing different offers for various tasks, check the cost planning you’ll have to pay and what you’ll get in return.

4. Choose a domain name and hosting provider:

Choosing the right website domain name is the most challenging thing when planning a website, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Most hosting providers offer a domain name as a part of the package, which allows you to save money. But if they didn’t provide you with a domain name along with the hosting, you’d have to decide on the domain name on your own.

You’ll need a name that is easy to remember, related to your niche, and, most importantly, unique. A .com domain is preferable because most internet users use it. Here are some ideas on how you can choose a great domain name:

Do a proper keyword search relevant to your niche, what you offer, and what other people are looking for.

Make a list of keywords and brainstorm the ideas you like, then check the combination of keywords and your idea to hear how it sounds.

Avoid choosing a domain like .co, .live, .online etc.

Take your time to find the right domain name because once your website is established, it’s difficult to change without disturbing SEO. Once you choose the domain name, the next step is to choose a hosting provider. Plenty of hosting options are available, so you must carefully pick the provider that best suits your business niche. If you have the option to use a professional team for website development, they can provide you with valuable, feasible advice on the most suitable option for you.

5. Think about brand identity: 

We all know that every website should have a brand identity. Even if you’re not running a long-term business, your visitor always needs to associate your name with a logo or image. Brand identity includes consistently used assets throughout your website, social media pages, and all marketing campaigns. It mainly includes:

  1. Logo
  2. Typography
  3. Business Cards
  4. Color Palette
  5. Product packaging

All these elements are usually compiled in a brand design guide. You need a graphic designer to create your brand identity and help you stand out in the crowd.

6. Create Content For Webpages: 

As a rule of thumb, every website needs webpage content to make an impression. Whether it’s a business, eCommerce site, or blog site, content is a mandatory element you can present to the world or your visitor.

There is a common misconception among us that content just means blog posts. But keep in mind that different types of content can be used on a website:

  1. Blog Posts and Articles
  2. Guides and How-To Posts
  3. Interviews and reviews
  4. Podcasts
  5. About Pages
  6. Images and infographics
  7. Product Description Pages
  8. Case Studies

You’ll have a good idea of how to plan a website at this point, but your efforts will be in vain if you enter the design phase without first completing content planning. The type and amount of content added to the website affect how it looks and feels to visitors.

To rank well in search engines, you should update your content regularly, as most website owners have no time to change the content regularly, so they hire content writers instead to do content writing services. Before you start the design phase, it is preferable to have at least a few pieces of content ready to add so that you can use them in the design to get an actual feel of the final product. During the design phase, you would have to prepare content in advance. Before launching a website, content that is ready to be published is usually a good starting point.

7. Plan Proper Website Layout:

When you have finished planning everything and have decided on the website content, you should start thinking about the website layout. Planning a website is now clear to you at this stage. You know your goals, how to plan your goals, and how you prepare content. You know your target audience and what your competitors are offering and not offering.

With all these questions and points in your mind, planning a website layout is now somehow easier. A proper organization is required to create a successful website with a proper strategy. An organization can easily guide you and allow for easy and initiative-driven transitions from one page to another. For your ease, just consider the following and think about your website layout for all the pages one by one.

Estimate roughly how many pages you want on your website. A basic website has a few pages that are easy to adjust on the site and have a clear, fine look. If your niche is larger and you need a lot of pages, then you can divide them into categories and subcategories that are easy to handle.

Your main pages and priority categories are on the main menu, and they should be reachable on every page. For perfect planning of your website, try using mind mapping software like Mind Meister and Gloomaps.

Once you have the complete structure of the website, you’re ready for the designing phase. There are mainly two ways you can design your website:

  1. Through any website builder.
  2. By hiring professional web designers and developers.

Get Professional Web Design Services:

Up until now, we’ve covered seven main steps in planning a website. If the learning curve seems too steep to you, even though the time investment is great, if you want to ensure that your website is the absolute best for you, then surely you can get in touch with InCreate Technologies. We’ve got a long list of happy clients that mean a lot to us, and we would love for you to join them.

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