When you first start looking at creating a new website for your business (or revamping your current website) it can seem quite daunting, and often knowing where to start is half the problem. We build websites for a range of businesses across a variety of industries, but despite how different the end results may be, the process for designing a website remains the same.
Start with the end goal in mind. For many businesses these days, particularly less established brands, that end goal is for your website to be discovered by potential new customers. How do you find websites these days? You use Google to search for them. So our first consideration is to look at the search terms you want to rank highly for.
We begin by getting into the mindset of one of your potential customers and we try to search for what you do. We test a variety of different keywords and search terms to create a keyword list that includes all of the different search terms and variations. For example, if you’re a t-shirt printing company, then our first search might be ‘t-shirt printing company’, but other terms such as ‘t-shirt printers’, ‘t-shirt designers’, ‘custom t-shirt printing’ etc. would all be relevant queries you’d want to rank for. The objective is to create a large list of keywords that future customers could use to find your business.
Now that we’ve worked out how people will find your company’s website, it’s time for us to work out what you’re going to show them. If you’ve already got an existing business website most of this will be taken care of, but we’ll still take the time to review your current content and see where you could improve.
Going back to our example of a t-shirt printing company, your website would almost certainly be e-commerce based, with features such as allowing customers to pick a plain t-shirt, upload a design and then purchase their desired quantity. So an online shop would be the core component of this business website design, with a few additional pages covering topics such as ‘about us’, ‘printing process’, ‘returns’, ‘artwork specifications’ etc.
It’s now time for us to start designing your website. We always begin with wireframe layouts. These allow us to layout which bits of content will go where, so we can plan ahead of time what will be shown above the fold to entice customers, along with what format the navigation will take etc.
During this process our goal is to always keep the customer in mind and think about the website we’re designing from their point of view. This is a key exercise when creating a business website that is user-friendly and gives customers a great user experience. User experience is key for many reasons but the two most important are;
the easier your website is to navigate and use, the more likely someone will make a purchase or make an enquiry and,
The easier your website is to use, the longer customers will stay on your website, which increases session time, and that directly impacts your Google ranking.
Going back to our example, if you’re selling products directly from your website, then the easier it is for a customer to find and purchase the product they’re looking for, the more successful your business’ website will be. So our focus would be on making this part of their journey as smooth and easy to navigate as possible.
Part of the process of creating the layout for your website is making sure that it works well across all different types of browsers and platforms, from desktop to mobile to tablet.
In fact, in most cases we’ll prioritise how your website will look and function on a mobile device before we plan for desktop. The reason? In the first quarter of 2021, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 54.8 percent of global website traffic, consistently hovering around the 50 percent mark since the beginning of 2017. So it’s more likely than not that your website will be viewed on a mobile device and Google even prioritises search results based on mobile functionality over desktop.
Now that we’ve got your content nailed down and our layout sorted it’s time to start thinking about the colours and imagery we’ll use. Most businesses already have a brand identity taken care of at this point, so it’s a case of using their colour palettes and fonts, combined with appropriate imagery to make the whole website look it’s best. But if you don’t have this sorted yet or you’re looking to give your business a fresh new look to accompany your website, then that’s something we can help you with. Throughout this process we’ll run our design ideas past you to make sure you’re happy with what we’ve created.
At last it’s time to actually build and develop your business’ website. This part involves a lot of code and regular testing across different devices and browsers to ensure that everything we build is working correctly from day one.
During the build process we’ll give you access to a staging site so you can see how the website is being developed before it goes live to the general public.
Finally once you’re happy with your new business website and you’ve signed everything off, we’ll transfer your website to your chosen domain name and watch how it performs.