There’s more to designing a website than choosing colours and images. It’s not until the build begins that most of my clients realise how much more there is to it.
Want to know the secret behind a successful web design?
Planning and preparation!
If you’re thinking of having a website designed for your business, let me give you a head start.
Here is my ultimate checklist to help you prepare for the design of your website.
- Domain name: This is your website address and where possible, it should be the same as your business name. For example, our business name is Absolute Web Design, so our domain name is absolutewebdesign.com.au. If your target market is Australian, try to buy the .com.au name. If you don’t know where to buy your domain name, we can help you.
- Website Hosting: A website needs to be hosted online. It’s like renting space for your website to sit. Choose a reliable host which lets you manage your hosting yourself. This means you have control over your site.
- Access to cPanel: Your web host should provide these details. Cpanel is the ‘backend’ of your hosting where things like email accounts can be created.
- Your Logo: (preferably in EPS or PNG format). You will need your PMS or HEX colours. You should also be able to get this information from your graphic designer or printer.
- Font and colour details: Check that you know which font and colours were used in your logo so we can match them on your website.
- Images. If there are images you want to use or which are associated with your business and brand, make sure they are in high resolution, so they look good on your site.
- Intention: What is your website for? Is it simply a ‘’business card” site, is it to gather leads and new customers or is it for eCommerce? The purpose of the site directly affects its design.
- Platform: Which system would you prefer to use for your website? Think about sites like WordPress or Wix. Both give you control over your site design, but they function differently. If you’re not sure, we can advise you.
- Know your customers: The more you understand about your ideal customer, the better the design can target them.
- Website text: What is your message? What do you want to say? Will you write it yourself or have a copywriter do it for you?
- Keywords: What are the main words or phrases your ideal customer might type into the search bar when looking for you? Those words can be incorporated into your page, so the search engines find you more quickly. This is called Search Engine Optimisation or SEO.
- FAQs: What questions do your customers regularly ask? Write them down along with the answers. These can go onto a page of their own, but they will also help with the writing of the website copy.
- Site appearance: Do you want a certain look on your site? Where do you want your menu to go? Where will you place your call to action? What about social media buttons? The more information you can provide, the faster the design can be laid out.
- Lead generation: What will you use to entice customers to sign up with you or to engage with your business? Whatever you use, the design must make it visible so it will affect the site layout.
- Logical flow: The website structure and user experience must flow logically through the site. You don’t want people clicking away because they can’t work out what to do next. If you know what you want people to do, we can design the site to make that happen.
- Client logos: Do you work with other businesses? Do you have sponsors? Ask for permission to include their logos on your website. This adds credibility.
- Testimonials: Do you have references or positive feedback to add? This builds customer confidence and trust in you.
- Awards: Have you won any awards or formal recognition? Make sure you have the awards banner to add to the site.
- Membership: If yours is a membership site, detail the costs, levels, and inclusions of what your members will receive.
- Payment: How do you want to be paid? Will you use PayPal or a bank account?
- Back-up and security: Check with your web designer that your site will be regularly and securely backed up, and that it has a system to protect it against hackers and spammers.
Yes, it’s a long list but it covers the most important parts of web design.
Do you have any questions about the checklist or web design in general? If it all seems too complicated and you’d like to have a chat about it, you can enquire online or give us a call.