website planning

Planning : What you need to know before you start.

Before you jump in and start building a site. You should probably first sit down and think about what your goal is. Ask yourself some questions first...

  • What is your service/product/resource?
  • What's your motive?
  • Who are you pitching it to?
  • What is your audience demographic?
  • How will your site be different to everyone else's?

With these questions answered you will want to plan how the site is to be constructed. Consider what topic and subtopic areas need to be covered and how will you structure this so that its easy for the visitor to navigate quickly to the information they are looking for. You might want to create a tree diagram if the architecture is likely to be quite complex.

Think about your layout. What colours and style you are going to use and why and be careful to compose your pages with your brand image and audience expectations in mind.

It helps if you can use strong visual or textual keys like bold headings and images so that the visitor is always aware of where they are in the site. Sometimes colour coding is worth employing: by choosing and marking each topic area with a colour to develop a visual and quite dynamic way of navigating a site.

You're going to need to create some copy (actually quite a bit is going to be best for search engines, perhaps between 100 and 300 words per page). Try to break this down into topics and sub topics.

What else can you do?

Assuming you have hosting which can run scripting languages such as perl and php, you might want to consider some other effective ways of making your site worth visiting:

News pages are a good way of keeping your visitors up to date with your latest products, services or ideas.

Mailing lists so your visitors can sign up and be sent emails with news items and special offers.

Guestbooks allow your visitors to give you feedback info.

Forums so your visitors can converse with each other and swap ideas about your service or product.

Just some ideas of what you could add to make your site more "sticky". All of the above can be downloaded from sources all over the Net and installed with very little previous experience.

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Hosting : What kind of hosting should you take? What features might you need?...
Advanced Hosting : If you have sufficient confidence you could consider buying a webserver and host from your office or home...
Domain Names : How do you get a domain name. What domain name should I purchase and why?...
Planning : What you should consider before you build your Website...
Design : What tools you will need and what you should keep in mind when building your Website...
Killer Website Copy : Learn how to write great copy.