- Internet & the Web
How to design the perfect website
Today having a strong online presence is key to marketing your business to a wide range of audiences. And part and parcel of that is having a visually appealing, content rich website that will get you the views and customers you need.
That being said, what does it involve in designing a good website? Is it only about the content, or is it about the visuals and graphics on the web pages? And what are the stages that website development must go through?
Well, it’s all of the above and a lot more. The design of a website must usually go through several phases and iterations before it can be launched. However, with a little bit of planning, these phases can be neatly demarcated and the website designed to a highly professional scale.
So what are these stages? Well, briefly:
A. Project planning: This involves defining the precise goals of the website, its target audience, the key website features, determining the resources that will be required (manpower, software, third party contractual agreements etc.), website layout for optimal functionality and user experience, project budgets and competitor analyses. All of these indicators form the backbone of the website development, and must be carried out with utmost diligence.
B. Website content: Content is king in the digital world, so any good website will have content that is (as per the need) customer focussed to the hilt. It will also be search engine optimised (SEO), with the right smattering of keywords and key phrases to attract visitor traffic.
C. Optimisation for mobile platforms: Now-a-days nearly every user uses mobile platforms to access websites and carry out online transactions. Therefore designing a website for the desktop alone is no longer sufficient, neither is it recommended. Responsive website design is therefore a key tool to website development. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically a development process that allows web pages to be displayed properly across several different screen sizes, automatically.
D. Calls to Action: As important as content and design are, if a website lacks suitable calls to action, the rest of the effort runs the risk of going futile. Every website must therefore entice visitors into leaving their contact credentials, and make them explore all the pages of the website as far as possible. Doing so not just increases visitor engagement, but also boosts the chances of visitors being converted to customers.
E. Website security: This is as important as it gets, because today a majority of financial transactions are carried out in the digital space. Therefore if you are collecting sensitive information, such as credit card details, having a secure (preferably encrypted) browsing interface is of utmost importance.
Therefore keep in mind the above pointers. Designing a good website is a labour of love, and it involves several aspects that need to studied and scrutinized in advance. The process itself is never really over, because even after launching a website, constant monitoring of its performance is essential. Therefore it’s a forever ongoing process, but with a little bit of foresight and sharp performance indicator reviews, you too can have an excellent website!