Designing a website is a time consuming task. However, doing it right in the first go will save you time and money. That’s why it’s important to create a website design scope before you start looking for a designer.
Without the scope it’s kind of like trying to make your way around a pitch black room. You’ll stumble around, bump into a few things but have no real idea where you are or where you’re headed.
What should you include in a website design scope?
Here are some ideas:
1. Target Market – The most important part of your website will be the message, not the medium, the graphics or anything else. To get the right message you need to know the market you are talking to. What are they thinking? What are their problems? What solutions are they looking for? Make sure you are very clear on this and write it down in detail. It’s a crucial step in your website design and development.
2. Branding – Maybe you have a brand created already through an offline business that you are moving online or maybe you are creating a new brand. Think about your brand and the feeling you want to impart on those who do business with you. Think about the colors, the shapes, the words and images you want to use to create that brand. Then write it all down.
3. Marketing Funnel – How will you lead people through your marketing funnel towards your profit center? This will make a big impact on how you design your website. Is the purpose of your website to get people to pick up the phone and call you where you make the sale? Do you lead them to a email opt-in form to start a follow up process? Will you lead them straight to a sale? Know where you want them to go and how you will get them there.
4. Content – Some of the most common and recommended pages of a website are the home page (of course), about page, contact page and frequently asked questions. These are pages your visitors will expect to see. Beyond that, you will need to decide what other pages you will build. If you are building an authority website you may end up with hundreds or thousands of pages. Consider how you will organized and categorize your pages to make them easy to find.
5. Realize it’s a process – While a great website design scope will help the whole process go smoothly you must realize that no website is really ever finished. A website is a work in progress. Don’t wait until it’s perfect to get it going, just fix it as you go along!
Now that you have a good grip on how to create a design scope I’d like to introduce you to the free program I use to build all my websites called WordPress.