Creating a Great Website: Part 1

Seven-part guide to creating a new website

This three-part series is designed to help you understand what’s involved in creating a great website and give you handy, actionable tasks to help you prepare and launch a new website. Whether you’re starting a website for the first time or giving your old site the long-overdue update it so desperately needs, we will give you hints, tips and tools you need to make sure your next website goes off with a bang.

In this post we help you answer one of the most important questions around having a website. Why?

A website can serve many purposes so it’s really important to have a clear picture of what you want to get out of your site. For instance are you looking to add credibility to your brand? Do you want to increase exposure to your products or perhaps provide a consistent communication channel for your customers? Is it also a sales channel? Or is it to establish an online presence?

Distilling your purpose will not only help solidify the function of the site in your mind, it will also help guide the design and development process as we move forward. If you want to sell online, the site needs to have a clearly defined path to purchase. A marketing site should have distinct calls to action and encourage further engagement. Whatever your purpose might be it’s critically important to clearly define it upfront before embarking on your new website.

Begin by creating your list of reasons why you need a website. There’s no right or wrong answer and everyone’s answers will vary depending on their business objectives. Aim for at least five reasons but the more, the better. Once you have your list, sort them by importance.

Just to help you out, we’ve created a handy list builder tool (opens in a new tab) to make it a little easier to get your ideas down.

Here’s a sample list to get you started. Note the ones that are relevant to you:

  • Build my brand
  • Increase my customers
  • Promote a new product
  • Sell online
  • Communicate with customers
  • Have my own email address
  • Add value to clients
  • Influence the market
  • Make my products and services more accessible

This list will form the foundation for all of your decisions regarding your new website as the project progresses.

Thanks for reading this first part in our series. Next week we’ll be looking at the Design, Content and Marketing for your new website and what it needs to be successful.