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A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning a Website Project

Are you ready to create a new website for your business, but don't know where to start ? What's the difference between a web host and a domain host you might be asking, and how do I set up a professional mailbox for my emails ? Case In Point Design Studio guides you step-by-step throughout the development process. With over a decades experience building for SME's we understand your pain-points and break down all the jargon.

website planning with a designer
website planning with a designer

Define Your Business Goals,Objectives, and what you want the website to do.

Clearly outline the purpose of the website. Are you creating an informational site, an e-commerce platform, a portfolio, or something else? Define your target audience and the key goals you want to achieve with the website, such as increasing sales, building brand awareness, or providing valuable content. One of the most valuable assets of a well thought out and planned website is that it can reduce admin tasks for you. You may think you have enough work you don’t need a ‘fancy’ website to source more, but how about reducing the time it takes to onboard clients with automated systems and replies, thorough information on processes, and timetables and booking systems.

Create a Sitemap and Wireframes

Develop a visual representation of the website's structure using a sitemap. It doesn't need to be a graphic design masterpiece, It can just be a sketch on paper, but the best way for us to both understand the flow of the website and where the CTA’s ( call to actions) lead through to is to have this all mapped out. Once the sitemap is ready, create wireframes for each page. Wireframes are basic sketches that outline the layout and placement of elements like navigation menus, content sections, and CTA’s. This works as a guide for your copy-writing expert as well and they can base their wording off the direction people take through the site.

Gather Content and Resources

Content is a crucial aspect of any website. Determine what type of content you'll need for each page—text, images, videos, etc. Collaborate with your clients to gather existing content or create a plan to generate new content, create a google doc with all your testimonials. Gather any branding materials, logos, color schemes, and other resources that will be used in the design. Load all your content either into a google doc or into a resources folder and share it with your website designer for use. To make it easier for your designer, only load up the images you love. A professional branding photographer can help you craft the perfect images for websites. Please ask your designer who they recommend.

Purchase a Domain

Your website will be hosted with a platform such as Wix or Shopify but you will also need to purchase a domain from another host such as goDaddy or Crazy Domains. These domain hosts will also be the home of your mailbox hosting ( where your emails are directed through). A good website designer will guide you through this process. You will be charged annually for your domain, and your mailbox as well as your Website hosting.

Set a Realistic Timeline and Budget

Estimate the time required for each phase of the project, including design, development, testing, and launch. Make yourself available to your designer so that they can work efficiently and effectively through the project. Put some thought into when you want your launch date so that you can both work to a scheduled timeline with the phases of the project. Similarly, establish a budget that covers all aspects of the project, from design and development to hosting and ongoing maintenance. The addition of copy-writing and branding photography may be an add-on you consider later if your budget doesn’t stretch to this initially.

In Summary

These steps provide a foundation for your website project. Each step involves careful planning and collaboration with your website designer to ensure their needs and expectations are met.

As a designer with over 10 years of experience, I try not to overwhelm my clients with too much information at the beginning of the project. We work to establish the direction of the site first then plan out the structure. I get a landing page in place as soon as possible while I build the rest of the site in hidden pages. This way you start building traffic to your business via your Google Business listing and your social media accounts straight away, and we build suspense that a new site is coming, signing members up from the landing page to also build your email lists at the same time.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Case In Point full website design package, please head to our website information page for more info here.



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