main logo

How to create a successful web site :part 1

In this multi part blog, I’m planing to highlight a wide variety of tips and comments to consider that if you’re able to follow, will certainly help you take many steps towards creating a successful web solution.

I’m going to break this up into a couple different phases. For example, now i’m going to work through the planning stage of a project. Over the next couple months i’m also be discussing the design, build, testing, marketing and maintaining your site amongst a few other areas along to the road.

Define your goals

What is the point of this website? What added value do we want your users to get? What would you classify as a success? These are good questions to be asking from the start. In fact, if you’re working with designers, developers or digital companies, these should be questions they are asking you right from the start. Why? Well, As a web developer, I like to look at my role as a problem solver. I would take the needs and goals of the client and ensure that I can deliver a solution that will fulfil those goals.

Have a clear job role spec

There’s nothing more frustrating and deadline killing than a project being stuck in a feedback loop between 10 different staff members. For the project to be very successful then I would suggest finding someone that can be the project lead that would be responsible for making the final decisions. Don’t get me wrong, getting feedback from others in very useful but having someone that’s responsible for collating the feedback and then feeding it back will help bring clarity to project.

Start on content generation

Whilst we’re talking about things that can slow down projects, it’s worth bringing to your attention the importance of content. Many websites noways are packed with beautiful images, signup forms, well written team pages and a wide variety of products for sale. Whilst the amount of content required will vary depending on the project, it’s worth thinking about the type of fields you might need for your sign up form or start your first draft of your project and team bios. Delivering real content to the designers & developers will mean that everyone involved does not have to redo work which could ultimately have an impact on your budget and deadlines.

Make some budget and deadline decisions sooner rather than later

Having a clear budget in place from the start of any new build makes for good business sense and helps potential partners on the project know what they could be expected to do and for how much.

As well as a budget, it’s worth having very clear expectations of the quality of the work that’ll be delivered. For example, maybe a client wants to ensure you have a fast loading site and that it loads within 3 seconds on mobile, or that they want to ensure their site is fully responsive.

Finally, having a robust timeline that works for everyone involved is also really helpful but there are times when deadlines are really tight and that’s fine but having clear deadlines is important for everyone involved.

Whilst having a solid budget, clear deadlines and expectations are good, each project has different expectations but it’s really important to consider what’s more important and create the right budget, timescale and exceptions to reflect that. For example, if you’re wanting to add some advanced functionality to your site for cheap but you want to ensure that it works exactly how you asked for in the brief and full tested, you should expect to pay more for this.

There should always be realistic budget, time and quality expectations outlined from the get go for any project to ensure everyone is happy.

As you move start looking to create your own website/ online solution, I hope you’re able to apply some of these pointers to your planning stage and if you need any help, please feel free to contact me.