In any web project, forward-planning and identifying your goals is key. No matter the size of the development, whether you’re just starting with a personal blog or are looking to build a fully interactive e-commerce site, having a clear idea of your aims and goals before you start will help at every stage of the production.
Websites come in many flavors and even if you’re just going to use a premade template, knowing what you hope to achieve from the development will help you pick which theme to use. Here are a few points to consider when deciding which approach will work best for you.
The advantages of using a design company
When you’re looking to start a new project, you will need to decide whether to go it alone or enlist the services of a web design and production company. Skilled production companies such as ALT Agency have years of experience working with companies of all types and sizes, and will be able to offer you knowledge and advice at every stage of the creative process.
Alternatively, if you’re planning a smaller project, you may deem to go it alone. However, again, having a clear idea of what you hope to achieve from your project will likely be the deciding factor in whether you choose the DIY approach or use a qualified professional.
Advice on picking a design or template
Once you have a clear idea of what you hope your site is going to achieve, the best advice is to start googling examples of other similar websites that are already operating successfully in your particular desired area. The saying goes, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” and even top design companies look online occasionally to find inspiration and ideas. In fact, it will be a huge help to a design company if you already have ideas on how you want your website to look and work.
Whether you take the route of working with a professional designer or choose instead to buy a template and do it yourself, getting ideas and vision from other websites is a great way to get started. These days, it’s quite possible you could end up viewing template sites that are available for sale and which fit your purpose to a tee.
The questions to ask yourself before starting a project
Try to think about how you want the site to operate and look — and envisage how it will work from a user’s perspective. Just because a site navigation or layout makes sense to you, you cannot assume it will for other users. A great many websites fail from a presumed knowledge on the part of the creator.
It may be that the main point of your site is purely for business marketing — in which case, you’ll have a lot more creative freedom to indulge in graphic elements that are purely for show. Alternatively, if you’re hoping to sell goods online, you’ll want to get your best product directly on the front page in order to encourage sales. If it’s just a blogging site, your content will be key so be sure to pick a design that puts your stories and articles front and center.
It can also help to try and design a basic navigational structure for your site — almost like a family tree showing the various key pages and sections. By working out which content or items are most important, you should be able to guide a designer (or pick a template) that works best for you and your goals.