A website is essential not only for businesses but even for individuals. In today’s digital age, your website is what will help you connect to your customers. It is important to create a top-quality website, which is why you need to ensure the website design is done properly. You can either choose to do the design yourself or get it done by professionals in the field.
In either case, website design needs to be done in a structured way. There are 7 different steps involved in the process of website design. Carrying out design as per these steps is a sure way to ensure you create a good quality website. This guide lists out the 7 steps in detail, so you can follow them while creating your website.
7 Steps of Website Design
1) Gathering information
The first step in designing a website is gathering information prior to the design. Whoever is doing the design needs to understand the requirements for the website. What is the objective of the website? What goals should be achieved through the website? Who is the target audience that would visit the website? These are some of the questions that need to be answered.
At this stage, it is important to know about the competition. Studying the websites of competitors will help in understanding how they have been successful. This will help in deciding how the website should be structured to attract visitors. The first step ends with a clear definition of the scope of work. The scope would clearly list out all the things to be done while creating the website.
Before getting into the actual design, it is important to plan the activity. A plan will indicate what the activities to be done during the process are. It would mention who is responsible for the activity and most importantly would mention the deadlines. The plan would include creating a site map for the website.
The site map lists all the pages of the website proposed to be created. It also shows the structure of the website. The features of each of the webpage should also be worked out at this stage. Features would include visual elements to attract users. This includes animation, the use of stock photos and videos, etc. Everyone involved in the website design must be a part of the planning process.
Website design involves creating the look of the website, along with its contents. In the design stage, the visual elements of the website are created. Design tools are used to create the menu and user interface of the website. The images, colors, and overall look of the website have to be worked out and pages created. The UI or User interface has to be worked out. The user interface needs to be good to attract users to visit the website.
The design also involves creating content. While visual elements make a website look attractive, people would visit a website for its content. A content development team is needed to create quality content that visitors would like. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques should be kept in mind during the entire design process.
Development is the technical part of creating a website. The code for the webpages needs to be written. You can either use a tool to build the code or use HTML, Java, etc. Also, if you are creating an e-commerce website, there are many additional elements to be added to it. This includes a shopping cart and payment gateway.
Various forms required for the website need to be created. During the development stage, all pages of the website need to be linked together. Apart from each page working, all the pages put together should work well. The functionality of all the features decided during the design stage should be brought to life in the development stage.
Once webpages are designed and developed, they need to be tested. Testing is done to verify if the page looks as it is meant to look. The UI should be tested to know if a user can navigate the website easily without any problems. At this stage, the UX or User experience needs to be assessed. This is the overall experience of the user while using the website.
A testing team should carry out testing of each individual webpages, as well as of the entire website. Working of links and forms as well as working of various functionalities like shopping carts should be tested. The testing should be done as thoroughly as possible. This will ensure there is no problem with the website once it is launched.
The big launch day is when the website is launched or the public starts to access it. The launch can be done formally by sharing information about the website with customers and others. This can be done through posters in physical locations and also online. Social media channels like Facebook and Insta should be used to let people know of your website.
The launch calls for marketing where you need to promote your website. The idea is to get visitors to your website who could then be converted to customers who then buy your products or services. Before launch, the website domain name must be registered and a hosting account created.
7) On-going maintenance
Website design does not end with the launch of a website. If you want your website to be successful, you should get people to visit it repeatedly. If this has to happen, then you should keep updating the website regularly. You need to add useful content on a frequent basis. It is also important to add new visual elements to enhance the website’s attractiveness.
All this happens in the maintenance phase. There could be various problems encountered once the website is live. All these need to be fixed by the maintenance team. You may want to add new features and functionalities to your website. You may also want to enhance the user experience by changing the design. All this is done during maintenance.