A good website is the foundation of business for many companies. Its creation, however, is not easy. Knowledge from various fields is useful – from psychology, to design, to programming. Here you will find tips, tools and methods that will help you plan, design and test a website.
An extensive book could be written on how to create an effective and interesting website. This topic is complex and requires knowledge of current trends. I will try to facilitate this difficult task for you.
In this guide, I described 15 universal elements that are worth considering, both when creating a new website and when improving the page you already have.
How to start creating a website?
When we are dealing with the creation of a new brand, there is often a temptation to take care of your online presence first. In fact, before anything else is ready.
It is understandable – we want to enter the market, start selling or simply start the life of our company. However, this usually results in the fact that our site needs to be changed quickly, because immediately after its launch we are aware of how many things we did not take into account and how many elements do not meet our needs.
First strategy – the most important step to create a website
When creating a new brand, it is worth starting by thinking about the way in which it should communicate, determining the value it should represent, associations to evoke, etc.
A website is actually one of the many image carriers of a company and in this context is not much different, e.g. from leaflets, folder or business cards. It should express the style and character of the brand just like all other materials.
We must first determine the impression we want to create and adapt further actions to this. If we want our company to be associated with e.g. tradition and rich history, our website should be tailored to this.
Next step – define your site recipients
When we have a specific idea for communication, we must define the users of our website. If we try to satisfy everyone, there is a good chance that we will not meet our customers’ requirements.
Knowing the target group and its expectations, we will know what problems our site should respond to.
How to define recipients?
It is worth starting by dividing the recipients into segments, i.e. homogeneous, specific groups. Let’s try to narrow down.
From the target group defined as “women”, three segments described as “young mothers”, “students” and “housewives” are much better.
Of course, one website can respond to the needs of many different groups, but it’s not worth it too widely. It should be important for us to concretize, describe and understand their needs as accurately as possible.
Be sure to specify the page’s goal
Next, we need to define a goal for our website. Our service will be more effective when at the very beginning of its creation we define a clear goal to be achieved. This main priority should affect the entire construction and content.
Otherwise, we will design a page that only talks about our offer, but you will not be able to buy anything there, otherwise we will approach the creation of a website connected to the online store.
What is the purpose of your website?
• Obtaining data,
• Consent to sending the offer,
• Contact with a consultant,
• Downloading materials,
• Setting up an account by users
• Product sales
If we do not know what we really want to achieve and what goal the website is to achieve, it is much more difficult to construct it correctly.
It is worth setting such a priority both for the entire website globally and for each of the subpages separately. The contact subpage has a slightly different task than the tab with the description of our team.
Plan the structure and design of your website
Before we start the next tasks, it is worth carefully planning the construction of the site and its content.
First, we print out all the information and elements that are necessary and constitute the core of the website. Later, we separate and group them, so that the so-called site map.
In a sense, it’s a table of contents. Just like books have titles and chapters, so should our site have the main, most important sections and further levels of cavity.
It’s best to draw it in the form of a tree that will show the hierarchy and visually determine the relationships between individual fragments.
Think about navigation
Website structure is closely related to the structure, i.e. how the recipient will navigate through it, navigate between subpages and find information.
Thanks to the previous step, we have a well thought-out structure and it is much easier to plan navigation now. It is worth remembering here that as the creators of the website we know its content perfectly and we know how to navigate it.
After all, we understand the mechanism that we created ourselves. However, the recipient does not have this knowledge. It is worth focusing on empathizing with his role.
Will our guest, when seeing the service for the first time, be able to quickly find things that interest him? When we design the navigation, let’s ask the recipients who see them for the first time.
Ask the test people if:
• Immediately understood the mechanism of action?
• Are they able to easily use our site?
• Are they able to find information that we want to give them?
Think about content architecture
When creating the structure of the page, it is worth considering how a statistical surfer approaches browsing the website. Our way of receiving interactive content is clearly different from how we read e.g. books or newspapers.
The internet is a much faster medium. Here, we don’t have much time to convince, arouse interest or trust. Our guest comes to the site and scans it very quickly.
Scrolls the content, checks if it finds the information it is looking for. He is very selective in all this, even picky. The key information that we want to convey must be immediately clear.
What is important should be obvious.
If you have a lot of important content, you must ensure that the structure of the page is such that the content will be friendly.
It is worth dividing the elements into blocks, highlighting individual sections and introducing a clear hierarchy. We need to lead our reader by the hand.
Write correct and attractive texts
Texts are the basis of most websites. It is worth spending a lot of time to make them really well prepared. They should not be too long, full of clichés and unnecessary returns.
Everyone writes about having many years of experience and being professional. We don’t have to duplicate these traces simply because we can see them on most pages. Our texts should be written catchy and stand out in style.
Divide your content
You should not forget to divide the texts into relevant fragments and refine the headings. The longer the block of text, the less likely someone will want to read it.
As I mentioned earlier, the recipient first scans the surface superficially. He browses very generally, scrolls and assesses whether it is worth reading further. If this assessment is positive, it begins to delve into detail.
Distinctive headers allow you to quickly orientate yourself in the content, and short blocks give the impression of easy to read.
Easy contact with the site owner
Much more trust is generated by a website that allows easy contact with its creators. A website cannot be just a way to convey your own content. She should also invite to talk.
Entering the contact person’s name, key data and even placing a photo raises more confidence. Let’s also remember to try to stay in touch with our customers.
Since the Internet user came to our site and we attracted his attention, it would be a shame to lose it.
In addition to placing links to social media profiles, it is also worth enabling subscription to the newsletter. In exchange for subscribing to the newsletter, it is worth offering a certain value.
They can be any kind of discounts, promotions, but also your ebook, for example.
Enhance trust to your website
Trying to introduce creative solutions, we must not forget that our site inspires trust. The recipient cannot feel that his data or privacy is at risk. On the internet, the topic of privacy, cybercrime and various types of scams has grown significantly in recent years.
We are more and more sensitive to what someone knows about us, how they track our behavior and how they use it. Let’s be very careful in downloading data and encouraging to leave private information.
We need to be sure that the recipient understands this well and in these moments we should justify why we ask for it.
Improve your website loading speed
When the site starts functioning, we should pay attention to its speed. This is one of the factors that Google takes into account when deciding which page to display higher on the search results list.
The internet is a very fast medium in which a second is a lot of time. It takes me users and customers to load the website longer.
Mobile version is very important
Research shows that up to 80% of internet users have a smartphone. Recently, mobile devices have overtaken computers, and globally most people use the internet through mobile devices.
In the United States, this percentage is up to 75%. The website’s responsiveness, i.e. its ability to adapt to various screens, is one of the priorities that we should pay attention to.
Perform tests of the finished website.
At the very end, it is worth testing our site comprehensively. In addition to knowing the opinions of bystanders, we should pay attention to several additional aspects.
First of all, it is worth testing the operation of the website on different devices and different browsers. Let’s check how our service looks on the most popular versions of tablets and phones. There are many free tools for general website testing available on the Internet
Useful tools for testing websites:
Page Speed Insights – check your page loading speed
Dead Link Checker – allows you to check if all links on our site are working
GeoPeeker – See how your site looks to the rest of the world
Mobile Friendly Test – check if your website is adapted for mobile devices
Website creation – summary
A website is very important for any company. Today, it is difficult to imagine a business that does not need an Internet presence. However, with such an excess of websites it is difficult to attract visitors.
You need to constantly work on improving your site so that readers come back to you eagerly. If you have any questions about websites, please contact us. We are happy to advise you on the right solutions for your company.