Four Important Things to Do Before You Design a New Website

Designing a new web site for your small business is a creative and subjective process. No matter what ultimate vision you have for your brand, there are four things you can do before the actual construction starts that will not only save you time and money, but also ensure that the entire process flows smoothly from beginning to end.

Step 1: Assign Someone as the Project Coordinator

The most important thing to do is decide who will be spearheading the process. Whether it’s you or an associate, someone needs to be assigned to monitor the process, keep it moving and encourage everyone to meet the established deadlines. The person in this crucial role will prevent day-to-day business from becoming a distraction and ultimately ensure a timely completion of your site. It’s also useful to designate a final decision maker. Web design can quickly get bogged down if you are trying to make group decisions on the visuals, written content, or even the navigation of the site.

website design storyboard

Step 2: Decide Clear Goals for What You Want to Accomplish with Your Website

The design process should not begin until you have a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish and why you have decided to embark on creating a new website. This could be a need to update the overall look and feel, improve search engine optimization, make it easier for visitors navigate to find the information they need, or clarify what the take-away message or call-to-action is. It’s always useful to establish three or four goals that you can refer back to during the design stage. This will prevent you from straying from the agreed upon course of action and keep you on budget.

website design digital asset management

Step 3: Take Inventory of Your Existing Digital Assets

Often business owners don’t designate enough time to examine what is in their visual “library.” Taking inventory of current logos, photos and even written content can prevent wasted time in the future. A thorough review can quickly tell you what needs to be refreshed before it is even considered for inclusion on the new site. Ask any web designer and they will tell you the number one thing that prevents the on-time completion of a new site is their customer not having their written content ready!

Step 4: Examine What Your Competitors Do Well

It’s always wise to take a close look at your competitors and see what they do successfully as well as consider what you think could be done better or differently on your new site. As an example, businesses sometimes get caught up in including all of the social media channels that others feature, when in reality, having just a few may work better and be more realistic when considering the time that would be devoted to maintaining them.

Once you feel that you have considered all of the above, you can start to efficiently work with your web designer. Being prepared in advance will free you up to really focus on what you want your new site to look like and enable you to get the desired results!

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