Website development is a complex process that requires a large concentration and attention from the customer, professionalism and experience from the contractor. The key factor in its construction is the communication between the client and the development company: the better it is arranged, the better the result. In this article, we have collected all the key questions that you need to answer yourself before ordering the development of the website.
Having formulated the answers to the questions, you can begin to develop a website that will not only ideally match your needs and taste, but will also bring maximum benefit to the business.
Idea and USP
To begin the development of the website, we need to understand what exactly the customer company does, what is the specificity of its products or services. This information needs to be specified in as much detail as possible, with all the nuances.
Besides, it is important to formulate the idea of the future website: what thought, feeling and the message it should convey.
Types of websites:
Decide which website you want to get. Here are five main types from which you should immediately choose:
Landing (one-page site)
Corporate website (business card)
The type of website should be selected based on what functions it will perform. If its purpose is simply to present one service, course or conference, a one-page landing is suitable. If you need a multi-page website where you need to list all the services and information about the company then the corporate website is a right choice.
If you want to sell a wide range of products with online payments, then you need an online store. An information portal is necessary for the active and regular delivery of certain information (for example, news).
In the future, the website can get elements from different types if its functionality requires it. You will come to the final form already in the process of consulting with the developers, but you should have a common strategic vision in advance.
Terms of Reference
When developing a website, be sure to draw up terms of reference with the developers with a detailed indication of the requirements for the future website.
Specialists will rely on terms of reference on all stages of development. Below are the points that must be present in it.
Content Management System
Depending on your needs, we will choose a content management system (CMS). It can be the popular WordPress CMS for a corporate website or Magento website development for an online store or catalogue.
If you have a complex project and not a single CMS is suitable, development is carried out from scratch using various frameworks.
You must clearly determine who the target audience is, who will become users of the website and who exactly they will be interested in and why. The style of the website, its content and structure will largely depend on the gender, age, wealth and social status of the audience.
Even products of the same group can be designed for different target audiences. For example, the “cookware” product group - consumers can be retail buyers or HoReCa representatives and this is a completely different approach to the website structure and functionality for placing an order. All this must be taken into account at the beginning of the development of the website.
Consider what functionality should be on the website. It can be: a personal account, an online calculator, importing goods through an XML file and all that you and visitors will interact with.
For example, if you want the site to be searched, enter this. Next, we will think through and describe in detail how exactly the search should work: only search by products or blog? Do you need a regular search or morphological? And if the brand name is entered with an error? All this needs to be thought out to accurately assess the cost of the project.
Budget and timelines
Nobody will make a website like Amazon in a month and for a thousand dollars. To get a good website, you need to start with the basic functions and gradually refine them if necessary.
If you have a large-scale project, it is best to limit yourself to the functionality that users will definitely need by creating MVP (a version of the website with the minimum necessary capabilities, but enough to start working).
Only after drawing up a clear technical task we can say the exact time and estimate the costs. If you have a typical task, we can immediately say the price plug, based on the experience of developing similar projects.
Prepare a complete list of services or product categories. The convenience of website navigation and the menu structure will depend on this.
When the structure is ready, it is analysed by a SEO specialist and usability expert. They evaluate it from the point of view of further website promotion and convenience, make adjustments, if necessary.
Think about the content that will be on the site. Where will you get texts, photos and videos? Standard photos and videos from stock services where people in suits shake hands are unlikely to attract customers.
The best solution is to hire professionals to make high-quality photos and video content. You can order the writing of unique texts specifically for your website from our copywriters. The costs of their services must be taken into account when forming the overall budget.
If the information requires constant updating, think about who will fill the website with content.
Choose a few examples of sites from your subjects that you like. See not only the local sites of competitors, but also colleagues from other countries, especially from Europe and USA.
Write down what kind of functionality and design solutions you would like to see on your website. Do not forget to describe what you DO NOT like.
If a company already has a ready-made logo and corporate identity, this will be very good news for designers. If not, you need to at least decide on the overall style and colours that will be used in the design.
The site will need a common visual concept, colour schemes, fonts and other graphic elements that will look aesthetically pleasing, combine well with the overall design and with each other.
It is very important at the start of the job to see the photos that will be shown on the pages because the style of the site depends on them. There were times when we developed a dark design in luxury style, and then the client gave us photographs in white colours. The whole design had to be redone.
Usually, we start to draw a design from the main page. After we coordinate all the changes with the customer and then proceed to the drawing of the internal pages.
If you need to interact with third-party services, be sure to specify this. It can be:
1C or Torgsoft
CRM or ERP systems
SMS, PUSH or email newsletters
Online support or chatbots
Even if your website is ready and very good, people need to learn about it somehow. There are many methods of website promotion to attract users.
What will you use, what budget will you pawn, will you hire staff for this or outsource it? It is better to think about the answers to all these questions in advance. The following channels are usually used for promotion:
Placement on third-party websites and aggregators
Domain and hosting
Decide on the website domain in advance, also on which hosting the website will be hosted. For a small corporate website, regular hosting is enough, the price of which starts at $ 5 per month. If you not sure which company to choose you can always get advice from your web developers.
An online store with tens of thousands of products and planned high traffic requires a dedicated server and additional setup costs.
Having answered all these questions and describing them, you will get a sufficient foundation in order to understand how to start developing the website and decide what exactly you need to get as a result. This will greatly simplify the work and undoubtedly make the result more accurate and effective for your business.
Further, to create the realisation of your ideas, only a professional artist is needed. Contact only those who have a good portfolio, experience and reputation that inspires confidence. Proper training and the work of real professionals guarantees the website success in the audience, and business - significant growth.