How to design a new website

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When modernising a website that hasn’t been changed in many years it is often best to start with a clean sheet of paper.

When modernising a website that hasn’t been changed in many years it is often best to start with a clean sheet of paper. Before thinking about structure, colours and layouts there are some basics that need to be considered.

What is the goal of the website?

There are many reasons for having a website such as presenting a professional image of the business, generating enquiries, advertising vacancies and backing up the sales process. Every company has different objectives but it is important to understand what your website goals are and, ideally, have some way of measuring success.

If the objective is to generate more enquiries or rank higher in search engines these can be easily measured against past performance. A more professional image of your business is a less tangible goal and is often best gauged by feedback from customers.

What is your company message?

Whether it be a USP, mission statement or marketing message your website should say succinctly what differentiates your business from the competition. Why do people choose to use you rather than a competitor and what areas do you focus on to win and keep clients?

Who is your website aimed at?

Are the decision makers for your product or service tech savvy 20 somethings that will glance at your site for a few seconds before moving on? Are they industry experts that have been in the business for many years and want to find detailed technical information? Are they company owners with little time to read everything on your site but a need to know you are a reliable company than can do what they need?

What are your competitors doing?

While you don’t want to look the same as your competitors it is well worth doing some analysis of their sites and approach and making a list of what they do right and wrong. This knowledge can lead to new ideas for your site and help you avoid mistakes others have made.