There are umpteen things to consider when building a Website. Each person will have his own ideas on this subject from design, build, interactivity and so on. What I wanted to share with everyone is nothing more than a thought process one should engage himself, before proceeding to create a website.
This is something that is rarely done properly. Its more about asking yourselves questions. The answers are usually the easy thing to answer. So why bother asking what you know or can easily find? The answer is simple; it helps you to organize what you want to build and ensure that you do the exploration necessary to uncover any future requirements.
Moving forward, lets look into the thought process which I am going to refer to as the "WWW Thought Process". This is not an established process, theory or assumption but something that I thought about in the past in my regular experience here at TechWyse. It also helps in classifying the steps involved. The naming sounds apt as we are developing the website for the world wide web. Expanded, the "WWW" as per my thought process stands for
- W – Why you need a Website?
- W – Who exactly are your target viewers?
- W – What features do you want to offer on your Website?
1. Why you need a Website?
This the primary question you should ask yourselves. In most cases, the answer will be "I want to promote my business online". What you need to think about is, what to focus upon by which you can gain success when promoting online. What do I offer?, What strengths of mine should I focus on?, What’s lacking in the competitions websites?, What promotional offers can I do?, What will attract the customers? and so on. This can be used as groundwork for gathering information to put on your website. Properly done, it will help you to categorize your website into different pages, sub-pages and thereby helping you to form a site with proper framework.
2. Who exactly are your target viewers?
This is an important question you should ask yourselves if you are planning on promoting your website. This involves identifying the potential viewers based on
- Geographical Location
- Age Group
- Specialization / Industry
This classification will vary between businesses. What makes this thought process vital is, the web is vast and infinite, targeting the everyone means you are targetting no one. Its always best to concentrate on potential viewers who can be converted to sales. Its best to lay the foundation first and then branch out. That way the yield will always be plenty.
3. What features do you want to offer on your website?
Finally, you should ask yourselves, "what will make your website stand out among the rest of the pack." This is very crucial and should be carefully thought out. Doing a competitor analysis will always prove beneficial. Questions to ponder include:
- Should I use image galleries/ video galleries?
- Should newsletter / RSS subscription be offered?
- Should I use a quick contact to initiate inquiries?
- Should I enable an ecommerce site for online sales?
- Should a search feature be present?
- Should I opt for CMS to manage the website?
The features that you can deploy are limitless.. The question that you should really ask is, "what features will be beneficial to the people visiting the website and what features will be beneficial for you in managing the website."
If your competitor lacks a win-win feature opt for it, if he has it, think of improving upon it to make it more user-friendly.
To summarize; when creating a successful website you need to satisfy not only your requirements but also satisfy the needs of the viewer by way of information, usability and accessibility. So by thinking on the visitors behalf you can build a plan to develop a successful website catering to both your needs and the visitors.