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The importance in planning your website

You (the client) can (and should) plan your website.
Planning your own website gives your online presence so much more chance to gain customers, build trust, and achieve your business goal.

What does the planning involve you wonder? Easy – It is a list of all your dreams and goals for your website and what you want to say to your clients.
For me (the developer) to start developing a website, I need info, lots and lots of info! Only you know the dreams, goals, and visions for your business. Only you can share your story.

If you are about to develop your own website or hire a developer, these steps need to be done anyway.

Let's have a look at how to plan your website:

List the goals and dreams you have for your website

The first step is to list your business’ objectives that your website can support. If your business objective is to increase sales, your website’s goal should be to promote your products.

Write down your business’ values, missions and visions. If your business’s values are trustworthiness and creativity etc. your website should build trust and be creative. Your website should reflect your business’s values.

Write down who your target audience is. Write down who you will be talking to, selling to and who your ideal website visitor is. This target audience will be the same as in your business strategy where you setup your business avatar.

Now list the purpose of your website.
What goals do you want to reach with your website?

The Design

Browse the internet and look at what your competitors are doing and where they fall short.
List the things all your competitors have in common - this might be a booking form / pricing structure / portfolio etc. This means they all follow a recipe that works - now you can either follow the same recipe or think outside the box and do them one better!
Look at other websites and list what you like and what you dislike about them. Create a sitemap

Draw a sitemap of your website pages The sitemap can be a simple list of all the pages on your website. Or you can go in depth and list the pages and the links on your website. (Example: Home > link to store | About > link to gallery etc.)

Content

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Keeping your goal for your website in mind, start planning your content. If your website’s goal is to increase sales, your content will be all about building trust and educating your visitor on your products / service.

Images
Using a photographer Using your own images is the best! If your website is an online store, you need to take professional images of your products.
When hiring a professional photographer, ensure that your goal is clear and that the photographer understands what the outcome should be. Use mood boards, examples and / or Pinterest boards to explain your outcome.

Products
If your website is an online store, gather all your product images in one folder, name the images the product name and write descriptions for each product. Use an excel sheet to list the product, the image name, the description and the price.

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