Whether you’re getting ready to develop a brand new website or thinking about upgrading your current site, there are three things you need to determine before you begin.
1. What is the purpose of your website?
There are many different types of websites with very different purposes and functions. The objective of your site will likely help determine what content management system (CMS) you use, what budget makes sense and who builds your site. Three of the most popular types of websites are eCommerce, Brand Awareness and Thought Leadership.
If you’re looking to sell products or services online, there are many different options for your online store, but often times customizability and ease of use are determined by budget.
Depending on the size of the site and type of company, simple brochure sites without any advanced functionality, can range from small template based sites to fully customized and easy to update WordPress sites.
If you’re looking to become a source for thought leadership in your industry, you will want to look into a more robust, blog-like platform to make it easy to update on a daily basis.
It is important to note that there are other types of websites and countless options for custom functionality; but determining the purpose of your site is a great first step.
2. What is your budget?
Your budget is one of the largest factors in determining the functionality, customizability, and CMS for your website. Knowing how much you have to spend before starting is very important to help determine whether you should try to do it in-house, look for a freelancer, or work with an agency.
3. How will people find your website?
Having a website is only one piece of the puzzle. Getting traffic to your site is equally important. Start by thinking holistically about your marketing strategy and what channels you would like to use to get your audience to your site. Whether that is search engine optimization, paid ads, social media, traditional marketing tactics, or word of mouth. Building a plan for marketing your site and your business should start before you even begin your website.
A website is often a large investment. Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to upgrade your current site, it’s important to not cut corners. A website should be marketed, maintained while simultaneously garnering leads or sales in order to remain effective.
Based on your budget, purpose and strategy, you may choose to build the site in-house, use a freelancer or hire an agency. If you choose to work with an agency, such as AOR, they will be able to guide you through the process and will build a comprehensive strategy focused on results.
Alyssa has a passion for thoughtful website design and development, and an abnormal love for data. Without her, we wouldn’t be able to marry beautiful interfaces with sharp strategies.
Alyssa has 5+ years experience with traditional and digital design. She holds a B.F.A. in Graphic Design with a Business Entrepreneurship certificate from the University of Iowa.