8 questions to ask before you design your website

By:  Paige McDaniel                                                        This post can originally be found here

When clients or friends tell me they plan to design a new website, I get curious and excited. What colors are they going to go with? What are their SEO goals? What layout are they using?

Creating a personal or business website requires serious thought and attention. There’s a lot more to it than deciding what font you plan to use. To help people who are starting a business and are looking to build a public face of a new organization or those looking to redesign be a bit less overwhelmed, here are some crucial questions they can ask themselves before, and while, creating the new website design.

1. What is the purpose of your website?

It seems obvious, but knowing the true purpose of your website will determine everything that it does and how it looks. Make sure you lay out clear objectives and goals for your website before you start on the design.

2. What will your domain name be? 

Your website title should be easy to remember. Also make sure you know which domain will be appropriate (.net, .com, etc.).

3. What technology will you use for your website design? 

Find a platform you’re familiar with and that is easy to use. (I recommend WordPress and/or HTML5.) If you understand how to do the basic coding, then you can make minor edits without the help of a website designer.

4. What will your content be? 

A personal website will usually have content that is more about blogging and personal tastes and interests. A business website will feature content about the business itself: An “About Us” page, a blog, contact information, and pages devoted to products and/or services. It’s essential to feature content that is SEO focused, such as vivid images, creative videos, and keyword-friendly copy.

5. Who is your audience?

Every website design is a little different, and you can always tell those who know their audience welland those who don’t. Website designers who understand their audience use appropriate colors, targeted SEO (keywords, images and videos perfect for that audience), and a clean, uncluttered layout. Make sure it’s immediately clear whom you’re trying to reach when your website pops up.

6. Is your website viewable in all browsers?

Your website should not become distorted depending on the type of browser someone is using. Be sure to test your new website on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

7. What social media channels will you promote?

Linking to your social media accounts will not only boost website traffic, it will also give you major SEO points.

8. How will you track your website traffic? 

You can’t increase SEO if you’re not clear about where you have to make changes. Try usingGoogle Analytics to see where you can improve and where you’re doing well. These are just a handful of the many questions and decisions that go into building a website, whether it’s for personal or business purposes. What other questions do you think are important?

Paige McDaniel is senior director of publicity at Three Girls Media, Inc., a boutique public relations and social media management agency located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. A version of this story original appeared on the company’s blog.

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