Steps To Build Website
Set your objectives. Do you want a flashy branding site, a trading platform, an information- gathering site, or an information-giving site? Whatever your objectives are, your web site is a key promotional tool - an additional channel to market that should complement other aspects of your marketing programme.
Set a budget that you can afford and introduce a measure to check your return on investment. This measure needs to be in place from the day you launch your site and like any other business strategy, regular reviews must take place. Measurement of return on investment will depend on your objectives, which will differ from company to company.
Choose a web design partner. Word of mouth recommendation is probably one of the best routes - use your network and ask around. Otherwise, do a search using the Internet. It's a good idea to work with a fairly local supplier, so for example you may search ' Torornto web design companies' on one of the many search engines available and a best match list will appear.
Think about the site content and link this with the objectives that you set out in Step 1. Gather all the information together and review this with your web design partner. Almost certainly, much of your existing content and copy will need editing or re-writing to suit the web. At this stage, you need to think about the domain name for your web site and where you will host it. Your designer should be able to guide you in this area. Click here to check whether the name you have in mind is still available.
You've now collated your existing material and there may be some additional content required which you've not yet written. Within your launch timescale agreed with your web designer, you need to realistically decide what you can achieve and if necessary, break the project down into Phase 1, 2 and beyond. A web site should always be viewed as a Work in Progress and early planning of how you want your framework to develop will help you to build a sturdy platform at the outset. Your web design partner should be able to help you with this.
With your web design partner, draw up your framework or web map and consider any phased requirements that you came across in Step 5. Your web map, matched with your content material will allow the web designer to develop a few home page concepts for you to consider. These should strongly reflect your corporate identity and should have room for expansion for future updates.
You've agreed content and now the style, so it's time to let your design partner proceed with construction. You should expect regular progress reports and it's a good idea to ask the designer to work up one section of the site for you. This gives you the opportunity to test how the navigation works and to see if you like the overall style of the site.
The construction of the whole of the site can proceed, now that you have approved the first section. You can expect regular contact with your designer throughout this stage, as the construction and approval process ensues.
After final approval, it's time to launch your new site. Don't expect it to be stand-alone; marketing the presence of your new site is crucial. There are many ways in which you can do this:
- Submit to search engines
- Incorporate your web address on all printed material
- Verbally by your own staff
- Press announcements
A dependable web design partner will be able to offer advice and help on marketing your site.
You may think that you've now finished your project - but this is definitely not the case. Your web site should be regularly updated with fresh information. It's an assurance to a potential customer to see evidently current material on your site. As outlined in Step 5 of this article, you may also need to phase in new sections of the site as your company evolves.
The use of a web statistics package will help you to analyse which areas of your new web site are being most frequently used. You can also assess information such as how long visitors are visiting your site, whether you get repeat visitors, and much more. This type of marketing intelligence will help you to fine tune your site to its maximum potential.
With all this in mind, it's advisable to ask your web designer about a maintenance contract. This can be an attractive, relatively low cost option for you to consider and will assist you in promoting your company in a dynamic, lively and interactive fashion.