The Ultimate Checklist for Creating a Website

Although it is a no-brainer today that businesses need to have websites, it is nonetheless true that not everyone has the skills and knowledge to build one. Employing a digital marketing agency to build a website for you is a choice, of course, however for several startups, the cost for such agents might be high.

You can either choose to do it by yourself (perhaps with the support of your IT team and a freelance designer) or assign it to an agency, but in both cases, you should bear in mind that specific steps need to be locked down if you will ever be successful. We have outlined them for you here. Have a look and save precious time, energy, and money. 

1. Strategy

You might know that you need a website but, do you know what kind of website you need? Take some time to outline or even brainstorm what the purpose of your website ought to be. Ask the following questions:

Who are you?

What is your message?

What are your business’ core values?

A website is a message that you send to your potential customers, and that message needs to be precise. There is no shame in needing help to develop the correct answers to these questions, and yes, a digital marketing agency can help you with that. Have a look here for some inspiration on digital strategy

2. Customer Journey

Once you map out your message clearly, you can move on to the creative thinking process. How would you like your homepage to look? What feelings and messages should it convey to your visitors? Is the buyer journey a smooth one? 

And this is where research on your target audience comes in handy. Find out everything you can about your potential customers, and make sure that the published content will be informative and the website navigation will be engaging. The UX (user experience) design - with all its combined elements - will determine the pleasurability of visitors, and as such, the probability of their return. 

3. Sitemaps

By having the visitors' experience in mind, you can now decide what sort of pages you should include on the website. And ensure that everything follows and returns to that core message you want to put out there.

Here at Darkpony, we use professional online tools that allow our clients to access the latest version of their website at any given moment and be up to date during the web development process. At the same time, our clients can be active participants in the content creation and online editing processes.  

4. Wireframes

You can think of wireframes in terms of blueprints for a house. A blueprint defines the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and other rooms of your house but does not dictate the color of the walls or the furniture inside your new home. Similarly, in wireframes, we define the pages and the functionality forms, videos, image galleries, and all that is required to achieve the goal of how you want your website to look. Imagine that the wireframes assist your designer in constructing your website’s content. 

Wireframes help keep everyone on point and assure that each page achieves its own goal as well as that of the overall navigation. 

5. Content

If something will help you stand out from the crowd, it is your content. There is no excuse to overlook it or even downplay it. Content will attract new visitors and encourage your customers to keep coming back to you. It will also rank you higher in Google searches. For ultimate gain, proliferate. We advise you to use a mixture of types of content and topics too: articles, images, videos, and keeping in line with who your company is. And this will make you trustworthy, up to date, and effective. 

6. Design

The goal of the design is to be appealing to the eye. Choose a design that you want to stay with you for a while. If it is consistent with your branding, it will be effective. By design, we usually mean a group of things such as navigation, color scheme, text sizes, responsiveness, etc. Just remember! The goal here is to include all those essential parts that attract users while at the same time they help you stand out. This indeed requires specific skills and trained professionals to accomplish. It would be good to choose an agency to devise the route together.

Keep in mind that if a customer has difficulties in navigating your website, he will most likely leave and never return.

7. Systems

None of the things we have listed above will be worth a dime if your website is not functional. If it is confusing, disorganized, or slow, visitors will abandon it for the next one. Professionality and credibility should be your concerns here. You need to think carefully about details such as what type of shopping cart you want to have, your automated email responses, and your marketing systems. 

At Darkpony, we have our own Content Management System or CMS. You might have heard of CMS solutions before, but if not, we’re here to explain. CMS is a software helping you develop and manage a website even if you do not know how to code. You can publish and manage content through it or even create content using the various extensions and downloading options. It allows for multiple users to be logged in simultaneously and makes everyone’s life easier, boosting your productivity. Find out more on CMS here

8. Bug Testing

Now it is time to test the website. You need to know the problems beforehand to ensure the quality of your page. To achieve this, you will have to look at it from as many perspectives as possible. How you do that? Just replace the word perspective in the previous sentence with ‘devices’. Using your website on multiple devices, browsers, and screens will ensure that you will come across and fix any possible defects on your website. 

9. Analytics

Congratulations! Your website is now up and running. But, what now?

Analytics is a great way to help your brand expand. Consider using services like Google Analytics to check what your visitors like most, click most, spend time on most. This way, you will be in a position to optimize your website further to meet the needs of your customers. And most importantly, you will know where to go from here regarding your products and services. 

For more information on any of the steps outlined here, you can always contact us for a free consultation.