A website is the most all-round effective way to attract customers, build trust and solve problems. In this article I’ll break down the 5 steps you need to follow in order to successfully build a website. It doesn’t matter whether you are building a website from scratch or starting out with a redesign on your current website, these are the five steps to success.
I am going to assume that you will be using a professional web development company to build your website. If you are choosing to build your website yourself or are getting a family or friend to build your website for you, there may be some overlap in the steps but overall they are the same. I am also going to assume you have sorted out how much you want to spend on the website. If you are unsure, read through the article: I need a website for my small business. Where do I start?
A consistent and heart-filled effort to completion is the foundation of excellent work.
Step one: Gather the content
The biggest hurdle in getting any website project completed and over the finish line is content. This content is usually in the form of text, images and videos. As the business or organisation owner, you know your business best. This is why it’s important that you put the right amount of time, energy and effort into deciding what problems you are solving, what image you want to portray, what you are about and how you want to convey this message.
Gather and collate as much of the content for your website project upfront as you can. Make a folder on your computer and store relevant documents, images and so on in it. At Tech Warrior we have a content process document that we use. It is online and we collaborate with our customer to ensure we get the right content for the site.
Who does this step (1)
- The business owner gathers the content
Step two: Decide on branding, colours and domain name
Do you have a logo? If not you will need one. Any decent website design process shouldn’t continue unless you have a logo. The colour scheme or colour palette for the website is derived from the logo. This ensures consistency when it comes to your business and brand identity. If you don’t have one, you will need to get one designed. Tech Warrior can design a logo but you can use any decent graphic designer to get one. The main thing is, you need one!
In this step a domain name is also required. It can be registered new or updated by the web developer. If you are starting from scratch a good web developer will advise and guide you on the best domain to choose for your business. They will also register and maintain it on your behalf.
Who does this step (2)
- The business owner provides the logo
- The web development company creates the colour palette for the website from the logo
- The web development company will advise and register the right domain for your business
Follow these tried and tested 5 steps to get a successful website built on time and to spec.
Step three: Develop and build the website
Once the content has been gathered, the logo designed and the colours chosen, it’s time to build the website. Depending on the size and complexity of the website, this can take from two weeks to a month or more. At Tech Warrior our most popular website product is Small Business Websites Standard version. It’s a 5 page website that takes two weeks to complete.
Once the site is completed it goes through an internal review before being handed to the customer for review and proofing. Any small changes are completed and then the site can go live.
Who does this step (3)
- The web development company will build the site and do the internal review
- The business owner will check that he/she is happy with the site
Step four: Make the website live
Once everyone is happy that the website has been built according to spec, it is time to make it live. This means linking the website to the domain name. Another term for this is hosting. This is where the website will live. You can think of this like the online address of the business or organisation. The website developer will manage any migration or take over processes needed in this step.
Who does this step (4)
- The web development company makes the website live
Step five: Marketing the website
Now that the website has been built and made live, it is time to market it. There are a number of things you can do in this step, some paid and some for free. Some also involve the use of a dedicated marketing professional, whether an individual or a company.
Some of the ways you can market the website include buying adverts on Facebook or Google, creating a social media presence, building a mailing list and telling your existing customers and friends.
Who does this step (5)
- The business owner will do some of these and together with either the web development company or a specialised digital marketing company a marketing plan to promote the website will be created
Building a website is not difficult. Almost anyone can build a website with the many tools and platforms available today. Building a website on time and to spec is more challenging. By following these five steps you will be well on your way to a successful website.