Planning a successful website

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Most people want a website whether for personal or business use, but they have no idea where to start. A couple things you should think about is:

  1. Why do you need the website?
  2. Who are your target audience?
  3. What type of web technologies you need?
  4. What is your budget?

Why do you need a website?

Seems self explanatory right? And yet most people do not have a clue the main reason they need it, they just think that because everyone else has it they should have one too. The first thing you should do is determine what you wish to accomplish by having the website. Do you need it to just tell people about your company or do you need it to also allow your potential customers to buy products and services online?  Taking time to assess and clearly define the purpose of the website will affect how successfully you reach the goals you set for the project.

Who is your target audience

Many people have a great website but it just doesn’t seem to reflect their company for example a toy store who has a black and white website. In this case I am sure it will not entice the particular audience it is trying to reach. In most cases you can break these groups into three categories : Kids, Teens and Adults. Researching the trends of your target audience will boost your site ratings and overall presentation of the website.

What type of technology will your website use?

This is sometimes a tough one to figure out, speak to your developer and let him explain some of the technologies in depth so you can make an informed choice on the matter. Your purpose of the website and your target audience will play a very important role in this stage of the panning. If say you would like to sell products online then i would not recommend you go with a full flash site as they are a bit harder to update. In this case i would recommend a dynamic website using web technologies such as PHP and MYSQL these websites are more suited for a online shopping cart and would better suite your needs.

Whats your budget?

This is the final and probably one of the most important part  of the planning stage. I have personally introduced my clients to the magic triangle rule. The triangle has three sides: Good, Fast and Cheap but you can only choose too sides of the three.

  • Good + Fast will not be cheap
  • Good + Cheap will not be fast
  • Fast + Cheap will not be good

Although you would like to have all three, I doubt that you will be able to have it all. As a good friend once told me “You get what you pay for”. Hiring a web designer because he is cheaper does not necessarily mean you will be getting quality work sometimes you end up paying more than you bargain for by having to hire a better developer to redo the project or fix certain parts of it. Do your research and remember if your web developer is using a TEMPLATE for his personal website DO NOT HIRE HIM, chances are he doesn’t know anything ;)

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