There are literally billions of websites on the Internet today. If you want to stand out from the crowd, then you’ll need to craft a stunning website.
Great websites don’t just happen on their own, though. To get there, you’ll need a plan.
Use these five website project planning tips to help you create a better roadmap to your new and successful website.
1. Gather Information
Before you begin website redesign, spend some time collecting information. There are a few different areas you’ll want to look at:
- Your current content
- Current website performance
- Audience demographics
The first step is to look at how your current website performs. Are you driving the traffic you want to, or are you falling a little short of your goals? Which metrics would you like to improve?
Next, look at your current content. What performs the best, and what isn’t hitting the mark? You’ll want to consider what to keep and what to get rid of based on this assessment.
Finally, think about your audience demographics. Who is visiting your site, and how long are they spending on the site? What is driving them to visit you, and what keeps them there?
Answering these questions will inform your website planning project. You need to know who you’re serving and why they’re visiting you if you want to craft a website that will be successful.
2. Create Goals for Your Website Project Planning
Once you have an idea of who your website redesign project is serving, you’ll want to create some goals.
One of your goals may be to get the new website launched quickly. While that’s a common goal, it’s not always the best one. It shouldn’t be the only one either.
What other goals should you set for your website project planning? You may want to set goals around content creation or usability.
Another good goal is to consider accessibility and mobile-friendliness. How will people using different devices access your website?
Finally, you may want to set measurable goals, such as traffic goals once the site is launched.
3. Assemble Your Website Team
Now it’s time to put together your web design project planning team. You should consider stakeholders from different groups. Who needs to have their say?
The IT team will obviously be involved. They’ll have insights on how feasible design ideas are, what budgets are reasonable, and more. IT can also advise on security, hosting, and development.
The accounting team might also be consulted for budget reasons. A team from marketing and sales may also be involved in the process. They may have insights on how team members use the website to reach your customers.
These teams will also have ideas about what features they need on the website. The sales team, for example, may want eCommerce capabilities. Marketing may want better tracking.
You may also want to bring in outside consultants and focus groups. You may even want to invite some of your own customers to give feedback on design concepts and prototypes.
Customer feedback could also be useful, since they can tell you what they like and don’t like about the existing website. Your customers may even be able to tell you what they hope to see from your new website.
4. Put User Experience Front and Center
Getting feedback from your customers can help you ensure your project planning includes a focus on user experience. It’s helpful to know how sales wants to use the site when planning website design.
Insights from your customers go one step further. They tell you how you can meet their needs and what it would take to elevate the user experience to the next level.
This is important, because your customers are the people who will be using the site at the end of the day. Sales might think a certain feature is important, but it will matter less to your customers.
Their emphasis may be on other features altogether. While you’re planning your website redesign, build in time to collect feedback from customers. Doing this at several points along the way will help you create a website and user experience your customers love.
5. Craft the Budget and Timeline
At some time during the website project planning process, you’ll need to address both time and budget.
These two factors can affect each other. If you want your website built as fast as possible, you may not be able to get the lowest price. If you want the lowest price, you may need to relax the timeline.
Do you have an event or date that you want to launch by? If so, you can plan your timeline by working back from that date.
Be sure to consult with other members of your team about the various stages of website projects and how long they can take. If it’s possible, try to build in time for troubleshooting and revision after each stage.
Budgets can also cause concerns when it comes to planning a project. It helps to get a good idea of the scope of your website project and then get quotes from different developers.
You can use the information you gathered before the project to help put together a proposal. Consult with your stakeholders about what features are “must-haves” and what are “nice to have.”
With this in mind, you’ll be better able to negotiate the budget and craft a website that will truly offer a great user experience.
Build a Better Website for Your Users
With these tips, you’ll be able to build a better roadmap for your next website redesign project.
Once you finish your website project planning, it’s time to jump into action. Want to discover the latest and greatest trends in web design?
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