A little over 17 years ago, I began working as a web developer, primarily for charities. The question “What should we consider when developing a new professional website (or a re-designed website)?” comes up frequently when I’m consulting with organizations. The most common responses I provide are as follows:
The site’s stated goal:
A website’s purpose, similar to a mission statement, describes the main goal of the site. Design and content decisions will be guided by the site’s primary function, which might be educational, advocacy, service offering, community organizing, etc.
When I question organizations about their intended audience, I often receive the stock answer, “Everyone.” While I can see where you’re coming from, it’s just not possible to build anything that will appeal to “everyone” (thus the wide variety of automobiles, clothing, electronics, etc.). The site is more likely to achieve the aims of the company if the top two audiences are identified and designed for.
The Site’s Aims:
The objectives for your website should explain the primary aims of the site, much like the objectives in your organization’s strategic plan (and if you don’t have one of those, you have greater troubles than your website!). When working with a nonprofit, I always make them answer the following questions about their intended demographic: When people from this demographic visit your website, what tasks do you hope they’ll complete? Is there a specific call to action your company hopes site visitors will make while they’re there? Check back in on your goals often while you work on the design and development of the content to make sure you’re on track.
Adaptive layout for various screen sizes
A website with a responsive design will have its layout adjust itself automatically based on the size of the screen being used to access it. However, implementing flexible design into an already-existing site can be challenging, and in most cases, a redesign would be more cost-effective. There is no longer a need to have two versions of a website, one optimized for desktop computers and another for mobile devices.
Envision a world where museums always featured the same displays. After your initial experience, why come back? Museums keep us coming back because there is always something fresh to see. When we visit a website, we want to know that there will be fresh information or updates to previously seen material, so that we may return to explore further. To keep visitors coming back, you should develop a content plan.
The average web page reader absorbs just approximately 20%-28% of the words presented to them. As a result, websites now feature snippets of text, images, and other forms of media instead of lengthy walls of text. One of the best things about non-text material in the modern day is how easy it is to produce one’s own photos and videos with a quality smartphone.
Donation buttons, online forms, embedded video or audio, online quizzes, social media buttons/integration, and any number of other gadgets and widgets are all examples of features that add life and excitement to a website. For the benefit of a more consistent overall design, it’s best to nail down as many of these details in advance as possible. (Rather than realizing too late that you need social network buttons, only to find that there’s nowhere to add them without sacrificing other features.)
Optimization for search engines (SEO):
Nearly half of all Internet users first go to a search engine when they go online. Because of this, SEO should be a top priority for your website. While there are agencies whose exclusive focus is SEO, most organizations cannot afford their services. You (or your web developer) may save money on search engine optimization by doing some of the work yourself.
“Here is everything you must know about SEO“.
Repairs to the Site:
The initial cost of the website’s design, and the initial and continuing costs of its development and maintenance, are the two primary costs connected with every website design project. The fees associated with designing a website are often paid all at once. Different developers have different approaches to site upkeep. Previously, I used Dreamweaver to create websites, and my customers either learned the software themselves or paid me to maintain their sites. About seven years ago, I decided to switch to the free and open-source WordPress CMS so that I could alter this setup. My nonprofit customers now maintain their own sites and rarely contact me for help after we launch. Consider who on your team will be in charge of updating and maintaining the site once it goes live. Is that individual only posting their own work, or will they also be responsible for uploading content created by others?
As an example, I’ll use the ADA’s Section 508 and its requirement that nonprofits’ websites be accessible to people with disabilities (ADA). The charitable sector, in my opinion, has a unique duty to ensure that its websites are accessible to people with disabilities. Our websites should reflect the values of inclusion and social justice that permeate our field.
If you’re still reading, congratulations; I hope you find this list useful for your upcoming website development endeavor.
Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs):
1- What should one consider before designing a website?
For whose benefit is this being done? Realizing your target audience is the first step in developing a successful website.
What is the size of your website? When you know who you’re making the site for, you can begin to think about how to organize the content.
This brings us neatly to your website’s content. While this may not be your first thought when thinking about the design as a whole, you shouldn’t discount its importance.
Once you’ve figured out what to write, it’s time to consider what kind of pictures would go along with that. In particular, think about where they will come from.
Here we may talk about branding. Before a website is even designed, it is crucial to think about how the brand will be perceived by users.
In the same vein as aesthetic signals, your website’s usability is crucial to its overall success.
Designing a website follows the same fundamental ideas as designing a billboard or newspaper’s front page. Making sure there is a healthy proportion of text to visuals is crucial.
These days, people use a wide variety of devices to connect to the internet, therefore it’s important that websites be able to adapt to each one.
Motivation: You may find a wealth of resources on the web to serve as a source of motivation.
2- What are the 5 elements of a good website design?
- Content is the most important aspect of a website
- Talking to one another
3- What are the 4 components that make up a good website?
- SEO, or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) In terms of your website’s exposure online, this factor is crucial.
- Interaction design (both user interface and user experience).
- Actionable customer involvement.