So, you’ve started thinking about creating your new website, but don’t know where to start? We’ve compiled a checklist of things you need to do for your newborn website to flourish. Read along!
In today’s digital world, having a website is no longer an option but a necessity. Whether you’re an individual, a small business, or a large corporation, a website is an important tool to reach out to a global audience and establish a strong online presence. However, the thought of building a website from scratch can be overwhelming.
But what if we told you that creating a website doesn’t have to be a complicated and time-consuming process? With the right approach and tools, you can build a website that not only looks great but also effectively communicates your brand message. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey to discover the exciting world of website creation and give you the confidence to build a website that truly reflects your unique brand identity.
There’s a long way ahead of you, but we believe that you can do it. We are here to guide you through all the steps you need to take in order for your website launch to be successful. So sit back, don’t forget to take notes and let’s get started.
8-step website creation checklist:
- Carry out a keyword analysis
- Get a grasp on your information architecture
- Prepare your prototype
- Test and rework your prototype, if needed
- Develop your website
- Pick your domain name and hosting service
- Publish your website
- Test the usability, enhance UX and SEO
Let’s take a closer look at each of the steps.
1. Carry out a keyword analysis
A good keyword analysis is key (sorry about the pun).
Keywords help you categorize your website’s content on search engines such as Google, Bing, or any other for that matter. They help the end-user to find the thing they are looking for within millions of pages on the internet.
Let’s demonstrate on an example.
Imagine you are a local grocery shop in New York City. You are a growing business and are looking to build an e-shop, so that your customers can find you and order from you online. Your optimal keywords in this case are “grocery“, “delivery“ and “NYC” and similar. If you were to optimize your website for keywords like “shopping,“ “online“ and “local“ your potential customers would have a very slim chance of actually finding you in the online world, let alone buying from you.
Do not underestimate keyword analysis, as it is a first and crucial step to launching a successful website. Conduct your own keyword research and conduct it well. Take a look at your competitors’ websites and keywords and find better ones suited for you. There are keyword research tools on the web to help you with this, so find one that floats your boat and get into it.
2. Get a grasp on your information architecture
Information architecture (IA) is simply put the way your website is structured. It represents the organization of your website content such as your navigation, menu labels, categories, product pages etc. What are you selling? Where will your customers be looking for it? What categories of products or services will you have? These are all questions a well designed information architecture will answer for you.
If you skip this stage and don’t plan your information architecture properly, your customers will have trouble orienting themselves on your website and finding what they are looking for. This will not help your sales. On top of that Google (or another search engine) will rate your website as hard to read and with a low conversion rate. This automatically puts your website lower in the search results, therefore putting you at a disadvantage to your competitors. In order to design a comprehensible and user-friendly IA you can use UXtweak tools created specifically for this purpose.
Card Sorting tool is perfect for gaining insights into your content categorization. It helps you find out opinions of your potential users on what items should go together, what are the expected category labels etc. With card sorting you can build an outline of the structure of the website in a way that makes sense for your users.
Tree Testing tool is the ultimate next step. It allows you to test your preliminary IA and pin-point its potential problems. Do people get lost somewhere? Is an item still in a category most people don’t expect, even after your card sorting study? Tree testing has all the answers for you.
These tools are truly a must for any website and you certainly can’t forget about them while building a brand new website. We don’t always think as customers do and it’s okay. These tools can help us see their point of view, which is invaluable in the creation process.
3. Prepare your prototype
So, with keyword analysis and information architecture done, you can move on and prepare a prototype of your website, so you can see it all visualized. A willing friend with prior experience or a professional can do it for a fee. We recommend using softwares Figma or inVision, which make this step quite easy.
4. Test and rework your prototype, if needed
Prototype done, great. However, don’t stop there. In order to make sure your website will be user-friendly and will have no usability issues you have to test the prototype thoroughly. This will save you time, money and nerves in the future. With our handy Prototype testing tool you can set up a test for your designs in a matter of minutes. No need to upload huge files, you just need a link!
Look at users interacting with the prototype, find usability flaws, and help your design flow be as seamless as possible. If something feels dodgy or incomplete, come back to it and rework it, make necessary improvements. Nothing wrong with not having something done right on the first try. In fact it is better to fail and fail often in the early stages of development, to save yourself the trouble of failing later.
5. Develop your website
So, the time has finally come. You created a prototype, tested it and now you can finally develop it into its envisioned shape. Developing is slightly harder than creating a prototype, so if you are not fluent in Python, C, C++ or any other random combination of characters and syllables (otherwise known as programming languages) we advise you to get a professional to do this. It costs a fair bit, but with them working on it, you’ll see your site grow from scratch in no time.
Or, as a cheaper alternative, choose a website development agency or maybe a website builder. Some of the most popular ones are WordPress, Wix and Webflow, just to name a few.
6. Pick a domain name and hosting service
Oh my, you’ve come this far so fast, I am a bit proud of you. Now you need to pick a domain name and a hosting service.
A domain name should be something that characterizes you, like your brand name or something similar to that. Hosting means having someone host your website on their servers, so everything will run smoothly and without interruptions, leaving you to worry about smaller things in life.
In addition to hosting and domain name, you also need a theme to make your site well designed. In case you are creating a WordPress eCommerce site, you will need the fastest WooCommerce theme and set up the payment system for your store, such as Paypal, Stripe, and WooCommerce Apple Pay.
7. Publish your website
Here we go Houston, we are ready for take-off. You can finally publish it. You’ve come this far, enjoy yourself for a while, you have officially done it. Congratulations.
They grow up so fast, isn’t that right?
8. Test the usability, enhance UX and SEO
However, it’s not the end of the journey. Now comes the long-term part. You still need to test usability on your running website, so it’s not stuck in 2003. Users’ behavior changes every day and you need to adapt and make suitable adjustments.
SEO needs constant attention as well, Google sometimes changes things, so be on the lookout for that. Competition is still alive and well, so don’t forget to bring something new to the table that will make you stand out.
Work on your website, improve it. Our many tools can help.
Congratulations, you’re all set!
We have given you the information, now go and make us proud, build your website, flourish, become successful. It’s all in your hands.
If you want to learn more about UX, UI and many other topics don’t hesitate to look at other of our blogs, we look forward to helping you in the future with our UX testing tools.