Website Design Tips - Planning Your Website
Website planning is probably the most important part of building a website. It can also be the most frustrating if you don't start with a good understanding of how the Internet works and or have unreasonable expectations about how your site should be designed. In these pages we cover all the well known "do's and don'ts" about website design as well as some of the not so well known ones.
The first "don't" we see many people make is that they don't do any website planning at all. Without a basic, clear plan about how your website will be organized and function it will take you longer to complete it, make it harder for you to accomplish your goals, and will make it difficult for your visitors to find what they are looking for. Start your website planning with a diagram like the one below that shows how your pages will be organized.
When you start to build your site and add information and products to it do it one page at a time, completing each page as much as possible as you go. If your site will have more than 5 pages don't create those pages in your site's directory until you are ready to work on them. The more pages your site has the longer it will take you to complete them all and the longer it will take you to "go live". Start with just a few pages and a handful of products or articles and that way you can start to put your site to work for you a lot sooner as you build it up.
Websites are never totally finished. There is always updating that needs to be done and fine tuning to get the best search engine listings. Having a feature rich website full of many pages of products and valuable information is exactly what your visitors and the search engines like to see and that should definitely be your long term goal. But we've seen many people give up on their dream because they never get their site complete enough to take full advantage of it. If your site is a mess, disorganized, and full of empty pages more than likely it will be a failure. Start small and get it actively working for you as soon as possible in a professional and effective manner. Web site planning is only the first step.