How to plan for a new website.

Taking the next steps to a new website, app or digital tool can be bewildering, but here's a few tips on how to start planning and get the best results from your project.

Define your goals - what do you want your website or app to achieve?

When planning to build a new website or app, it’s important to take some time to think about your goals. What do you want your website or app to achieve? Are you looking to provide information, generate leads, sell products, or provide a service? Once you’ve identified your goals, you can plan how best to achieve them. Do you need a simple website with static content or a more complex platform with dynamic content and features? By clearly defining your goals from the outset, you can ensure that your website or app is built to achieve them.

Research your competition - what features do they have that you don’t, and how can you make them better?

As any business owner knows, competition is essential for driving innovation and growth. You can learn from their successes and avoid their mistakes by keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing. Regarding features, it’s important to offer something that your competitors don’t. This could be a new feature that meets a customer’s need or a unique selling point that sets you apart from the rest. Whatever it is, could you make sure it’s something that your target market will value? Once you’ve identified a gap in the market, it’s time to start thinking about how you can make your features even better. Are there ways to make them more user-friendly or efficient? Can you add greater value for your customers? By constantly improving your offerings, you can stay one step ahead of the competition and ensure long-term success for your business.

Create a brief or spec document.

Without a specification document, it cannot be easy to communicate the requirements for a website or app to developers and designers.

It’s common for projects to fall behind schedule or go over budget due to misunderstandings about what was required. This can be avoided by having a clear and concise specification document outlining the project requirements.

A well-written specification document will help ensure that everyone involved in the project is on the same page. Developers, designers and content planners will know exactly what is needed and can plan accordingly. This will save time and money and help avoid any costly misunderstandings down the road.

A prototype is a working model of your product or idea. Creating a prototype helps you to test whether your product is feasible and popular with users. It also allows you to get feedback from users to improve your product before it goes to market. Prototyping is essential to the product development process, saving you a lot of time and money in the long run. There are many different ways to create a prototype, and the best method depends on the app or website you’re developing.

Implement the changes - make sure everything is perfect before going live

Implementing changes can be a tricky process. On the one hand, you want to ensure everything is perfect before going live. But on the other hand, you want to take your time and avoid losing momentum. The key is to strike a balance between these two objectives. First, identify the changes that need to be made. Then, work out a plan for implementing them. Once you have a plan in place, start making the changes. As you do so, keep an eye out for any problems. If everything goes smoothly, then you’re ready to go live. If not, then make the necessary adjustments and try again. Implementing changes can be complex, but by taking things one step at a time, you can ensure that everything is perfect before going live.

Monitor how the changes are affecting your website or app’s performance and make further adjustments as needed

Anyone who has launched a website or app can attest that getting everything up and running is only half the battle. Once your site or app is live, it’s important to monitor its performance and make changes as needed to keep things running smoothly. Several tools can help with this, including Google Analytics, Search Console and SEMRush. By tracking page views, session duration, and conversion rates, you can better understand how your site or app is used and identify future improvement areas.

Who wrote these words?

This post - How to plan for a new website. - was written by James Kindred, a freelance creative director and graphic designer based in Ipswich, Suffolk. He has 20 years of industry experience creating brands and creative strategies for clients and his own businesses.

If your business needs help with a project, whether it be planning or execution Get in touch.