Potential customers can learn everything they need to know about your company from a single website visit. Therefore, it is vital to have a dynamic website that features your business goals and can efficiently move people into your sales funnel. While this may seem like common sense, many companies seem to struggle with this development plan when creating a new site or redesigning an old one. This struggle usually originates from two places. One being, there was never a clear and comprehensive plan of what the website should do or secondly, there is a disconnect between the company and the web developer. Often, the problem is a mix of both issues.

To develop a fully thought out website, you and your team must start at the beginning to lay the groundwork for the website. There are four components of a website development project that should be considered from the outset:

  1. Strategy
  2. Creative
  3. Coding
  4. Content

The strategy is the overarching goal, it should drive the directive, content, and purpose of the website. Once you have a solid strategy in place think about the creative vision you see for the website. This creative will come alive through the site’s look and feel, organization, and branding. The next component, coding, is the one companies seem to have the most issues with and usually resort to working with a developer or web expert to complete. Coding is important though, as it brings the strategy and creative together for a functioning user experience. Once the first three components have been thought out, plan your content for the site. The content should move visitors through the first steps of the buying process and naturally boost SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on your site.

As mentioned above, coding can be one of the most challenging components of website planning. Think about your website planning team, do you have an expert who can code? If the answer is no, hiring a developer most likely makes the most sense. To alleviate some of the struggle companies can face when working with a developer, make sure you have your groundwork components in place ahead of time. Most of the time, companies and developers come to a head when both parties think the other is developing the strategy. Since you and your team know your company better than anyone, it is good to make sure you control the strategy and then hand it off to be coded. This ensures you get the most out of your website and there is no struggle within the development plan.

Key takeaways when planning for a website launch or redevelopment:

  • Communication is key, the outcome of the project will depend on how well the project is managed and how effectively all parties can communicate.
  • If you hire a developer, make sure your team is still involved in development since you know your business inside and out.
  • Each web development company offers a unique specialty and are difficult to compare apples to apples. To figure out which may work best for your company see types of developers in our Website white paper.
  • Your website must be able to communicate your business goals and move people through the first steps of the sales funnel. If your website fails to do those two things, you will not see the return you are looking for.

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