So, you have an idea for a website, and you’re ready to present your website ideas to your designer? If you follow these steps to brainstorm your website, it will save the hassle of delays, unexpected fees and a grumpy web developer.

First, Before We Start: What Do You Want Your Website To DO?

A website can do all of this:

  • Informational: articles, blog posts, documents, downloads
  • Promotional: advertising, extending your brand
  • Entertainment
  • Transactional: (e-commerce): sales or donations
  • Social: file-sharing, message boards, email, social networking, etc.

That’s a lot! So whoa, slow down. Continue with the following questions:

Who is your target audience? What are your intended outcomes? How will your website be useful to visitors? Remember, an effective website is not for you — it’s for the people who visit it. All of these questions depend on the needs, and budget, of your organization.

Think Visually About Your Website

Your web designer will handle the code, but they need to know what you want the user to see. What style do you want your website to be? What is your target audience? Direct a web designer in a similar way to how you would direct a copywriter – tell them who the website is for and what it needs to accomplish. Don’t just say, “I want a hair salon website.” It would be better to say, “I want a website for a hair salon targeted at young adults, and I want them to be able to set an appointment online.” This initial planning is very important, since you’ll be building on your initial ideas. Changes at this stage are much easier to make than later. A little brainstorming will come in handy, especially at this stage, before anything is coded.

Find Examples Of Your Vision

Nothing helps your web designer more than something concrete. If there is another website with a similar style to what you want, show it to your designer. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean they’ll just copy the style and call it done. However, this will give your designer something to work from.

Know What Your Design Takes To Succeed

Find a designer who works with the code you need. If you just want a static homepage with your business information, you don’t need to hire an expensive designer who knows 10 kinds of code. Likewise, for a web design with lots of moving graphics and interactivity, you can expect to pay more. Talk to your design firm about what it will realistically take to make your vision real. Then consider focusing on what your website truly needs more than cool looking bells and whistles that are ultimately distracting. A good Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress is very flexible for a wide range of websites.

Think Ahead To Your Next Project

Is there anything you’d like to be on the website in the near future? In what direction is your business/organization growing? Make sure that your website is easily expandable to handle your growing needs.

Test The Result With Regular People

Once you have your website, show it to people in your target audience and ask them if they can find important content. Sometimes a website will be so focused on style that it doesn’t function well. Don’t push your designer so far to make you a flashy website that ends up not being user friendly. A creative web designer knows that your site needs to be original and inspired. They will also start with good principles of design to provide a good User Experience for your visitors.

SunAnt Interactive, based in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, is your one-stop shop for your business or organization to get on the web. We are a knowledgeable Milwaukee WordPress Developer, with a portfolio of satisfied customers. Perhaps you already have a website, and it just needs to be updated with a new design or some improved functionality. Talk with us, and we’ll show you what we can do for you!