5 things to do before a website is built

There’s a belief that if you build a website, people will come. But websites don’t work like a field of dreams. They take research and planning before you type your first bit of code or install a script. Website fails usually involve disorganization, hard-to-use features and unappealing design. You can avoid online disaster by planning before launching your website.

5 Web Host With the Most

Once your site is online, much rides on your web host’s ability to power the site. Your web host should provide all the bells and whistles needed to run your site and tools. Check web host features to choose the host and hosting package that meets your needs. Find a service that boasts 99.9 percent uptime and 24/7 support, preferably by phone.

4 Outline

If you’re website has more than a few pages, outline them on paper before building. If you don’t plan in advance, website organization can become messy, making it hard for your visitors to find what they’re looking for. Most websites are built in a hierarchy with the home page on top and categories and subcategories below. Its possible for visitors to enter your site through a page other than the home page, so all pages need to have easy navigation and organization.

3 Marketing Plan

Marketing is one of the first things you should consider before writing any code or content. Success online is all about providing what your target market wants. Start by learning about your market through keyword research. This will tell you what words and phrases your market is using to find information on your topic. Lurk in forums to see what questions your market is asking about your topic so you can provide the answers on your website. For example, if you’re selling gardening tools online, use keyword search to find out what tools people search for the most. Then visit gardening forums or discussion groups to find out what pressing questions gardeners have. Use this information to create content or products for your website that fit with what the market wants.

2 Gather Tools

The good news is that you no longer need to write every piece of website code to build an elaborate website. The bad news is that you need to find the tools that will provide the functions you want. For example, online stores need a database, shopping cart and payment processing, and these tools need to integrate with the platform you’re using to build your site. Other tools to consider are email subscription and list management, audio or video streaming and user-generated content. The purpose of your website will help you determine what functionality you need and therefore the tools to gather.

1 Define the Purpose

It’s surprising how many people throw together a website without determining what the site’s goals are. Websites can do a great deal, such as generate leads, sell products, disseminate information and provide customer support, but they can’t do any of that if they aren’t designed toward their purpose. Taking time to define the goal of the website provides focus on how the site should be built.

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