The process of building a website from scratch can be a timely one, but it’s important to do it in such a way that makes sense for the user experience. For every website we build, we never begin with design. In fact, it is one of the last steps of our website building process.
We are a firm believer that effective website design goes beyond the colors, fonts and layout; it’s focused on the user, their needs and the main call-to-action on the website. To do this successfully, we focus on the website content beforehand and strongly recommend you do too. Here’s why:
Trends Come and Go
We love design as much as any other agency, but there is a place for trendy website design; the answer is nowhere. While clients come in with all of these ideas about the newest trends they want for their website, rarely do they come to use with data based on their visitors or their website goals. This isn’t something we get upset about, as we like to help our clients discover this together, but when they get caught up in the trends they lose track of the user journey.
Plus, like many trends, they come and go. While an infinite scroll is pretty today, it could look dated and drab sometime within the next decade (plus it doesn’t provide any SEO benefits). If you spend more time making your content fit your users’ needs and not your design, your website will be much better off.
Content is King
Content has become increasingly important over the years; this fact alone should convince you to focus on content before design in the beginning. While design is important, it must take place at the right time to truly allow your core messaging to drive visitors to your website’s goal. Design may have visitors intrigued with your website, but the content is what’s going to have them take action.
In summary, messaging and content are, without a doubt, the foundation of the website. The design elements should both complement and highlight the key messaging.
Other Elements to Consider Before Design
Building a website from scratch is about finding a balance in your process, and this extends past content and design. If you were hoping to optimize your pages for SEO, this needs to come before writing the website content and deciding all the pages that need to be created. This also applies for refining your audience, their challenges/goals and their visitor paths.
Once those last three elements have been defined, you can work on the blueprint of your web pages, also known as wireframes. Wireframing should be the first “design” step in the website-building process, as it will be easier to add visual elements to the pages later.
A website building process is a timely one, and there are a lot of steps to take before design. This is why it’s important to define your process before building a website or contact someone like GreenMellen Media to take care of this for you. We have built countless sites with our tried-and-true process and understand what works best to create a flawless website from the start.
We want to hear from you! Have you ever built a website from scratch? If so, what was your process? Let us know in the comments!