If we get approached by a customer who wants a new website design (or even a rebuild of their existing website) the first question we ask is "what is the purpose of your site". Hopefully this isn't too cryptic, but by that we really mean "what is this website meant to do" and "who will be using your new website"?
This sounds like sensible question and really should be considered but it still takes a lot of people aback. Determining the target market and how you want people to find the site can really help determine elements of its appearance and whether you should consider launching with services like Google Shopping, Pay per click campaigns (such as Google Adwords) and how effective services like Facebook boosting might be.
possible purposes of your new website?
A website can have many purposes, but from experience I would say it falls into one of four general categories:
- An online brochure, meaning a site that people visit to find out more about what it is you do and then contact you via traditional means (phone, email or maybe even post).
- Commerce (an online store). This means you want to sell things online and earn some money.
- News and community. You want to post articles, get communication from users and maybe even monetise with some ad revenue.
- Application. Maybe you want to build the next Facebook or have an idea for an app to make your business, and maybe others, more efficient.
You may even want a site that combines several (or all) of these elements, but it is important to really think about this before going ahead with a new site. More importantly, if companies you are speaking to about building your new website don't ask you these questions then are they really building the best site for you? Will it achieve the goals you want from it?