No matter what tools you decide to use to build your
website, you'll need to at least have a general idea of
what you want before you start building.
Focus on Your Visitors
Focus on what you want your visitors to do when they
visit your website. Do you want them to learn about your
hobby? Do you want them to purchase your product? Do you
want them to become active in a cause dear to your heart?
Do you want them to elect you mayor of Website City?
For communication tips, you might want to read this
Smashing Magazine article, "Clear And Effective
Communication In Web Design" http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/02/03/clear-and-effective-communication-in-web-design/
Once you settle on your goals, you can concentrate on how
to make your site a pleasant place to visit and how to
motivate your visitors to - buy, learn, and/or become
Plan/Sketch the basic layout.
It's best to have the same basic layout for most of your
pages. You might want to visit sites and look at layouts
to get ideas.
Then make a rough sketch of your desired basic layout
showing what you want and where you want it. A plain
old pencil and paper will work fine for this.
Do you want the same image (logo) to show on every page?
Where do you want your menu(s)? Do you want one
column for the content or two? Will you have a
sidebar on the left or right? If so, what will be in
Begin a rough draft of the content.
One thing to keep in mind, with very few exceptions, is
the content of a website is the most important item.
You will want to put some thought in how you present
the information. Think of your website as an online
interactive brochure or catalogue. Although you'll want to
create an pleasant experience for your visitors, their
main purpose in visiting will be to see if you offer the
information or product they want.
The home page of your site needs to present information
about what can be found on your website to encourage folks
to view other pages. You'll want to give enough
information about yourself and your company/organization
(if applicable) so that folks will think of you as someone
who can be trusted, who has the expertise for what they
want done or what they want to learn and/or has a product
or information that is something they need or which
The rest of the pages need to give more indepth
information about particular items and/or subject matter.
Jot down the main information that you want to include on
these pages. You might want to put in outline form so that
you can "flesh" it out later.
Section: Best Practices -->