Creating a website is not as difficult as it once was. With countless platforms, technologies and tools that can be found and utilised, you do not need to be an expert in programming to create a good-looking website!

However, in today’s competitive market it takes more than a website with pleasing visuals and graphics to get your name, brand and voice out there. There are a number of factors to consider when creating a modern website.

That said, creating a website from scratch can be a daunting process, especially when you don’t know where to start. In our latest post, we outline what you need to know and the 4 stages of web design you should remember when creating your own website.

stages of web design - dnhq team at table

So, Why Do You Need A Website?

As of April 2022, there are a predicted 5 billion internet users worldwide. That is a staggering 63% of the global population!

The internet provides users with a wealth of information and opportunities. From connecting with old friends to education and shopping, the internet has become an essential part of our everyday lives. This has become even more relevant during the Covid 19 Pandemic when many of us were online for work, school and entertainment.

For businesses, having an online presence is vital to success. It is an essential tool that can help you reach out to new customers, promote your products or services and build brand awareness to both a local and global audience. In addition to this there are a host of benefits that having a website can bring to your business including:

  • Credibility: In today’s digital world, potential customers are more likely to trust and engage with businesses that have an online presence. Having a website gives your business the opportunity to clearly communicate who you are, what you do and what your customers can expect from you.
  • Increased Reach: A website gives your business the opportunity to reach a larger audience than you would if you were relying on offline methods such as print or word of mouth alone.
  • Increased Visibility: A website provides your business with a platform to be seen by anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world.
  • Brand Voice: A website is a great way to control the conversation about your brand and ensure that your message is communicated clearly to your target audience.
  • Organic Traffic: A website that is well designed and optimised for search engine ranking can help you to attract organic traffic-that is, people who are already interested in what you do and are actively searching for it online.

The Importance Of Planning Your Website Development

Creating a website can be a time-consuming process, so it is important that you take the time to plan it out properly from the outset. By doing this you can avoid any costly mistakes or having to backtrack later on down the line.

Constructing a website is much like building a house. A solid foundation and clear plans are key to ensuring the end result is a website that looks great, functions well and meets your specific needs.

Even the most basic website needs planning and discovery before any design or development. This initial planning and strategy phase allows you to better understand your needs, brand, audience demographics and core purpose for having a website.

stages of web design - Close up of unrecognizable woman using laptop with e-education website at home, copy space

Stage 1: Project Discovery

As explained above, before any physical design and development work can be done, you need to take some time to understand your business, brand and what you hope to achieve with your website.

This stage is all about research and planning. Here you will conduct activities such as finding existing problems and solutions in your particular niche or industry, defining your product’s unique value proposition, and learning about your ideal customer. This allows you to create a full vision of the idea you hope to bring to life with your website.

Project discovery can also involve competitor analysis, keyword research, developing user personas and creating customer journey maps. All of these activities will help you to better understand the needs of your target audience and how your website can meet them.

Why is Project Discovery Important?

Many people often skip this stage and move directly to physical design. However, a lack of planning can cost your business more time and resources in the long run. By taking the time to do proper research and planning at this stage, you can avoid some of the most common mistakes made in web design. By conducting project research and discovery you can:

  • Better understand the core problem you are looking to solve
  • Establish a clear brand communication plan
  • Better align your project goals and the needs of your business
  • Develop a user persona
  • Better facilitate development

Stage 2: Architecture & Layout

The next stage in web design is architecture and layout. This is where you start to put your plans into action and begin thinking about the physical structure of your website.

At this stage, you will need to consider things such as navigation, sitemaps, content hierarchy and information architecture. All of these elements work together to create a user-friendly website that is easy to navigate and find information on.

Based on this information, you will then start to create a wireframe and prototype for your website. Wireframes are often used as visual guides as to the layout and organisation of different web pages. Prototypes are a more detailed version of a wireframe and demonstrate the design of the website. It can be used to test out the user experience of your website before it is built.

It is important to note that at this stage, you are not worrying about the aesthetics of your website, but rather the functionality and user experience.

Why is Architecture & Layout Important?

The architecture and layout of your website are important for several reasons. A well-structured website helps you avoid navigation and usability issues, while maintaining consistency and a clear hierarchy throughout your website. This makes it easier for users to find the information they need on your website and reduces the likelihood of them becoming frustrated and leaving.

stages of web design - wire frame closeup

Stage 3: Content, Graphics & Colours

This is where the fun begins! User interface design (UI) is about creating the visual components of your website. Aesthetics are important in web design as they can play a big role in the overall experience, user acquisition and retention.

This stage involves adding things such as images, videos, typography and graphics to your website. It is important that these elements not only remains consistent across your site but with your brand identity as well.

Why is Content, Graphics & Colours Important?

Aesthetics play a big role in first impressions and can be a deciding factor in whether or not a user decides to stay on your site. Your website needs to be visually appealing to help it stand out from the competition and capture the attention of your target audience.

However, it is important to remember that UI is not just about making things look pretty. The colours, graphics and overall layout of your website need to be carefully considered to create a balanced and effective design,

Stage 4: Launching, Analysing, Revising and Maintenance

Once your website has been designed and built, it is time to launch it! This stage involves making your website live and accessible to the world.

It is often thought that once a website is live, the job is done. But in reality, a website is never truly “finished”. There will always be things that can be changed or updated to make it better. Web design is an ongoing process that requires regular maintenance and updates.

It is important to analyse and gather data about how users are interacting and exploring your website. This information can then be used to make changes and improve the overall experience for future users. Similarly, if you want your website to be found regular maintenance and SEO optimisation are required to maintain a high ranking on search engines.

Digital Marketing Trends For 2022 - person using laptop to search on google

How Do I Know If My Website Is Achieving Its Goals?

There are a number of tools and platforms that can be used to track the performance of your website. Google Analytics is a popular choice as it is free to use and provides a wealth of data about how users interact with your site.

Another way to gauge the success of your website is to assess the purpose of your website, from selling products to getting more bookings or enquires. By simply asking “is my website achieving these goals?” you can get a good idea of how effective your website really is.

Do-It-Yourself Vs Professional Web Design

Designing a website is a big decision. It can cost time, money and commitment which is why website builders such as Wix and Squarespace are popular for businesses just starting out.

Depending on your needs and budget, these drag-and-drop builders can create a simple website quickly and affordably. However, these platforms have their limitations and may not be suitable for more complex websites or businesses with specific requirements.

When you partner with a professional web developer you’re going to get experience and industry knowledge.  Professional web developers are experts in the field and will be able to create a website that is tailored to your specific needs. They have insider knowledge on development best practices and are able to provide informed support and advice that can help you see increased traffic and conversions.

The design and development team at Digital Nomads HQ have years of experience and has worked with businesses of all sizes. We understand the importance of a well-designed website and the role it plays in the success of a business and will work with you to create a website that reflects your brand identity and meets your specific goals!

stages of web design - Todd and Jodi at a table with a laptop

Take-Aways

Web design is a process that takes time, effort and expertise to get right. Take your time to understand the different stages of web design and what they involve. This will help you create a website that is tailored to your specific needs and achieves your desired results.

While thinking and planning are essential, you also need to take action – whether this is by yourself or with the help of a professional web designer. By doing the research and understanding the different stages of web design, you can ensure that your website is well-designed, effective and successful.

If you are looking for a professional web design team to create a website for your business, get in touch with us today! We would love to chat with you about your project and see how we can help.

Chanie

Chanie

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