There are a lot of things to consider when starting a new website. What should it look like? How much information should be on the site? Who will be visiting the site? All of these are important things to consider; however, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the options available for your website and overlook what is truly important – the content.
Think about the reasons most people visit websites. Is it to be wowed by amazing design and imagery? Perhaps some visitors come to the site to be amused by animation and interactivity? When you get down to the true purpose of a site, its main reason for existence is to deliver information to the visitor. Many times, people get excited about getting a website up and running, but forget this key element. You can spend as much time, money and effort as you like on making the most beautiful interactive website in existence, but if you haven’t devoted the necessary thought to the information that will live on your website, you’re wasting your time. So, before you start your website, consider these questions. They will help you get off on the right track:
- Who will be visiting your site?
- What information will they be looking for?
- What pages of information will be most important to your visitors?
- Will adding more content to your site add value, or detract from simplicity?
Once you’ve thought these questions through, a good place to start is creating a site map. A site map can be a simple outline of the pages you plan to have on your site. Usually the simpler the map is – the better. You can always add pages and information to your site later, but you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead if you can start with making sure the fundamental information is laid out, before you begin with design and setup.