Congratulations. You’ve finally finished putting together your brand new website. Well… now what? Let’s check a few things before you celebrate. First off, do you have goals for your website? Is your website able to do the things you need it to? Is it helping you grow your audience? Are you able to get conversions on your website? If the answer to any of the above questions is “no”, it’s time to learn why strategic web design is essential.
What is Strategic Web Design?
Strategic web design is what allows your site to preform certain actions. For instance, say you are starting out a business, but the web site design resembles a recipes page. That won’t do at all, will it? Chances are, you had specific goals in mind for your business page. Perhaps you wanted to reach out to potential customers or make sales online. Doing that with a website designed to play up food and lists will make this much more challenging for you. This is because a website without strategy is pointless. It can’t serve the functions you intended for it.
How Do I Implement Strategic Web Design?
The very first thing you need to do before designing a website or choosing a theme is something called Needfinding. Especially if you’re setting up your website by yourself and don’t have a web designer or a business analyst to work with, needfinding is key to finding what kinds of solutions are going to work best for you.
Here are a few needfinding questions that define specific functionalities:
- Is this a business page, author page, organization or a personal blog?
- What is your brand story and feel?
- Will this page be growing an audience?
- Does this page require a blog?
- Will this site be displaying highly visual media like art, photography, or video?
- Do you have the resources to update a blog regularly?
- Is this website made for making sales or conversions?
- Is the primary purpose of the website lead generation?
- Can you define what a conversion would be in your case?
- Does this website require a storefront?
- Will a sidebar be a helpful addition to navigation?
- What kind of menu structure do we want?
- How will we utilize the footer? Will it be separate navigation menu or documenting important links?
Through these questions and more, we can start to discern what kind of site will be needed, what functionality will be required, and what types of design might fit well for the site’s intended audience.
What happens after needfinding?
After doing due diligence, I start to mock up a wireframe to show the client an example of design styles that can accomplish the type of work they need from the website. Depending on if you’re building your website out yourself, hiring a designer, or shopping out a theme, this will help you iron out exactly what type of site you need.
If you’re using WordPress, plugins can add a function to your site in a pinch, but they can also slow and overuse your server’s resources. Picking out a bloated theme or overloading your site with plugins can affect the quality of your website’s functionality. Choose wisely. Make sure you test your plugins with each other to make sure they play nicely together and back up your site often.