Home / Learn / UI/UX Design

9 Steps for Functional Website Planning

In this article, we will look at what website planning is and why it is important.

Blendrit Elezaj

Managing Partner

9 Steps for Functional Website Planning

Regardless of the business or industry you work in, planning is an essential part of website development. Creating a detailed strategy can help you create a website that meets the goals you have while also increasing customer retention and brand recognition. Designing a functional website that aligns with your goals and brand is a complex process. In this article, we will look at what website planning is and why it is important, as well as the main components of a website and nine steps for planning a functional website. While priorities may vary by industry, this guide offers a foundational framework to keep you organized and focused.

1. Defining Your Website's Objectives

Begin by clearly defining your website’s goals. Collaborate with your team or stakeholders to outline specific objectives, whether you’re creating a new site or redesigning an existing one. These goals serve as the foundation for all your planning decisions, which may include improving online sales, enhancing customer satisfaction, generating leads, or increasing subscribers.

 

For example, if your goal is to improve online sales, you might want to focus on creating an easy-to-navigate online store and showcasing your products effectively. If enhancing customer satisfaction is your aim, consider adding a user-friendly customer support chat or feedback system. To generate leads, think about incorporating forms for visitors to submit their contact information, and if increasing subscribers is the goal, make sure to have appealing newsletters and subscription options prominently displayed on your site. In this way, your goals guide your website planning and decision-making process.

2. Understanding Your Target Audience

To make your website really work well, you need to know who’s going to use it. This means you should study how these people behave, see what your competitors are doing, and keep an eye on what’s happening in your industry. This way, you can gather a lot of information about the folks who might visit your site and make it a great place for them. Also, don’t forget to listen to what your audience tells you. Their feedback can help you make the content and features that will keep them coming back and even bring in new customers.

3. Creating a Strategic Plan and Budget

Once you know what you want to achieve and who your audience is, it’s time to make a plan. This plan should be like a roadmap that shows you exactly how to get there. You’ll need to decide things like how your website should look and what it should be able to do. To help with this, it’s a good idea to talk to experts who can give you advice.

 

Now, the money part is important too. You need to figure out how much all of this will cost and how long it will take. Your budget should match what you have available to spend, and it should fit the timeline you’ve set. So, make a strategic plan and budget to make sure everything goes smoothly.

4. Team Formation and Task Allocation

To build a website effectively, you need a good team. Think of it like putting together a sports team where everyone has a specific job. When everyone knows what they’re supposed to do, things run smoothly. So, gather your team with people who are skilled in web development, making things look good (graphic designers), writing code, and making sure the website is easy to use (user experience architects). With the right team and clear roles, you can work together efficiently, meet deadlines, and create a great website.

5. Developing a Content Strategy and SEO Plan

Your website’s success relies on the stuff it shows to people, like words, pictures, and videos. So, you need a plan for all that content. Start by thinking about what your audience wants and what you want to achieve as a business. Then, pick a few types of content to focus on, so you don’t spread yourself too thin.

 

Now, here’s the trick: You want lots of people to visit your site, right? That’s where SEO comes in. It’s like a map that helps people find your website on the internet. So, make sure to include SEO in your plan to get more visitors and grow your audience.

6. Mapping Your Website's Structure

Imagine your website as a big building with lots of rooms. To make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for, you need a map, just like in a mall. This map, called a sitemap, shows how everything is connected.

 

Think about how you want people to move around your website. For example, they should easily find things like your contact details, where to buy stuff, and how to get help if they need it. Use pictures and colors to help them navigate, especially if you’re selling things online. A well-structured website is like a well-organized store; it makes customers happy and keeps them coming back. So, create a sitemap to guide your visitors in the right direction.

7. Establishing an Aesthetic Guideline

Making your website look and feel a certain way is super important for your business. Think of it like when you see the golden arches, you know it’s McDonald’s. That’s called brand recognition. To make sure your website has a consistent look, create a set of rules called an aesthetic or style guideline.

 

These rules cover things like what fonts to use, what colors to pick, and even how pictures and sounds should be used. The more specific you are in these guidelines, the easier it is for your design team to make your website match your vision and make your brand stand out. So, make sure your website looks and feels just right by setting up these guidelines.

8. Creating a Mock-up

Now that you’ve planned out all the important parts of your website, it’s time to make a pretend version of it called a mock-up. This is like a drawing that shows how your website will look and work. It helps you see what it will be like for the people who visit.

 

By looking at the mock-up, you can spot things that might need fixing or making better. It’s like trying on a new outfit before you buy it to make sure it fits right. So, creating a mock-up is a smart step to make sure your website turns out just the way you want it to.

9. Testing and Maintaining Your Website

Before you show your website to everyone, it’s really important to test it thoroughly. Try it out on different internet browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, and on various devices like computers, phones, and tablets. This way, you can make sure it works well and looks the same for everyone.

 

If you find any problems or things that don’t work right, fix them as soon as possible. It’s like making sure your car runs smoothly before taking it on a long road trip.

 

But remember, even after your website is live, the work isn’t over. You need to keep taking care of it. Check how it’s performing, listen to what your customers say, and make sure your content stays good and up-to-date. It’s like tending to a garden – ongoing care is what keeps it thriving. So, testing and maintaining your website are key to its success in the long run.

Understanding Website Planning

Website planning is the very first step when you’re making a website. It’s where you gather all your ideas and figure out exactly what the website should do and how it should look. This helps you decide how much money and time you’ll need to create and keep the website running smoothly.

 

Depending on the type of business or industry you’re in, your planning might focus on different things. For example, if you’re making a website for a flower shop that wants to sell flowers online, your main goal is selling. So, you’d make it super easy for people to pick flowers and buy them. But if you’re working on a news website, your main goal is to deliver the news. In that case, you’d want the website to look simple and easy to read so people can find and read the news easily.

 

Think of website planning as setting the roadmap for your online project. It helps you make sure the website does what you want it to do and looks the way you want it to look, all while staying on budget.

The Importance of Website Planning

Planning a website is super important because it helps you create a clear strategy for every part of building it. Websites can do lots of things, like showing information or letting people buy stuff, and you need to figure out how it should work and look.

 

When you plan, you can make a step-by-step guide for what to do. This helps your team work together better because everyone knows what they’re supposed to do. It also helps you avoid unexpected problems or delays that can cost you time and money.

 

Whether you have your own team or hire experts, planning is key. The more detailed your plan is, the smoother things will go. It’s like making a recipe with all the ingredients and instructions – it leads to a tasty result that matches your goals. So, investing time and effort in planning a website is a smart move to get great results that match your business goals.

The Three Main Components of a Website

Every website, no matter its style or audience, consists of three essential parts:

  • Assets: These are the visual elements that give your website its look and feel. Assets include things like colors, images, logos, fonts, and icons. They are like the paint, decorations, and furniture that make a house feel unique. Planning your assets is crucial to make sure your website matches your brand and goals.
  • Features: These are the structural elements that make your website work. They include things like menus, buttons, search bars, and interactive tools such as comments or social media links. Features are like the doors, windows, and plumbing that make a house functional. When planning, you decide how users will move around your site and what tools they’ll need for a smooth experience.
  • Content: This is the information you provide to your visitors, whether in text or multimedia format. Content is the main reason people come to your site. For example, if you’re a photographer, your content might be a portfolio of your photos. If you run a news website, your content is the articles and videos you publish. Planning your content depends on your business goals, industry, and target audience. It’s like deciding what you want to display in each room of your house.

 

Understanding these three components is essential when planning a website. They work together to create a user-friendly and visually appealing online space that serves your purpose and connects with your audience.

Final Thoughts

Website planning is like making a roadmap for your online journey. It’s the first step in creating a website that fits your goals and budget. Whether you’re selling flowers or delivering news, planning helps you decide how your website should work and look. It’s super important because it keeps your team on the same page and prevents surprises that can cost time and money. Investing time and effort in website planning is a smart move to get great results.

 

Remember, every website has three main parts: assets, features, and content. Assets give your website its unique look, features make it work smoothly, and content is what people come for. Understanding these components is key to planning a website that’s user-friendly and connects with your audience. So, take the time to plan well, and your website will be a success in the long run.

More Content Hub