5 Things to Understand Before Designing and Developing a Website
Domain is the first part of a website address. For example, the highlighted words in “https://weboost.com.au/web-development/” is the domain of WeBOOST. Domain is unique for each websites that also represents your business. In order to get a domain for your business, common retailers include GoDaddy and CrazyDomain.
Server is the storage for a website. When browsers need information about a particular website, it will retrieve the information from the server. Websites with immense traffic commonly use its own server but will lead to higher maintenance cost. For small-to-medium businesses, server can be shared with other websites to reduce cost while providing a up-to-par performance to dedicated servers.
3. Website Content
More content does not meant better for websites. Instead, a website should provide information right where the users needed. A clear website structure with directions to find the information is crucial for user experience. The content should also fit its purpose and the needs of your target audiences.
4. Content Management System
The content and design of a website should be contantly updated in relation to latest industry news and company updates. Following the latest business developments, a great content management system should allow businesses to react accordingly. The system should also be simple for updates to reduce the cost of maintenance.
5. Data Analytics
Website improvements rely on data analytics to provide valuable user behaviour data. Website designers take user behaviour data to understand how users perceive a website and make improvements accordingly. These tweaks aid website to fit its audiences better to maximize its effectiveness.
The Steps of Website Design and Website Development
1. Website Planning
The planning of a website includes its target audience, the required information, the functions and features required. This helps to establish a general visual language for the design and the information structure for the website.
2. Website Design
The design of a website begins from a basic structure of map out the location of images, text and buttons. From the structure, the front end (user end) of the website can be created and presented as a demo.
3. Website Development
Developers will build the database, back-end system and the functions according to the website design. After the initial development, a website shall go through a testing phase which include a function and user experience test and a loading speed test (such as the PageSpeed Insights by Google).
4. Website Publishing
Before publishing a website, the domain, server and hosting service have to arranged beforehand. Once the services are ready, a website can be published instantly.
5. Website Maintenance
The content and coding of a website requires contant maintenance to ensure the website being up to date. It may also include other website optimization, such as search engine optimization to increase traffic and improve conversion of a website.
How to create website with great design?
Before designing a website, the purpose of a website shall be established. The major purpose of a website is to display information, including products, services, vision, and culture, of a company. In the process of digitalization of a company, especially under the COVID-19 pandemic, websites have become a major channel for the outreach of businesses. A design that fits the image of a brand and a satisfying experience to users is fundamental for the online image of a brand.
According to the features and functions required, website design is categorized into three aspects, namely function-based website (e-commerce website and software operation), brand image-based website (for online brand awareness) and information-based website (such as Wikipedia and Quora). The design of a website should change based on the purpose of the website.
5 Steps to Consider Before Designing a Website
Due to the overflow of information, users prefer websites that are more direct and are focused on user experience. Here are 5 steps to consider before creating a website design:
1. Building a marketing model
The fundamental purpose of a website is outreach to more potential customers. Therefore, a marketing model of a website should be built based on the needs of the customers, the current market conditions, the operation of the business, and more. This model will help determine the structure of a website and the digital marketing required to reach the goals of generating leads and encouraging sales.
2. Building an information hierarchy
According to the goals and the nature of the business, the second step of designing a website is to determine the features and functions required for the website and establish an information hierarchy accordingly.
3. Designing an interactive use case
Through Adobe XD and/or Sketch, designers can plan out the design and structure of each pages. The two software also support demonstration which helps user experience design (UX design) and testing information hierarchy.
4. Visual optimization of webpages
With the use of design software, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, designers can optimize the appearance of a website ranging from colour and font to images and videos.
5. Website testing
Through demo by software and staging websites, a website can be tested for all of its user experience and design before publishing for final adjustments.
Key Considerations in Website Design
Theme of the website
As the Internet is filled with information, it is crucial to deliver the key idea of a webpage at first sight. An optimized structure to deliver the idea and relevant information is also required. Some methods to highlight the theme of a website in website design include color combination, image, animations, and videos. Keep in mind the content should also be relevant to the theme as well.
There are six major aspects of website design: clean & simple, simplified operation, unified theme, outstanding image, coherent color combination, and great user interaction. Following these six aspects, it can help a website to bring great user experience and uphold brand image.
The layout of website content is key for the communication of information – the goal of a website. Therefore, the design of a website can help to reach the goal of a website. An optimized layout also helps users to get the required information quicker and improve their user experience.
While color is often used for highlights, it should also be coherent to other colors used on the website to help build a corporate image. Also, it is important to consider color contrast when using color for users with disabilities in perceiving colors.
Use of multimedia
Other than color and text, websites often require images, illustrations, and videos to help portray their information. When choosing the media to use, make sure the media suits the design and theme of the website. Also, the file size should be minimized to prevent bad user experience due to extended loading time.
Optimized information hierarchy helps users to find relevant information quicker. It also avoids a drop in conversion rate due to longer browsing time. Through heading tag (such as h1, h2, and h3) to segment website content, it helps to speed up information search. Also, links to internal pages or external websites are helpful to encourage users to read more relevant information. The image alt tag is also great for users to understand the website when the image cannot be loaded.
The loading speed of your website is highly relevant to user experience and search ranking of your website. Because of the heightened expectation of the Internet, users are expecting much shorter loading time. The maximum loading time acceptable to users is currently 3 seconds.
Communication with users
The ultimate goal of a website is to display information and encourage users to communicate with the brand. Therefore, websites should be optimized in user conversion. This includes if e-commerce websites can showcase their online shopping ability, display website can encourage user inquiries and informative websites can encourage users to read more information.
As other websites are constantly optimizing, the expectation of users will increase accordingly. Therefore, website design has to be constantly improved to maintain conversion rate.
Similar to user experience, the content of a website has to be updated timely to provide useful and useful information.
Common languages and tools used in website design and development
Html is the basic coding language used for websites and web apps. Html language is rendered by web browsers to display a website as it is intended.
Cascading style sheets (CSS) is a coding language to define style. It is used to define and describe elements in html to simplify styles of different html tags.
can also create interactive use with other pages to improve user experience.
PHP is an open source coding language. It absorbs the characteristics of C++ and Java to build a database or manage the data on a website server. The use of PHP is suitable to quickly create responsive webpages during website development. PHP has better compatibility than other languages that supports multiple platforms.
5. ASP & ASP.NET
ASP allows website developers to create responsive webpages, including contact form collection, file upload and file download.
SQL is a coding language to retrieve data from database. The language helps to get data from databases such as MySQL, Oracle and Sybase.
What is content management systems?
As corporate websites need constant updates on website content, product and service information, a content management system (CMS) is helpful for staff with less website experience to update content on a website.
Almost every website requires a content management system to manage content on a website and carry out necessary updates. The benefits of a content management system are that an employee with minimal website training can also update content on a website.
Employees can edit text content, image, and template of a website on a content management system. And the system will formulate the edits into website coding. This helps to enhance the efficiency of website maintenance.
However, content management systems have its limitations as well. It is difficult to use a CMS for changing website structure. Content management systems can not automatically translate website structure changes into coding. Therefore, if any changes are required for the website structure, professional website developers are required.
What are the common content management systems?
Some of the commonly used content management systems include WordPress, Magneto and Shopify.
WordPress is one of the most used open source content management systems in the world. The security of WordPress has led to governmental organizations using it as their content management system. WordPress is also considered search engine friendly because of its coherent website structure. A coherent structure helps search engine to understand content of a website faster and offer a ranking on search engine result page quicker.
Magento is a open-source e-commerce content management system, with its characteristic modular structure and rich functionality. It is also simpler to use and easier to integrate other platforms. However, the powerful system of Magento has higher requirements to the server and its processing power. Websites managed by Magento often require professional website developers to maintain.
Shopify is a e-commerce system created as a SaaS (System as a Service). It now serves over 500,000 shops in 175 countries of the world. Many of the shops are cross-border e-commerce sites. Shopify is great for small-to-medium businesses to operate their e-commerce website. However, Shopify requires a monthly subscription fee and additional commission for each order. Moreover, the website is not 100% owned by the business and customizability is limited.