Keys to Creating a Successful Website

Before jumping in at the deep-end and firing off a wild range of helter-skelter, machine-gun-style paint splatters, in an effort to bring out the hidden Picasso in you, put on your loafers, make yourself a cup of coffee or tea, get comfortable with pen and paper, take a deep breath and...

Plan your website:

This is of course easier said than done and sounds like such common sense. However it is really surprising to see how many people spend an awful lot of time, money and energy creating a website without proper forward planning. You will need to not only think about content, but who you want your content to reach, what you feel they would like to know and how you propose to use style and design to achieve this.

Think about your audience:

Who do you want to reach? This is your target audience. What are their likes and dislikes? Get inside their head. Do they like loud flashy stuff or are they more comfortable with calm designs? For example if you're selling books for middle-aged men & women, you don't want your website to look like an MTV grunge party! By the same token if you're selling luminous-green hairspray for teenagers, you won't succeed with a website that looks like a blank boardroom notepad.

Get the right message across...clearly:

What turns your target audience on? What would they like to hear? Is your message singing their tune? Can they relate? Does your message or product fill a need. Make sure this comes across. Lots of very clever ads and websites have completely failed as their message has not been understood and potential clients have been lost. Remember, just because you like it and think it's cute or clever, doesn't mean your audience will. Know your audience!

Consistency & style, consistency & style, consistency & style, consistency & style, etc.:

Your style should be instantly recognisable and should be used consistently throughout your website. If your pages and styles change throughout your site, it will leave people confused and in most cases turn them off. When you're off in your mountain retreat, with only the grizzly's to witness your disorganisation and mess, then you can let go and be as inconsistent as you like. Your website however, if you want it to be a success, is entirely another matter. Style and consistency rules and reigns!

Where is it?

Make sure your website is easy to find. Make sure that you have proper Meta Tags (special code that tells the Search Engines how, when and how often to search your site and what to look for) and Keywords (words that people would use to type into Google or other Search Engines to launch a search request) and that the whole site in general has been optimised for the Search Engines. Taking the time and spending a little extra to get this right is crucial. No visitors = no business.

Navigation, traffic jams & getting around:

Once you do manage to get a visitor to your website you want to not only keep them there as long as possible, but at least long enough to make a sale. Do your pages load quickly? Is it easy to find things on your site? Is there too much or too little information? Do your site surfers always know where they are on your site or does it take a PHD in computer science to find your way back to the Home page? Is the content portrayed in a logical manner? A lot of your clients may be very inexperienced on the Internet. Make it as easy as possible for them. Simplicity is not only a good thing but absolutely essential. Always assume your visitors won't understand.

Learn from the best:

Look around and learn from others in your field. See what makes them a success. Why not take a tip and learn from one of the grand masters of all image-building, coolness, guru-style marketing and a perfect understanding of their target audience: Apple (see www.apple.com )

Happy (successful) website creation!

If you would like us to help you design your website, please fill out a design and quote request form.

© Copyright July 2008 by PelicanDream, a trading name of Albert Square LTD. PelicanDream specialises in bespoke web, logo and print design. We also provide personalised hosting solutions. You can find us on the web at www.pelicandream.com - Webmasters are authorised to republish this article as long as it is published in it's entirety, including this copyright notice and live link to our website.

Photos © PelicanDream & iStockPhoto | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions |
Copyright © 2004 - 2015 PelicanDream, a division of Digital Europe SA. PelicanDream is a licensed trading name of Albert Square LTD, UK. All rights reserved.
London Office: Dalton House, 60 Windsor Avenue, London SW19 2RR, UK
Company registration No. 5522209. Registered in England and Wales. Registered Office: 2nd Floor, 145-157 St John Street, London, EC1V 4PY, UK

PayPal Verified