So, You Want a Website? Part 4/6
This is the fourth post of a six-part series that is covering each of the key elements that go into building an engaging and effective website. You can read Part 3: Content is King here.
Here we get down to the practical stuff. What do you need your website to do? You may already have a good idea of what you need, or you may have no clue. That’s ok. Just don’t assume that what you need is “simple.”
So many times, I’m approached by people who just need a “simple website that has video courses” or a “simple website with some content that’s only available to members” or “simple website to sell a few products.”
Here’s a pro-tip: When speaking to a web designer/developer, don’t assume anything is simple.
Everyone thinks what they’re asking for is simple, but it rarely is.
Ban the word “simple” from your vocabulary when discussing your website.
As you start thinking about and planning for your new website, make a list of “Must Haves”, “Nice to Haves”, and “Sometime in the Future.” This will help you and your website team prioritize what needs to happen for launch, as well as plan for the future.
Here are some things to consider:
- Do you have a product that you want to sell?
- Do you have events you want to promote?
- Do you want content only available for paid users?
- Are you a realtor who needs an online database of homes?
- Are you a non-profit that needs a way to accept donations?
- Do you plan on offering online classes?
- Do you have a podcast?
- Do you need an image gallery or way to display a portfolio?
Come to the table with your lists, but don’t be surprised if during the website strategy portion of the process, your functionality needs shift. By talking through the goals you’re trying to achieve, the web professional may propose a better way to accomplish your goal.