How to design a websiteHow to design a website

Having been involved in design, birth digital and non-digital for over 20 years, here are some simple rules that will help keep things running smoothly, on time and on budget.

First start wit your idea and note down all the important elements to it.

Based on those elements now research online what other people are saying or doing around those things, not just around you idea, that way you can see what you think works and what you think doesn’t.

Next just get out some paper and a pen or pencil and sketch out (*it doesn’t matter if you are bad at drawing) what you want and how you want things on the site to interlink.

Once I am happy with this, I tend to use a mind mapping software (like NovaMind) or a charting / visualising software (I use OmniGraffle) to put some more structure and clarity to it and so each page is clearly outlines.

Fourth in the process is to take the elements you have and have a more visually accurate and colourful flat design created, just of a couple of pages and they don’t need to be perfect.

From these designs and the clear outlines I then ask friends and family for their honest opinion and sometimes, if it’s a bigger job, ask people I don’t know too as feedback at this stage is really valuable.

From the feedback I make any changes I feel are right and then get to the programming.

Once the website is programmed, I will then start to populate it with text, images, video and anything else I need, I do it this way so I can make things fit and loom right as well as tell the stories and provide the messaging I want on the site.

Now it’s time to launch and promote the website.

With so many hosting options out there before you even get to options such as shared hosting, dedicated servers and Virtual Private Servers (VPS), here are some simple things to be aware of.

As soon as the website is live, I start to learn what people are doing and not doing that way I can go to the final step, the step that never ends…

Refine, because no website should ever, in my opinion, be complete.

Here are some more great articles:

How to make a difference

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Simple Tips to Help Make Your Website Design

We always have people ask us what do we use on this site, so here are a few of the most relevant service providers:

  • To manage our audience and email communication we use: Infusionsoft
  • For most of our images, we use: Shutterstock
  • Our web hosting and domain registration is done by: 123-reg and Realhosts.
  • To automated and centralise our social media we use: HootSuite
  • To help with SEO and lead generation we use: Webfire
  • Video on this website is hosted on: Wistia

If you would like to find out more about any of the providers listed above, we review them honestly, provide details of alternatives (as they may be more suitable for you) and also other services we use in our resources section.

By Adrian Fleming