Before you decide to create your own website, you need to answer a few questions and ensure that your website is a unique solution to something people want or will want.
1. Why and what
Why do you want this website to be seen and what will it contain? It could be a business venture, a creative outlet, any unique digitally viable idea or a combination of all of these.
You have an idea in mind, but what will get you started is clarity, right down to the minutest detail. You need to know and document exact details regarding content, viability, competing websites and everything relevant to your idea. This step itself should take you some time, but once you have this sorted and answered, everything else on this list will fall into place.
2. The ideal reader or consumer
Your website is your outlet to the world. Realistically, there will be a specific group in the mass who will appreciate your idea. Give your reader a personality and create the attribute list of your intended user. Some generic filters are gender, age, income, lifestyle and location. Specific filters could be interests, hobbies and personality attributes. Chart out people who will not ever, in the highest probability, be visiting your website at all.
The internet is growing even as you read this and there are countless people who may have already had the exact brainwave you had. That is no cause for worry because the more websites there are, the more you can focus on your USP (Unique Selling Point) which will set you apart from the crowd.
It could be a single great factor which no-one has managed to grasp yet, or it could be a combination of amazing features of a website like yours. This USP needs to be charted carefully, updated constantly and, ideally be the whole point of your website.
You might have started out alone and realised the need for support or found like-minded people who are open to your idea. Choose your team carefully - bringing aboard people with sound knowledge in specific areas is superb only if these people have a proven record of working well in a team. The team should be a well-oiled machine strong in every aspect required for your website including legal, technical, marketing and finance.
5. Content style
Determine what would be the best content style for your website. There are many diverse methods available today to convey your message. This could be text, imagery, videos or combinations of two or more of these. It is essential to know about everything you can do and trends in the market before actually deciding. This decision could even be the unique point of your website.
Puneet Sakhuja, creative director of a Dubai-based website designing company, said, “Keep text minimal and to-the-point preferably using bullet points. The trend is towards visuals and videos and I would recommend using [a combination of] videos, infographics and pictures for a great website.”
For a person who is technically sound and using a free online utility like Wix.com, the time taken to build a website would be an hour. However, this comes after days spent brainstorming, deciding the content of the website, content writing and collating everything to begin with. The minimum time period for a well planned website is between one and two months.
YouTube offers partnership deals to various channels and vlogs based on their popularity and content. Many brands and companies look for advertising opportunities through blogs and personal websites depending on the target audience. This would come at a later stage but planning ahead in terms of possible offerings and ways to meet this demand would give a purpose to your website. To make money from your own creation while keeping to your USP is a great motivator.
Every website or blog needs to be updated with content and upgrades periodically. A blog would require you to make a post at least once a week to ensure staying on top of the pile. Make your own publishing schedule and stick to it.
9. Social media, apps and marketing
Sometimes your website could be your store-front and an application your key business point. An idea may be better identifiable as an application, so do not hesitate to try your hand at that if you have a friend who could help you. Staying active on social media will increase your visibility and also help you streamline your products based on user responses. Everything goes hand-in-hand.
A great idea and a great website will take a lot of hard work and planning. Once it is up, it will require time for users to become aware of it. Patience can be garnered from your confidence in your idea and ensuring that you give complete dedication to make it work. Keep yourself motivated with small successes and milestones.
As Mr. Sakhuja eloquently put, “A balance of good content, right structure and, simple intuitive design is what I call a perfect website.”