Edu Campaign: Website = advantage and what are steps to develop one

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Not everyone who has focused on an idea or project could clearly answer the question of whether a website is needed...

This publication is in support of the mission of “Digital Lead” Foundation to educate the society about digital, data, privacy and tech-related topics and to support organisations and individuals to maximise the impact of their work and develop a culture of innovation.

Not everyone who has focused on an idea or project could clearly answer the question of whether a website is needed. Many still believe that it is only adoration of current trends and prestige. However, imagine how vast the internet audience is. A billion people a day use the network for communication, purchases and establish professional contacts. The site is a bridge for this audience. A professional web project can seriously help you achieve your goals.

The main advantages of creating a website

Online office 24 hours a day. The site is constantly online and through it you can attract more followers. So the site will be useful both for you and for them, because its pages are open for visits at any time, seven days a week, throughout the year.

The site is the face of your idea or project. You can provide all the necessary information, leave your contact information for instant communication, place a map according to which people could find you offline, specify working hours, tariffs, and many others.

The website is a place where you can interact with your followers. Here you can put detailed information about your work, publish useful reading material associated with it and help consumers make their informed decisions and choices.

The site is an excellent marketing tool for your idea. Many interested people will find out about you through the information posted on your site. Remember that an increase in the number of visitors to your website will increase.

Effective conversions. The contemporary website can help people and organisations quickly become popular and recognizable in the field in which they are developing.

Image of the organization. Of course, the website can create and maintain the image of an organisation. A professionally built website with high user experience design and effective brand strategy will bring consumer attention to you and convert it into leads.

Establishing strong relationships with consumers. The site offers opportunities for successful communication with the followers of an organisation. The user has the opportunity to receive complete information about it, to freely establish a channel for communication with the management, to write his own or to examine the other people’s opinion about things that interest him. A website can be an excellent tool for analysing your audience. That will help you develop your strategy and point it in the right direction.

The main stages of creating a website

The sequence of creating a website and a precise study of the stages is the key to the success of the whole project. That is a painstaking process that requires specific knowledge and skills.

This process includes not only design and programming, but also detailed project analysis, collaboration, and the search for solutions to achieve its goals. Here we will look at how the site development takes place and describe in detail the standard procedure for creating websites.

1) Setting goals and selecting the type of site

The most important thing at this stage is to get a clear and complete understanding of what will be the purpose of your future site, what goals you want to achieve with its help, and what kind of target audience you want to attract to it. That is a preparatory phase in which careful analysis will answer the questions: Why do you need a website? Will it help you and how to develop your idea? Will perform the function of a business card on the Internet or will it sell goods or services?

Once you have defined tasks, you should analyse the audience. For who are you creating this digital resource? Who are you talking to, and how do you expect him to respond? Based on data received form the structure, content, design, functionality of the site, etc.

Here it is important to determine what the type of website will be. Various sites provide visitors with different functionality, which means that in one case or another, diverse technologies must be used. Media portals are different from entertainment sites for instance. You should be aware of whether a business card or corporate website, online store, just a landing page, etc. will work best for you.

At this stage also include an analysis of competitors, the seasonality of your project, activity and niche, competitiveness.

The more information you collect and the more detailed your plan is, the less likely you are to spend additional resources to solve unforeseen problems, such as design changes or adding functionality that was not originally intended.

2) Formation of terms of reference

The Terms of Reference for a site is a detailed description of how you envision your future website. It usually includes:

Design – the choice of colour palette, implementation of brand identity, typography, the ratio of graphic elements to the text and more.

Semantic kernel – a combination of all the keywords and phrases that characterise the type of activities, goods, and services that are offered and at the same time relevant to the target audience’s search in search engines.

Site structure, number of pages, categories, blocks – here it is described the links between different parts of your site. That helps to understand how convenient it will be to use. It should be simple to navigate and easy to use.

Site functionality – You will have to decide only standard features you will use or will develop additional modules and plug-ins. Their detailed description and goals have to be made here.

Applied technologies – it is worth deciding which technology stack (programming language, frameworks, CMS) will be used.

Technical requirements – web space, FTP client, domain, hosting plan, website builder, HTML, etc.

In practice, you can choose a domain and hosting at any stage. But it is good to be clear about these essential parameters from the beginning. The hosting is the server where your website and database will be stored. The domain name is the address of the site – for example www.yourwebsite.com. In other words, hosting is your home, and the domain is the address of your home.

3) Page template, review and approval

All stages of website development are important for the quality of the resource, but design elaboration is one of the main ones. Ultimately, the design is what the visitor sees first, evaluates it, and decides to stay on the page or close the browser tab.

The web designer prepares a template on one or more pages based on the terms of reference, draws buttons, banners and other graphic elements. In other words, everything we’ve talked about so far acquires a visual and aesthetic expression. The selected colours, brand identity, design based on it, logos and images are applied.

4) Design and development

In this phase, the web project enlivens. CSS styles are created, and CMS is installed. Site pages are created, usually starting from the home page and then adding the remaining pages, categories and subcategories in accordance with the hierarchy developed in the second stage. All graphic elements of the website, whose design was developed earlier when creating the template, become actual dynamic interactive elements on a web page.

5) Content creation

The content creation process usually takes place in parallel with other stages of development and its role should not be underestimated. In this step, you have to describe the very essence of what you want to convey to the audience of your website. It includes not only site publications. The categories names, article titles, calls to action (CTA) buttons names, videos, photos, etc. are also part of the content.

6) Testing

Testing is an important element of creating a website. The functionality of the resource must be checked, every link tested, every form and every script checked. The text must be reviewed by the spelling checker to identify possible typographical errors. Once you have checked and re-reviewing your site, it can be uploaded to the server. Usually, an FTP client is used for this. After downloading the site to the server, it is necessary to perform another test to make sure that there were no unforeseen errors during the download and that all files are safe and sound.

7) Maintenance

It’s essential to be aware that when a website is launched and running on the network, it doesn’t put an end to your efforts. Your site will need maintenance, modifications, and development of additional features to increase productivity. Regular updates will keep you safe from bugs, security issues and poor user experience. Pay proper attention to your most valuable digital assets and your efforts will be rewarded.

As you can see, building a website is a complex task that involves several steps: from developing a progressive concept and in-depth analysis to effective and efficient design and convenient usability. To have a good return and high conversion, you need more than just a website. Think of it as a functional tool and digital asset that will improve your well-being and help your socio-economic development.  

Sources:
1) Lemarbet.com – Why do you need a website in 2020?
2) xbsoftware.ru – 7 Steps to Developing a Website: A Guide to Use.
3) impulse-design.com.ua – The main stages of creating a site.

harizanov

harizanov

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