This article outlines what’s in a website plan and what to include in it. If you want a website built then whoever is designing the website (whether that’s you or a website designer), needs to know what’s going to be on the website and that document is a website plan.
I’ve been designing websites for many years now (since the dark ages of dial up if you can remember that far back!) and one of the most common struggles that new business owners and start ups have is knowing what to include in their website.
It’s like an artist or writer staring at a blank canvas. You can literally have anything you like! And that sometimes is the problem. The world wide web is waiting for you but what do you say? What do you include or leave out? Where do you even begin with to convey your message effectively? What else is needed?
I like to start with a plan and here are some tips about what to include in a website plan.
What’s in a Website Plan:
The website plan can be broken down into these 5 main elements:
- Aim and outcome
- Branding & images
- Main message or headline
- Site structure
- Page content
Aim and Outcome
This section of the website plan tells us what the purpose of the website is. If it’s to sell something, then what is the product or service. What are the benefits and features. Who are the ideal customers and what are the issues they have when they first seek you out.
Branding and images
Branding and images include your logo (if you have one), colours and fonts that are used on your website. You might already have a branding sheet that specifies these for your web designer to follow so you should include this in your website plan. In addition, you need to provide images. Images play a very important part in web design. They need be be unique and portray the energy and feel that you want to convey and attract. The way to obtain unique photos is to commission a photographer. They’ll be expert at making sure this energy and feel is portrayed and will often have some ideas how best to achieve this. They should provide some web-ready images that are of a small file size of decent resolution that they’re not blurred.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to a photographer, then text best option is to take them yourself. Modern mobile phones have brilliant cameras now and you can get some really good results. You can also get images from online sites, low cost and free (check what the copyright allows you to do).
What you mustn’t do is swipe/copy images from google images or other people’s websites as that could get you into copyright infringement issues.
The main message or headline is a really integral part of your website plan as it can set the tone for the rest of the website. The main message or headline is a short succinct headline of what you do or the outcome you provide. It needs to be attention grabbing and say in a few words what you do, so that it triggers intrigue and desire to read on. You might have this already in your social media. What’s important is to make sure it’s not too cryptic that your ideal customers don’t recognise it’s something for them.
Another important part of your website plan is what pages will be in your website. I like to follow the adage ‘Less is more’. There’s actually no need to have anything more than a homepage if your homepage says everything needed. Many business owners get stumped here because they think they need loads of pages. The good thing about websites is that they can grow as your business grows. Pages and services can be added over time, copy can be tweaked and added to.
If you’re ready for more than a homepage, then popular and expected pages you might include could be for services, about, past work, testimonials, blog and contact.
For every page you’ve decided in your website plan site structure, you need content and you will need to write it. Remember for every page you need content so weigh up how important that page is to helping your web visitor along their journey to getting to the stage that they’re ready to hit BUY NOW or reach out for a conversation. If you’re not a natural writer, then you may want to outsource this to a copy writer or learn how to do this.
There you go, a very brief outline of what’s in a website plan.
Website Planning – What next:
If you’re struggling to know what to include in your website plan, then you may be interested in taking part in my 5-day Challenge to Get Your Website Plan Ready. My challenge will help new business owners and start-ups gather all the information needed so you can get your website off your todo list and launched so it can start working at attracting new clients for your new start-up business.
Read more here: https://www.veesmith.com/5-day-challenge-get-website-plan-ready/