How To Launch A Website Quickly: Your Mini Planner

Launch A Website Quickly

Whether you’re an online content creator (a blogger, for instance) or the owner of a small business, building a strong website is a great way to get your brand off the ground.

Pages on social media can work for small businesses that are just getting started, but a website is much more impactful and will make your business look more professional.

Designing a website can seem very daunting, but you can manage it — so why not go for it? With the help of this planner, you’ll have a website developed and prospering in no time.

Step 1: Research

Research is truly essential for the success of the website you’re building and the content going into it. You must be able to assess your own content and see where you could implement improvements. Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can use that information to carry out more relevant research into what you need to improve.

This can be achieved by carrying out user interviews and user journey mapping. By asking about their likes and dislikes, querying what they might change, and tracking their interactions with your site, you can expand your perspective and better understand the needs of your users.

Market research is also incredibly valuable in this respect. By looking at websites that offer services and/or content similar to your own, you can find some powerful inspiration — as well as some great ways to make your site unique.

Speed hack: Get content aggregators to do your research for you

Reddit is a place for people to wax lyrical about almost any topic. It’s a community forum with over 330 million users, and it’s one of the most popular websites on the planet, but it’s also the world’s biggest content aggregation website. If you leverage it correctly, it can be a great time-saving research tool.

Search its forums to glean insight into what your target audience wants – someone may have already done your research for you. And if you can’t find the data you want? Pitch questions to its users and let them tell you exactly what they want.

Step 2: Content strategy plan

This plan is all about determining how exactly you’re going to create valuable promotional content. The most successful B2B marketers have reported spending 40% of their budgets on content marketing, so its importance cannot be understated.

Define your goal

There are many things to decide here: who is your target audience? How can you make the site interesting to them? What kind of content will be most appealing? The goal of your website is to deliver a service to the user, so it’s crucial to define what that service is and determine the best way to help them with it.

Speed hack: Use the skyscraper technique

Launching a website without a solid amount of high-quality content is a big no-no – you need to get some pieces ranking for topics that are important to your business so they can drive relevant people to your website. A quick trick is to find the high ranking-content from your competitors, use it as a template, and then improve upon it: this is the skyscraper technique.

This will save you time by giving you the format, framework, and content to work with – all you need to do is add something new to the content to make it distinct from the original piece and more valuable to your target audience.

Step 3: Design

When you’re building a new website, you need to think carefully about the UI design, because first impressions are incredibly important. If you ultimately set the site live for the first time with a mediocre layout, it’ll suffer lasting damage.

Basic UI needs are fairly straightforward: users must be able to navigate your website with ease and find the design sufficiently appealing to keep them around. You could hire a designer to do this for you, but you’d need a plan regardless, so consider the following:

Navigation layout

By carefully distributing buttons, icons, and typography, you can smoothly lead the user in the right direction to meet their needs. Remember to keep information minimal on your homepage: all complex information can be provided on more specific pages.

User assistance

No matter how good you make your navigation, visitors will still get stuck on occasion. By leaving help boxes, tips, and/or contact forms in the most appropriate places throughout your site, you can help people who aren’t sure where to go.

Site copy

You don’t need to write your final copy at this point, but you do need to have some idea of how much you need and how it will look. Use some form of lorem ipsum (whichever style you prefer) to fill out your design so everything can be spaced out correctly, and the fonts can be sized properly during the development phase.

Style

Your color scheme, page structure, and visual motifs should be consistent to make your site look engaging and professional. You can do this all from scratch, but they’re typically isn’t much point. Instead, you can take advantage of existing resources, as we’ll see next.

Speed hack: Use a ready-made theme

If you’ve opted to build your website on WordPress (a popular choice for people with a little knowledge of coding), then I recommend you check out some existing themes – there are plenty of great theme options out there.

If you’ve decided to create your website using an online store builder (a good option for people with little to no coding experience), then you’ll need to check the themes made available by the provider you’ve selected.

Step 4: Development

Development is a crucial part of your website. While the design determines how the website will look and how the UI will work, the development concerns the engineering of your website. It ensures that everything functions properly and addresses any technical problems that you or your designer may not have been able to.

How you tackle this aspect of your website launch really depends on how skilled you are at the intricacies of web development. I’ll return to the earlier examples of using WordPress vs. using an online store builder and talk you through how I tackled this with fairly minimal web development skills.

Speed hack: Select a CMS with a good support team

When I used WordPress to launch a website, I leaned on the community of developers. This really is one of the best things about WordPress: there are so many people out there who have been in your position and know how to handle your problems. In every case, I was ultimately able to get the answers I needed from the WordPress community.

When I used a store builder, I got some initial guidance from the provider I’d selected. Now, I can’t speak for every store builder (because I simply went for the most popular one), but I found the step-by-step process fairly convenient. I still had to reach out to the support service on occasion, but that’s to be expected, and the assistants were very helpful.

Of course, if you’re not like me and have precisely zero development experience then the best way to get around this stage of your site build is to hire a developer – this will save you a lot of hassle, along with giving you the peace of mind that comes from using a professional to deliver the results you need.

Step 5: Testing

This is the final step to make sure that the website is running at full capacity. You’ll ultimately want as many people as possible visiting your site, so it’s vital to confirm early on that it can handle that much traffic. You should also check that your UI is working as it should. There are several testing methods worth using:

  • Load testing. This is a simple way of testing capacity: you just increase the traffic on the site (usually using bots) and see how it deals with multiple simultaneous visits.
  • Navigation testing. Try out all the buttons, the menus, and any interactive parts of the UI to make sure they do precisely what they’re supposed to do.
  • Content testing. Make sure that every piece of content featured on the site is presented properly. Tools like Grammarly can be very helpful for this.

Having a strong website is incredibly beneficial for a new business or project, but website development isn’t without risks. You need to be thorough in your approach to its development for the site to come out fully-functional and in line with your design. With the help of this article, though, you should be able to construct a website that raises your business to new heights.

Suggested Readings.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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