How to launch a new website - design & creation

Launching a new website is a daunting prospect, so this week we have a four part series guiding you through the pitfalls and best practice strategies to make your new project a success. To start with you need to create a well designed, useful, informative and optimised site – this sounds obvious but it’s in this area where most companies fail. The key is to think about the site's structure and search engine optimisation (SEO) before the designers and programmers get started rather than afterwards. So many companies build a site and then contact an SEO company for advice – it then tells them to redesign and alter most of the site, which adds time and cost to the project. If the SEO company is involved from the start, then it can create the site's structure and underlying code and then a designer can make it look amazing. Areas to consider are content management systems, which can be costly to optimise and customise, and blogs which need to be set up in an extremely user friendly manner. Lots of corporate blogs lack the easy to use subscription and commenting features that well designed Wordpress installations make use of and they suffer greatly as an example. Other features such as social media and user generated content should be integrated at the design stage rather than bolted on at a later date. When you come up with the idea for a new site it is very important to think about how the site will market itself. A commercial site needs to have user generated content and innovative features built in as well as the ability for users to bookmark content and share items with social networks. Marketing a site from scratch is very tough these days and without social features and the ability to publish remarkable content in a well presented manner the task is made much harder. As a general rule every new site should have the following features:
  • Blog or news publishing system
  • Optimised pages for each product
  • A unique feature to help attract publicity
  • An in depth marketing strategy

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