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What is the point of your website?

Thinking about what you want your website to achieve first, is the best way of building a website that achieves it. Here’s why.

What is the point of your website? image

Hi everyone! Zarte here! Yes, your latest plan to get rid of me was good, but it didn’t quite work, did it?

Is that something you’re good at generally? Making plans and seeing them through, I mean – not disposing of irritating bloggers. Because when new customers come to us, asking us to build them a website, quite often it becomes clear to us that they don’t actually know what they want a website for, and what they expect that website to do for them. This is a major error, as without a clear strategy for what you’re trying to achieve, your website is likely to be a failure from day one.

So when you approach us (or another company) asking for a website to be designed, don’t let your answer to “What do you want this website for?” be “Well, I dunno, I just thought everyone else seems to have one, so I would too” – instead, decide which of the following aims matches yours (or by all means a different one we don’t suggest).

  1. To provide information – Some websites are simply designed to allow someone to look over it and form an opinion, or cement an opinion on something. These are particularly useful if your sales are mostly face-to-face, but someone may wish to confirm that the information they received from you previously was correct, or look to see if they can find an answer you didn’t provide at the time. Such websites can be fairly concise and simple.
  2. To collect information – Some websites are designed specifically with the aim of retrieving personal details to allow you to create a mailing list to market to, or similar. Usually this is done by advertising the website somewhere, and offering something for free that somebody may want. This could be a free report on how to improve an aspect of your life, or a voucher for something that requires your email address, or something similar. These websites can be incredibly simple as usually they just require one page, to feature some information, a box for contact details, and perhaps a video to add gravitas.
  3. To make a sale – A direct e-commerce website is the most complicated website to have built, and will therefore cost you more, however consumers consistently do more and more of their shopping online, meaning that if you’re looking to be able to sell across a vast area, it really is your only feasible option these days.
  4. To get someone to make contact/ask for a quote – Sometimes your product is too uniquely tailored or too complicated to explain just via a website, and so you want to have a face-to-face or telephone conversation with someone to ensure that you understand their needs, and can offer them the right solution. This means that your goal should be stated clearly on the website, to show that a lack of information is in their best interests, as well as having a variety of ways to get in touch with you all clearly listed as part of it.

Those are the four main types of website, and knowing which one you’re likely to fall under is useful, both for yourself as part of ensuring you have a sensible and sustainable plan for your business, but also to a web developer, as they like to know exactly what you require right from the off so as to not waste either your time or their own. Of course this list is not exhaustive – in some instances, two or more of the options may need combining, or your website may be one of the rare cases that is an outlier to all four, however that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still come into a website with a clear plan. Providing it’s feasible, any designer should be happy to work with you to achieve your vision above anything else.

So, hopefully you’ll now bear these things in mind when you decide to give yourself a web presence, or just improve the one you already have. If you have any questions, or thoughts, as always please do feel free to call us or the contact box on our contacts page.

Until next time,