In today's digital age, a website is one of the most essential tools for any business or organization. It serves as a window to the world, allowing customers and stakeholders to learn more about your brand, products, and services. However, creating a website can be a daunting task, especially if you don't have a plan. In this article, we will discuss the importance of website planning and how it can benefit your business.
What is Planning?
Website planning is the process of outlining the objectives, goals, and requirements for a website before it is developed. Planning is a critical part of any project, and website development is no exception. Website planning involves designing and organizing the website to meet the business's objectives and its customers' needs.
Why is Planning Important?
In our many years of web development, the greatest lesson we've learned is the value of planning a project thoroughly and completely.
1. Establishes Priorities and Sets Expectations
Have you ever envisioned something in your mind, explained it to another person, and were then disappointed by their interpretation of your directions? When it comes to a web project, there are many voices and visions of what the end result will be. To ensure that the final product is exactly what you and your organization were hoping for, all of the details need to be sorted out before development begins. A great development partner will help create a Customer Journey Questionnaire, Sitemap, Wireframes, Data Architecture, Case Studies, etc. They will be clear in setting expectations about what functionality is possible within your given timeline and budget and work with you to set up priorities for a later phase.
2. Saves Time and Money
Planning your website ahead of time will save you a significant amount of time and money. It allows you to avoid unnecessary revisions and rework that could increase the development cost. Think about it this way, you wouldn't build a house without a blueprint. So you shouldn't build a website without a plan. With a robust planning process, issues come to light before development time has been wasted heading down the wrong path.
A great web partner will keep your budget in mind when going through the Planning Process in mind and help you identify areas that could require more time and resources than originally estimated. By having a clear plan,and open communication with your web partner you can identify any potential problems early and accommodate them before they cause significant delays and expenses.
3. Enhances User Experience
A well-planned website will enhance the user experience and increase customer satisfaction. User experience (UX) refers to the interaction between the user and the website. If the website is poorly designed and confusing to navigate, users will have a hard time finding what they are looking for and may leave the website frustrated. A well-planned website will have a clear structure, intuitive navigation, and easy-to-use features, making it easier for users to find what they need. Meaning they are more likely to trust you and your organization and continue engaging with your site rather than leaving out of frustration.
4. Boosts Search Engine Ranking
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial aspect of website planning. A website that is optimized for search engines will appear higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), leading to increased visibility and traffic. A well-planned website will have a clear site structure, proper use of keywords, and relevant content, which will make it more attractive to search engines. Planning your site with SEO in mind will ensure that it is built for success and will reduce the amount of time your marketing team will need to spend fixing broken links, setting up redirects, and making sure your site has clean URLs. This provides them with the peace of mind that their new site will not tank their rankings and allow them to focus on other initiatives, thus boosting their efficiency and your ROI.
5. Aids in Business Growth
A well-planned website will support the growth of your business. By providing a positive user experience and ranking well in search engines, your website will attract more visitors, leading to increased brand awareness, sales, and revenue.
Speaking of future growth, a productive Planning Phase will help you identify features, functionality, and integrations that could be added to the website or portal at a later point in time. Whether this is for budgetary needs or future goals of your business, identifying these areas early on in the process will help your development team build with the future in mind.
Where should I start?
Have we convinced you that Planning is a vital part of any web project but you aren’t sure where to start. Here are a few tools and resources for your viewing pleasure
- Blog: Planning A Successful Website
- Blog: What To Expect During A Website Redesign
- Resource: Website Planning Guide
- Resource: Website Assessment Checklist
Or, you can let us help you. At CommonPlaces, we know exactly what needs to be involved in the planning phase to make your project a success. If you have a project in mind and are looking for a new web partner, we would love to help! Reach out to us today for a free consultation.