I am not a developer or designer.
But I have worked on building websites for clients and self for many years now.
And every time I did that I learnt a few things about it.
What is a quality website?
A quality website is one that helps you meet your objective.
And which is easy on eyes, which gives a user a information without much friction.
Quality for who?
That is the first question you should ask.
A website is quality website – when it offers value to users and also can be updated when needed.
Purpose of a website – to provide info (text, audio, video), to persuade people to buy something
It can be large (thousands of pages) or simple and small (4-5 pages) but it serves the purpose.
To build a website – you need objectives, information, framework, style, code and upkeep. You also need to update it on a continuous basis with new info and knowledge in the field.
9 Steps To Create A High Quality Website.
First things first.
A good website cannot be made without proper planning.
You need to plan,
– Resources that you will put aside for building (and maintenance) of the website. People forget to account for maintenance of the website, and website tend to go stale – and not it sync with times within couple of years.
– Ownership. A good website should have a owner. This owner can be the agency who developed it or the owner of the purpose that website serves. This owner is responsible for taking care of the website once it launched.
– Who will use it? The end users and people managing it (assess the technical capabilities of these people) and based on this come out with a solution.
– Time on hand. How much time is needed to build it.
– What is the objective of your website?
– Who may be the potential audience of your website?
– What information would you plan to offer?
– Which analytics and crucial information are you going to use to find out your success?
2. Ditch your computer, Start on a paper.
A lot of planning these days happens on a digital screen. Better start on paper and list all items shared above and from there move ahead.
3. Decide on purpose and create structure.
Based on what it needs to do, create a site structure.
Does it exist to provide just the info, or to make a sale.
Or it intends to make money by selling a software or an information product.
4. Create wireframes
Once planning is done. Do not move on to building.
Rather create a wire-frame.
This can be done on paper or using a tool like Balsamiq.
5. Design and code.
Now you should get on to converting your wire-frames to design.
Once this is done.
You should get on with implementing the design in actual code.
This is also the stage where you should think about which CMS (content management system) to use. WordPress is the my CMS of choice. AllOutDigital also runs on WordPress.
It is easy to implement and update.
You can also choose Drupal or a new gen engine like Jekyll to build you site.
Once you are ready with design it is time to do cross-browser testing for your website.
In addition be testing for bugs in code, it should also be tested for usability, which can be done easily using a service like UserTesting.
7. Do not forget the basics.
You website should have an about page, contact info.
8. Measure to improve
What gets measured can be improved.
From day 1, you site should have analytics installed.
Google Analytics is the best solution if you are looking for free option.
If you are looking for more sophistication and insights explore Clicky, Mixpanel or KissMetrics.
9. Maintain and take care of what you built.
It is not enough to just build.
Take care of what you build. Refresh it with new content.
Check for broken links – if you run a large site. You can also use a tool like Pingdom to track site speed and downtime.
Keep in mind – that these days you should build with a purpose – a website that converts well, and in almost all scenarios capture emails of users who visit.
1. A rather comprehensive webstyle guide.
2. If you are looking for a more detailed guide on this topic, look no further than Smashing Magazine’s website planning guide.
3. Also see, steps to create a high quality website.
(with inputs by editor)