Today we have easy access to the Internet, thanks to the proliferation of mobiles. It has given birth to new categories of web users and expanded the target audience for the businesses. Despite the increased mobile presence in the form of mobile apps, mobile-friendly responsive web presence is gaining momentum.
Moreover, the advent of the technologies has made web development complex enough that one or two freelancers are proving inadequate and demanding a team of web designers, web programmers, quality assurance developers, UX designers, and marketing professionals with high-end web development infrastructural facilities.
Therefore, everybody is looking for an established web development company with a solid portfolio and adequate infrastructural facilities to foster creativity and collaboration to work on high-end web development projects from offshore clients.
Apart from these, there is a website development checklist that a client looking for website development must consider prior to jumping on signup for the web design project. Let’s have a look at the below-listed website requirements checklist.
35 Things to Know Before Building a Website
There are plenty of things that demand the attention of website owners and website developers prior to beginning, and during the website development process, but we can restrict up to 30 technical requirements for building a website, which is highly important to know.
1) Target Audience Analysis
Without the strategy, no business can achieve its goals. To develop an effective website strategy, you must define website goals and carry audience analysis.
Today audience research and analysis carried out scientifically, and it is by developing user persona. By definition, a user persona is a fictional character/s communicating the primary characteristics of group/s of users. Therefore, user persona consisting of:
- Demography: Consisting of the data of age, gender, education, occupation for the B2C audience. For B2B, company size, position, and company role are important data
- Psychographic: Goals, tasks, and motivation
- Web-o-graphics: web experiences, usage location, OS platforms, use frequency, favorites, social media, and many other user preferences on the web
Thus, developing a website keeping your user persona in mind may grant you definite success.
2) Set a Deadline
Designing the website alone can take up a huge chunk of your time if you don’t plan things properly. You need to set daily and weekly targets/deadlines for particular areas of your website to be done to avoid being overwhelmed. This way your website can be ready on schedule.
3) Choosing a Domain Name
The selection of a domain name/URL for your website requires consideration of four perspectives, such as:
- Human Perspective
- Should be easy to read, speak, and remember
- Brand Perspective
- Domain extension depending on the nature of business, county, or business genre
- -Make it unique to stand out
- SEO Perspective
- Containing business keyword/s
- Legal Perspective
- Copyright and Trademark issues
4) Selection of Host
Fast loading is an important factor in search engine ranking. Hosting services have greater impacts on the loading performance. Besides these, hosting influencing many other website success factors.
Therefore, the selection of web hosts is crucial, and only your web developers can offer the right technical help to show a way to cut through hosting jargon and allow you to make an informed decision.
- Costs of hosting packages with decent ROI in mind
- Area of hosting specialization
- Consider tech specs
- Check the scope of tech support in real-time during emergencies
- Look at additional features and add-ons
- Hardware capabilities
- Check the reputation of the hosting company through third-party customer review sites and
- Email features
- Control panel offerings
Today we have advanced hosting technologies in the form of VPS and Cloud Hosting apart from shared hosting. Therefore, ask your web developers to select the right and affordable option for you.
We know before reaching the final design acceptance in the web development process, wireframe development and design prototype development are significant steps and almost all development methodologies are following those steps essentially.
- Today, we have advanced technologies for prototyping tools, which provide interactive prototypes with additional advantages like act as a real website and allow pointing device to touch gesture to operate on mobiles
- Prototype depicts the hierarchy of pages and sub-pages as per your content architecture or navigational architecture
- Prototypes should provide room for client feedback and should be client-centric in all manner
- It should address the following queries:
- Purpose of the website
- The audience of the site
- User journey to attend user goals
- Mingle the user goals with website goals
Prototyping is an iterative process, so you have to limit the number of iteration considering design options and affordability in the sense of effort, time, and resources spent on the prototype design process.
6) Right Design
After approval of prototypes by the client, graphic designers take the final design step by shifting the design in Photoshop or Illustrator like designing software where low-fidelity and high-fidelity design mockup development involved.
Final design in designing software provides the simulation of final web pages and modern designing software to take care of slicing, exporting, and HTML/CSS version development.
7) The Latest Coding
The programming stage of website development is important to develop source code that makes the website live, dynamic, and interactive. There are several best coding standards such as:
- Making code clean by removing unconventional and unwanted code. For instance, right indentations improve code readability and ease modifications
- Make code comprehensive for any level of skilled web developers by inserting only essential comments
- Follow naming conventions and keep code simple by applying simple logic
- Don’t follow hard-coded value practices, instead keep code portable
- Keep code testing at frequent intervals and use code auto-correction tools
8) Advanced Navigation
Apply different navigation schemes according to the complexities of your website, such as main navigation menu, site navigation, and footer navigation, off-canvas navigation in mobiles, bread crumb navigation, and on-site search engine for advanced search.
Keep the following things in mind while designing the website navigation:
- It should be distinct, simple, consistent, and familiar
- It must be clear, descriptive, concise, and interactive by nature
- It has to ordered, styled, structured, accessible, clickable, silent, and shallow
- It should be visual, responsive, seamless, animated, sticky, scalable, and tested
9) Smart UI Elements on Different Pages
Use smart UI elements by following the best practices.
- Create effective CTA buttons to grab the attention of website users and entice them to accomplish website goals
- Design ‘Read More’ and ‘Continue Reading’ buttons or links effectively to engage and lead the users further in their journey
- Design attractive, creative, and user-friendly shopping cart icons like carts, bags, trolleys, buckets, and baskets to grab the attention of shoppers on eCommerce websites
- Design progress trackers, coming button soon, and Maps for best user experiences
- Design pricing tables quotes like block and pull quotes by following best trends
- Use the latest gallery for date stamps and calendar elements/icons
- Don’t overlook error page design to convey the message effectively
10) Content Strategy
A good content strategy glue the audience, and you must follow the following things:
- Write content keeping the audience in mind
- Write content in optimum word count
- Consider messaging priorities
- Motivate the audience to take actions on CTA elements
- Tabs are a nifty way for alluring content layout design
- Try to keep SEO content below the fold and prioritize users
- Give space for creativity on non-SEO pages
- Try to use natural language to support voice search
11) Image Optimization
Images are significant assets for creating stunning effects on the mind of your website users. Therefore, optimize images for fast loading without affecting their quality to give the best user experiences and effects. Follow some good tips in this regard:
- Cut the file size for optimum loading performance, but keep mobile users in mind along with large desktops users
- Use right file types for maximum compatibility and performance
- Optimize image Meta Tags like title, description, and alt tag
- Produce different sizes and resolutions of an image to meet requirements for responsive web design
- Develop strategies for image dimensions and product angles to give the best customer experiences
- Use the image sprite-like techniques for fast loading
- Handle image thumbnails smartly
- It is better to use image site maps
- Beware of decorative images and use intelligently
- CDN use for images is good for performance but bad for SEO
12) Fast Loading
Google loves blistering fast websites and gives a ranking. People are impatient by nature and don’t like waiting much so leave websites to take more than three seconds to load despite the display of loading animations.
Let’s see some tips to bring fast loading on your website:
- Images are playing a big part in load performance. Therefore, apply the modern image optimization software and technologies to cut the image weight without missing quality
- Loading background images using external CSS files is the best way to avoid blots on bandwidth and connectivity
- Minify the HTML code of your website source code document
- Use clean, compact, and comprehensive code
- Finally, use cache technologies to improve load performance for your website
13) UX Design
Designing excellent user experiences for your website requires UX designers to think of different perspectives to solve UX problems. The following guidelines may help your website UX developers deliver stunning outcomes:
- Know the expectations of your targeted audience and run guerilla test to find out what may work for them
- Keep things simple to avoid distractions
- Bring consistency in web design to offer subtle guidance and build trust
- Implement a visual hierarchy for highlighting the most important elements first and less afterward
- Typography is part of the design so choose fonts for different text blogs and titles carefully. Highlight the headers as per the importance of their levels right from H1 to H6. Use reverse type to make text stand out because contrasting backgrounds make text pop-out
- Colors are useful in establishing relationships between elements, create visual hierarchy, and hold the attention of onlookers in UX design for your website. Therefore, leverage color psychology in your project
- The interface on your website should be usable, and feedback from users is crucial to improve so run guerrilla as well as in-depth user experience tests and surveys on appropriate stages of web development and afterward
Today usability is forming the basis for great user experiences. Usability needs a user-centric design. Therefore, usability meets the user goals, mental models, and requirements to make the website easy to use.
For excellent usability, you must follow some key principles of website design.
- Make website available and accessible by focusing on server uptime, broken links, and mobile responsiveness, for e.g. Amazon
- Clarity is at the core of usability and usability web designer can achieve it by infusing simplicity, familiarity, consistency, guidance, good information architecture, and direct feedback in the design
15) Features & Functionality
Today simple and static websites hardly work because people want to do a lot of things with them and their expectations are higher when the features and functionality of websites are in question. For example:
- Your website should be dynamic, interactive, and updating content in real-time
- Your website, if with lots of web pages, should have an advanced search feature/engine to find intended content rapidly
- You should have Chatbot integrated to provide artificial intelligence-enabled chat communication to your esteemed customers
- Your website should have multimedia content to grab the attention of visitors and engage them further including high-quality images and videos
- It must be mobile-friendly and load fast to offer the best performance
- It has smart UI elements to offer the best user experiences
- If it is an eCommerce website, it must have the latest eCommerce features with personalization capabilities
- Your site should have the latest security features
- If your niche requires location-based features, you must think of GPS and other LBS features
16) DIY or Professional Services?
Determine whether you want to build the website on your own or would like to outsource the design and development to professionals. There are many DIY website builders available in the market. These do not require any designing or coding skills. However, there is a limit to the extent of customization you can put your website through by employing DIY website builders. For a more custom website, you would need the help of professionals.
Then there is the matter of cost. If you have a good budget and can avoid compromising with it (and you should!), then hiring experts can be a good start to your road to success
17) Branding Strategy
First define your brand message, brand characters, and brand components first.
- For any brand, brand logo or symbol is essential so go for it to the graphics designer
- Set brand theme defining brand components, such as colors, brand character, and brand story
- Take storytelling approaches in design and content if your niche is permitting
- Infuse brand theme and components in your web design
- Use brand element in all your online and offline operations such as packing, marketing material, and in the entire business
- Use the latest communication technologies to offer the best user experiences to your customer to augment your brand
- Use social media and other online channels to spread your branding messages
Onboarding is a user engagement technique, particularly for first-time users to educate them and leads to achieving goals of users and websites both. If you want to build a great onboarding flow, take care of the following:
- Offer excellent one-time setup
- Generate excitement among users to come back
- Teach users to use a product with the best teaching/guiding methods like using visual language with multimedia content
- Use the variety of onboarding techniques to guide your users at different stages of the user journey such as tips on the cursor, hover pop-up, interactive modules, off-canvas notifications, and so many others
- Create a sense of progress during the onboarding process to engage yours on a long journey
19) CTA Strategies
Effective CTA design is a vital step in the lead generation process. Therefore, keep the following things in mind while design CTA.
- Design CTA elements capable enough to grab the attention of visitors
- Use colors, shape, size, and white space to highlight the CTA elements
- Location of CTA is important and above the fold is the best place
- For multiple CTA elements, follow the hierarchy to give prominence in design using various design elements including colors, shape, and text
20) Content Marketing
Content is king so web designers can’t ignore them while designing a successful website.
- Should have clear and effective information architecture & content layouts
- Focus on critical content
- Grouping relevant content help visitors to scan it rapidly
- Keep relevancy
- Keep the target audience in mind
- Make content unique and engaging
- Use a content delivery network if possible
21) Search Engine Marketing
Right SEO starts with SEO-friendly website design.
- Optimize website for fast loading so rank high
- URL should be SEO friendly and contain primary business keyword
- Select appropriate hosting package and hosting provider according to technologies and niche of your website
- Integrating CMS is the best option to provide fresh and optimized content as per need without any help of a developer
- Use SEO Metadata in coding and alt tags for images
- Follow the latest link building practices during content writing for web copy
- Navigation schemes should be user-friendly and search engine friendly
- Optimize your information architecture
- Make website mobile-friendly using various techniques including RWD
22) Social Media Marketing
Social media rewards high in ranking and following the best SMO practices may help you a lot.
- Do seamless integration of social media to encourage sharing of your web content directly from the web page
- Place social media icons at appropriate places
- Select social media icons according to your website theme
- Develop design and content that social media audience love and share
- Use images, image gallery, and videos like multimedia content to share on social media sites
Browser compatibility and OS compatibility are a vital issue with your website code. Test frequently during the development and at the QA stage.
Today mobile browsers used highly so check your mobile-friendly website for all major mobile browsers and older versions.
24) Security Concerns
Since we are doing almost all tasks online using various channels and website is at the center point. A lot of data transactions taking place on our websites including personal, financial, business data.
Moreover, our websites have integration of web applications, web services, LBS, IoT applications, and myriads of new tech innovations through APIs. Therefore, vulnerabilities are high, and we need to take adequate measures during web programming and designing.
Following universal security standards and obtaining the latest encryption technologies for your website security are required steps towards offering safe and secure web experiences.
A security lapse at authentication and authorization processes are known issues. Therefore, use the latest spam filters like captcha and equivalent mechanism to prevent automated bots to break your security walls and hack the system or spread viruses.
Application of antivirus and malware prevention software is essential on servers to prevent hacking and different injections, and other malicious activities.
25) Rating & Reviews
Google and other search engines are prioritizing ratings and reviews in their ranking algorithms. Therefore, making provisions to obtaining honest ratings and reviews makes great sense in Internet marketing and trust-building efforts.
You can enable website users to share your reviews on review sites to leverage third-party services like Google and Yelp. Schema.org offers coding to highlight your web page ratings and reviews in SERPs.
- It builds trust among the newcomers on your website
- It shows the skills, products, and services of the company indirectly
- It demonstrates the quality and level of your customer base
- It provides real user experience insights that you cannot demonstrate anyhow on your website
- The testimonial should real, honest, and with actual references/contact details (if requested)
Proper maintenance of your website allows it to provide services in the long run and increase ROI.
- To ease the maintenance process, your website code should be comprehensive and clear so any level of the skilled developer can attain it
- Keep images and other multimedia content organized on the backend/server
- Follow the naming conventions and file management standards to access the required resources quickly
- Update content other resources regularly to keep the website fresh and contemporary, so the integration of CMS is the best option
Updating websites regularly keeps your website contemporary and boosting the growth of your business and website performance.
- Keep web development technologies updated and install updates regularly
- Consider SEO recommendations while updating the site
- Update and improve search and navigation
- Check various redirects like 301, 401, and so on
- Check CTA and site speed performance
- Check links for broken link repairing
A sitemap is a summary of the entire site and helps bots and users to find all web pages in a place.
- Keep hierarchy of pages while making the sitemap for front end display
- Keep sitemap updated using the latest sitemap plugins, which are doing automatic updates of pages/links
- Keep a copy of XML sitemap for search engine indexing
- Give the link of the sitemap web page at the bottom/footer of the homepage and possible each page of the site
- Optimize sitemap anchor text or use titles of the relevant pages
30) Track Performance
Just making the website is not enough. You need to understand how your website is performing, who and how are users coming to your website. Search engine analytics tools are great to watch and analyze the site performance, traffic, behavior of visitors, and so many things offered by free and paid site analytics tools.
- Integrate Google, and Bing analytics tools at the backend of the website to leverage their offerings
- Follow analytics code integration guidelines and recommendations issued by the respective platforms
- Take the help of analytics experts to integrate and customize the code of analytics, tags, and additional settings
- Enable eCommerce features in analytics if your website falls into that category and create conversion funnels, infuse tags, and eCommerce specific code into the web page source code with the help of experts
Without proper deployment, you cannot publish your website on the Internet and run it successfully.
- Keep site source code for easy files and folder management
- Compressed the source code and resources of a website for fast upload on cPanel or through FTP like other methods
- Keep cPanel organized for easy source code access and frequent modification
- Use the latest hosting tools and feature for the best deployment process of your website
After all, things to consider in website designing and development, you must focus on cost
and the cost-efficiency of your website.
- Hire a website development company with high reputations and profound experiences
- Obtain project proposal and ballpark estimation prior to making a final decision
- Define types of engagement model like fixed cost project, part-time hiring, or hourly rates hiring model
- Take estimation of duration or timeline and total hours likely consumed by the project
- Check costs of maintenance and updates in advance and add into the total cost of the website for a given period
- Check the cost of support services and free service offerings
33) Voice Search
The Internet of Things has gained massive momentum for quite a time, and 2021 could be the year we could see exactly what can be done. Two areas, especially digital assistances and smart speakers, could be responsible for voice search growth. According to statistics, there will be more than 8 billion digital voice assistances by the end of 2023, and there will be over 163 million smart speakers by the end of 2021. The growth in both these areas will affect how developers will create something useful to interact with users with search engines through speakers. This means that the developers and the marketers need to adopt these things they do.
- Optimize your content for position zero with a short introduction of 40-50 words, and use tables or bullet points where possible.
- Don’t be afraid to strike a conversational tone in blog content and your product descriptions.
- Structure your keyword research around questions and answers, rather than on single keywords or key phrases.
- Mix up terminology to provide a more varied set of keywords and phrases, covering all the relevant (genuinely relevant!) ways of asking a question. Keep it natural.
34) Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
The next year will be the year of Progressive web apps. PWAs are not new when it comes to your imagination, but their influence will continue to grow in 2021. PWAs provide many benefits that will increase their use. PWA’s user experience is second to none, and the use of mobile devices is expected to increase as brands continue with this trend. PWAs enable websites to load faster and still work offline. They recreate the browser’s application experience and make things easier for developers than creating native apps for each device.
- Invest in PWAs rather than building multiple applications
- Optimize mobile devices to revamp your desktop applications
35) Cloud computing
The development of remote work would not be possible without cloud computing, and this trend should continue until after 2021. According to Gartner, public cloud services are expected to grow from 242.7 billion in 2019 to 6 306.9 billion by 2021. With the growth that SaaS companies have seen in 2020 and some of the top tech companies’ announcements that they will move to Remote-First, you can expect that companies will need new cloud computing to sustain progress.
- Plan a long-term digital strategy that weights on cloud computing
- Adopt a multi-cloud approach to build a private cloud infrastructure
There are tons of factors influencing website success related to web design and web development process. Therefore, the given list and hints/tips may prove useful for the website owners and website developers.
Moreover, based on this knowledge, you can select the right Website Development Company for your web development projects. Just test the knowledge and skills of your web designers and web developers before hiring them.
Don’t put your website’s success at risk – check out what our web development team at Perception System recommends, and start building today with our free, fun, and easy to understand website requirements checklist!
And if you have any of your own tips to add to ours, do share them below in the comments section.