Web Development and the Big Time Out

One of the great debilitators in online business is simply the perceived (or real) lack of time. Business owners are used to moving forward. An online web presence can make them feel tied to an office chair learning skills they aren’t sure they want to know.

It’s not uncommon for those who deal in full time web design to have individuals contact them for a site design, but have absolutely no idea what they want. Furthermore when the designer questions them the response might be, “I don’t know, just make it look nice.”

Let’s not forget the core values or mission of the business. Many business owners have no idea how to answer those kinds of questions. They may stare blankly for a moment or two and there’s no more time for further deep thought so they go back to action – without answers.

In many cases it is possible to answer some of the questions needed, but it may require taking time away from a familiar setting. It may also require more time than you think you want to give.

If you can get to a place of concentrated contemplation you are likely to find yourself stripping ideas to their core to find out what your business is trying to accomplish and what your ultimate goals might be.

As with almost any project you can turn frustration around if you will just take the time to come to terms with your vision.

Sometimes we spend so much time ‘doing’ we never stop to ask the question, “Why?”

This process can be a bit like taking a bus that drives around the park. You keep looking at the flowers and the park bench and long to sit in the quiet shade of a tree and just absorb the calming atmosphere. You know they will have a positive effect on you, but for some reason you just can’t seem to find the energy to get off the bus.

It seems to me there are some sites that are misguided or rarely guided that could benefit from the process of self-evaluation. These sites may look nice, but there is a sense of disconnection that may not be easy to identify, but it’s fairly obvious to visitors.

Creative energy is at a minimum while business owners simply tackle what seem to be the most urgent details.

As more people gravitate to online business there needs to be a shift in the thinking of how one goes about doing business online. In many ways it can’t be approached in the same way a traditional business is developed, yet that is typically the way many new web commerce ventures choose to tackle the subject.

You may discover your business will be more successful if you take some time for rigorous reflection. The time set aside can be a bit like an architect that takes the time to develop plans for a new building. You wouldn’t expect the architect to simply tell a construction crew to, “Go out there and build – something.”

Work at ‘building’ your online business in a comprehensive way. Your effort can develop a firm foundation for long-term success.

Web Development – Step by Step Guide to Designing Your Own Website

Designing and developing your own website can be very time consuming. That is why careful planning and organization are a must. Using the same basic principles, every small business owner can design his or her own website. With a little patience and some general knowledge, you can be up on the web in no time.

Step-by-step guide to website development

1. Gather information: the most important part of designing your website is the information you wish to convey to your audience. You need to understand the purpose of your site. Is it to sell a product, inform your audience, or offer a service?

You also need to set goals. Think about what you want to accomplish with your website. Common goals are either to generate more sales or share valuable information.

Knowing your target audience is key to building traffic. Imagine the ideal person you want to visitor your website. If you run a business that trains dogs, your target audience would be pet owners. Consider every demographic when you think about whom you are trying to reach.

Content is king when it comes to search engines. Your content must be highly informative, relevant, and fresh. Adding new content often will keep the web spiders actively searching your site. This boosts your rankings and allows clients to more readily find you.

2. Plan your site: using the information you gathered to put together your website. Your landing page should offer information about your products and services as well as contact information.

Make sure to include a site map that inner links all pages. You don’t want a visitor to wind up at a dead end. They will leave your site frustrated and probably won’t come back.

Plan your site from your customer’s perspective. What will they be searching for? What type of information do they need? Proper navigation will help your visitors find their information quickly and leaved pleased.

3. Design your website: when designing your site, you must consider your target audience. You want a layout and theme that appeals to the people you is trying to reach. Many programs, like Adobe Dreamweaver, offer an extensive variety of WYSIWYG themes. This type of software is easy to use and requires little knowledge of HTML code.

You may wish to recruit a web designer to help you set up your site. He or she will work with you to ensure your site have the look and feel you want. Your web designer will also link your site properly and add in necessary content to draw in your audience.

4. Test your site: once you develop your site, it’s time to test it by going live on the web. Your site does not need to be complete in order to go live. Just make sure none of your links are broken. If you have a page under construction, let your visitor know it’s being worked on. Make sure your under construction pages have links back to your landing page.

Creating a Website Outline For Web Development

Creating a website outline can be a very simple and quick pre-production step that a developer, designer or any type of person can take. An outline can be in all different types of formats. Bullet points, small paragraphs, some even use their sitemaps. It really matters on the type of person and what their work flow. Having a website content outline gives you can idea of where your website is heading after the homepage.

How to Start

There really isn’t a how to outline a website, you can be as creative as you want. If you’ve done your brainstorming you know what niche or idea you want to portray. And if you’ve thought of a site map in your storyboarding process then you have even more information. You have your main category, sub categories and a page structure for you site.

Your Structure Can Be Anything

Most website content outlines start with your main category at the top of the list. Then follow down into the different sub categories and pages from there. Usually you have a bullet point structure for the outline, with indents for the different categories, subcategories and pages. Your website design outline layout can be anyway you want. Just focus on what works for you and what you will understand.

Website Outline Example

  • HomePage
    • Category 1
      • Sub Category 1
        • Page 1
        • Page 2
        • Page 3
      • Sub Category 2
        • Page 1
        • Page 2
        • Page 3
      • Sub Category 3
        • Page 1
        • Page 2
        • Page 3
    • Category 2
      • Page 1
      • Page 2
      • Page 3
    • Category 3
      • Sub Category 1
        • Page 1
        • Page 2
        • Page 3
      • Sub Category 2
        • Page 1
        • Page 2
        • Page 3
    • Site Map
    • Contact Page

Used to Help You Keep Track

There isn’t a set way to do it or a standard way to create an outline. The purpose of a website outline is to keep track as you build your different pages for your website. It also can help you visually see how your categories and subcategories are set up. Maybe you’ll see something that won’t work. Or you find yourself with have extra categories or you could add more categories. Either way it’s a good exercise to do before jumping into development.