Before you can design your website or put anything on paper, you must first make sure that it is determined and understood what the purpose is. This means determining what the purpose of your website is but also why you are designing it or redesigning it. This means answering WHAT is the website, WHY are we doing it, WHO will be interacting with the site and WHEN. These questions will help set and manage expectations to ensure that the design, or, in some cases, the redesign is efficient and successful.
For example, if you are looking to design a site that provides users with information, such as a news website, knowing that this is an informational site will have impacts on the layout, the content, even the font and size of font will be impacted.
Once you have clearly defined and understood the purpose of your site, it is time to put those ideas and expectations on paper. Don’t skip this step as it is a great way to initially identify any issues, flaws or gaps in the concept, layout or plan. A brainstorming session is a great way to organize your thoughts, ideas and plan. It will help you create a more structured plan, accurate timelines and even help you develop some initial content.
At this point, it might be time to brush up on your web design skills and knowledge and training so that you are prepared to start the development of the site. Alternatively, there are many ways to hire someone to help you. You could hire a consultant to work alongside you and your team, or you could hand the design and ideas to a company to have them complete the design from start to finish. It depends entirely on your budget, desired level of involvement and resources.