How to Plan a Website (Part Two)

When you plan a website there are certain key steps you should take. You should take these steps in the proper order:

  • What's the Goal?
  • Choose a Niche
  • Research Topics for Content
  • Create a 3 Tier Site Structure
  • Decide on the Look and Feel
  • Choose a Domain Name
  • Choose a Web Host

This article will discuss the last three of these key steps.

Related article: Build Your Own Website.

To read about the first four steps see: First Steps to Plan a Website.

Decide on the Look and Feel

The look and feel of a site gives the visitor an instantaneous opinion of its content. If your site has an unprofessional look the visitor will doubt everything he or she reads to some degree. If your site has a professional look the visitor will have more confidence in your content.

To a web designer the look and feel is everything. To a website builder the look and feel invites the visitor in (or not). To a visitor the look and feel increases or decreases the confidence they feel for the website.

See this article on the basic ideas you need to keep in mind while creating the look and feel for your website: Web Design Basics.

Not that good with web design? Try an HTML template. An HTML template is an HTML page that already has links, a header design and a page layout. All you have to do is customize the page for your needs and add your content (your valuable information). You do this for each page of your site.

Choose a Domain Name

Notice that choosing a domain name comes AFTER all of the previous steps.

Now you have all the pieces. Armed with all the information from the previous steps go to Network Solutions to see what is available to exactly fit your site. Choose something that directly relates to your niche and if possible add a nice marketing touch to it.

For instance, if your niche is about "website building" maybe snazzy-website-building.com will work. Ok, maybe that's a little hokeyÂ… :-) Use your niche (website building) and a marketing term (snazzy) to choose a domain name if possible.

The "website building" part is appreciated by both search engines and people looking for website building information. The "snazzy" is mostly for people looking to build a snazzy website. Get it?

Do not buy your domain name until after you choose your web host (see next step). Sometimes the hosting company will give you the domain name for free.

Choose a Web Host

Now that you have a domain name you can choose your web host. Your web host will want to know what domain name you have chosen. If you are new to web hosting see: What is Web Hosting? See these articles for more information: Choosing Your Web Host and Choosing Your Hosting Package.

Create Lots of Content

Now that you have a plan, start creating content (your web pages) - lots of it. That's the most important thing at this stage. You may want to have a look at The Basics of Search Engine Optimization to get a feel for what is needed to bring visitors to your newly created website. Most of all, Have fun!

There are seven steps to plan a website. If you do it right you will save yourself countless hours in the long run. The last three steps were covered on this page.

See the first four steps here: First Steps to Plan a Website.

Website Building Tip

When you are planning your website tier structure keep your visitors in mind.

The more organized the tier structure the easier it will be for your visitors to get around.