MARCA MEDIA

Website Planning - Where Do I Start?

Sam James
May 19, 2022
TL/DR

A brief overview of where to start when deciding your route to digital presence. We cover the full spectrum of available tools and builders at your disposal. If you're a new business owner or just feel your website is need of a change, this can be a great place to start; understanding what you need can help you find the right web developer for you.

Website Planning - Where Do I Start?

So its time to take your business online and there’s a hell of a lot to consider - however this guide should shed some light on the best approach to web development planning. We will cover the multitude of different builders and tools available to assist with the development, and offer industry leading advice on which direction your business should take.


Starting a business is incredibly difficult, especially when you’re young and have little experience. The beauty of starting a business in 2022 is the unparalleled ease of access to information and advice. Literally everything you need to know can be accessed by finding the correct directories online, collating resources and reaching out to similar individuals through online groups such as Twenties Legacy


These groups can be absolute gold mines for advice, resources, leads and much more. When planning to take your business online, a great place to start is with your website. For us, creating your business website solidifies your intentions to start something great, and takes your business to the next level entirely.


The first thing that needs to be considered is the purpose of your website - Why do you actually need it. Is it find more leads, showcase your offerings, display your case studies or does your day-to-day operations depend on it?


In layman terms, websites can be categorised as the following:


Brochure Site


Brochure sites showcase your business offerings, allowing a client to understand more about your business, what services you offer, your past clients etc. The only functionality required is a contact form to capture leads or CTA’s to drive call volume.


We would recommend using a builder for all brochure sites. It’s highly unlikely that the requirements are not easily accessible via the building tool. 


If your budget is low, you should use WIX or SquareSpace. Both are incredibly easy to use, especially if you're a beginner. They have tools integrated to help you connect your domain and also optimisation for search engines, coupled with online design tools and enormous template libraries.


The downfall comes when you want to add functionality. Although both offer basic e-commerce and basic CMS capabilities, they are not very customisable and you may find yourself shoehorning together available functionalities using the limited tools provided.

Take a look at our LAUNCH page for more information


Functional Site


This is where a Wordpress site may be a better fit. With endless plugins and huge template libraries, Wordpress can be an incredibly powerful tool. Over 48% of the websites on the internet are built using Wordpress. It’s easy to design, has powerful SEO plugins to assist with on-page and also has the ability to work as just a backend, if you’re comfortable enough to develop your front end using PHP. 


The downfall of Wordpress is the lack of creativity available. Although the page builders are easy, it can be difficult to get overly creative and produce sleek, modern looking websites. The CMS of Wordpress can also be incredibly overwhelming, it isn’t overly beginner-friendly at all. External hosting will also need to be organised and connected to your build.


If you’re looking to create a site that has the wow factor, we would recommend using Webflow. The creative abilities of Webflow closely match that of fully bespoke. The builder UI is incredibly powerful, sites are designed in a similar way to fully bespoke, using div blocks and the correct page formatting processes. Sites are also incredibly quick, there’s no need to organise external hosting as it is integrated using AWS.

https://webflow.com/ do offer some templates, however many of them are paid - there is access to large component libraries online - although these also require a monthly subscription. The e-commerce functionality of Webflow also isn’t great, but the CMS is incredibly powerful with abilities to link between categories and create highly specific taxonomies.

Take a look at our LAUNCH page for more information


E-commerce


If you’re looking to sell products online via an e-commerce store then Shopify is your go to. With large template libraries, an endless app store for added functionality, the ability to deep dive into analytics and seriously powerful tools all from within the Shopify backend. It is incredibly easy to integrate with third parties and also monitor your store remotely using their mobile app.


Again the downfall of Shopify is the ability to really get creative. When selecting a theme be careful to do your research as the components available to you are already specified by the theme developer. It can be hard to make your site your own, unless you’re completely in love with the theme you’ve selected or have knowledge of Liquid - the programming language used by Shopify.


Take a look at our LAUNCH page for more information

Fully Bespoke


If your budget is larger, you require custom functionality and want to be extensively creative with your site - the bespoke route is for you. The possibilities are endless. It does however require much more planning and dedicated time. You will need to get your project mapped, user flows created, design wireframes, component library built and prototype created before you can even think about delving into code.


Most site functionality can be achieved using the web based languages; HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It is advisable to seek support from ourselves if you are intending on taking this route, as it can be incredibly costly and disheartening should your project not turn out the way you expected - and it happens… a lot.

Take a look at our LAUNCH page for more information


Summary


Building a website is not as simple as black and white, it requires a lot of prior deep thought and intensive planning if you’re expecting real results. Throughly breakdown the purpose of your site before you reach out for support - knowing exactly what you want will assist tremendously when searching for the perfect technology partner, allowing you to achieve an end product that is fit for purpose and truly showcases your brand to the masses.


But how do I get to the masses?


Post Build Requirements


It’s time to think about digital marketing; PPC, Socials, SEO, PR. 


Without consideration of the above, your site will sit on the internet with no traffic and could be an unnecessary and costly expense.


If you’d like more information on how to take your business online, please reach out to us. We can assist with all of the above mentioned developments, as well as providing advice, audits and more. We also offer branding, software creation, web development, social asset creation and management as-well as technology consultancy.


We look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Sam James
May 19, 2022