Create an impactful website that resonates with your audience and promotes sales, while keeping well within a comfortable budget by using this website design checklist!
You want a stellar website with a functional, beautiful design. But getting from concept to finished product is a process that can easily devour time and resources, and runs the risk of going over budget. Keeping your overall vision in sight and having flexible ways to achieve goals can help you avoid common budgeting issues. In this article, we’ll talk about how to use an outcome-focused checklist to keep your web design plans on track.
Whether you are overwhelmed with how to start designing your website or how to market your business in general, the Her Brand & Co. membership is here for you! We have tons of resources and masterclasses available from trusted industry professionals that can help guide you in your marketing journey.
Solid Outcomes, Flexible Scope
If you’re familiar with writing code or have experience with website design platforms, you have a head start on understanding the possibilities and limitations of site-building. Just about anything can be done, but the level of work and maintenance required to make sites function varies drastically depending on what’s desired.
Having inflexible expectations for your website’s flow or appearance can cause issues building the rest of your site, and can exhaust the budget too quickly.
Whether you outsource your site-building or handle it yourself, a great solution to this potential pitfall is to keep your budget stable while allowing the scope of your website to be adaptable.
This means you’re certain about the outcomes you expect for your site but are willing to let go of certain features you may have wanted originally in order to reach those outcomes and to stay on budget.
How to craft for outcomes
Outcomes are the results of what happens when certain features come together on your site to solve a problem or create an experience. This can be difficult to control since outcomes are more abstract and features are more tangible. But the reality is that your features may get your clients nowhere if they’re not aligned with the outcomes you want.
Work backward from your vision and goals to discover your desired outcomes. Ask yourself what problems you’re trying to solve for your customers, and what kind of experience you want them to have when interfacing with your site.
Craft your features and design to bring users into this experience. Implement user testing and adjust your design and content towards what resonates. This brings users’ motivations and pain points to the surface, so they can discover how your products will benefit them. And this ultimately helps them make a decision to buy.
List your outcomes that are non-negotiable. These should be focused on the user’s needs and cultivated towards what will resonate with your audience and promote seamless UX/UI.
Pay a designer, or do it yourself
There are really only two options when it comes to designing your site: Hiring a designer, or building it yourself.
This decision will depend on your comfort level with tech, and how elaborate you want your site to be.
There are so many user-friendly web-building platforms out there now, and many allow you to drag and drop images and content right onto a template. This can make things easy, affordable, and functional.
But the more user-friendly and simple a do-it-yourself web builder is, the more limited things become in terms of features and creativity. Creating code yourself or hiring a designer can give you much more freedom around a website’s functionality and appearance, but it can also be more time consuming and expensive.
If you decide to outsource the design, gather a few bids first. Make sure you have clear outcomes and budgetary guidelines, then present your needs to a design company or freelancer.
Another very important consideration is website maintenance and updates. The more complicated your site, the more maintenance is required, which can also affect your budget.
Necessary Nuts and Bolts Checklist
To stay on budget, your full website design checklist will be unique to you and your company’s goals. But even when you have a flexible checklist focused on outcomes, there are some definite tasks that will need to be done for a functional, successful website.
Some or all of this can be outsourced, but when designing on your own, you’ll need to plan and budget for each of these elements:
- Compile artwork
- Design and digitize logo
- Research color scheme
- Research layout design
- Choose color scheme
- Choose layout design and/or template
- If applicable, design (or outsource) HTML and CSS Coding
- Add content
- Ensure accessibility
- Check website for compatibility with different browsers
- Check website for compatibility with different computers
- Check website with different screen resolutions
- Review and edit website presentation
- Test website over 2-4 weeks
- Test links to and from website
Wrapping it Up
Ok, deep breath — you can do this! Website design can be complicated, but there are tools and strategies available to stay on budget and keep things as painless as possible. With clear outcomes in place, you can even get creative and have some fun!
To sum things up:
- Make your checklist flexible by focusing on outcomes instead of features and rigid tasks. This allows for wiggle room and adaptation as you go through the design process.
- Decide whether to hire help or do it yourself. Quality website design and maintenance is pricey, but may be worth it depending on your goals and finances. Make sure you have clear outcomes and a definite budget before presenting your project.
- Execute essential elements for building your site according to the practical tasks listed above.
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