Some time ago I wrote about the most important thing you need to know before setting up a website – a clear overall purpose.
In this post I’d like to suggest the next step to take while you plan your new website.
Once you are clear on the overall purpose of your website it’s time to think about how the website will achieve this purpose. What will your website help your visitors do to make this happen?
Usually you can identify one or more outcomes or goals which if achieved will fulfil the purpose of the website. For example, say you wanted to set up a website for a music festival.
The overall purpose of a music festival website is most likely to make the event is a success so the attendees have a great time and the festival organisers and acts can get paid and go on to put on or play at more events.
How could our website help achieve this?
- Encourage more people to come by make the festival look good.
- Announce the line up of acts playing at the festival to attract the fans of those acts.
- Explain how to get there, where to stay and what to expect so that no one is put off by the logistics of attending the festival.
- Sell tickets online. The easier it is for the visitors the more likely they are to buy.
If the website achieves these goals then tickets will be sold and the website will have done it’s job.
So now that we have a plan of how the website will achieve it’s purpose we can use this to decide how to structure the website. Ideally each page of the website will help the visitor achieve one of these goals. In our example a simple solution could be:
- A home page that uses photography, video and audio of a previous event to show people what a great time they will have
- A page with a detailed line-up and perhaps a programme
- A page giving directions, accommodation information and other general informatio
- A page to sell tickets.
Once you have this structure you can continue to work out what information and media would work best on which section of the website.
Clarifying your website goals in this way will help you take your overall purpose and turn it into a plan for an effective website.
Note: This is a simplified example which I hope will help you plan your own website. There is of course a lot more that a festival website could do for the organisers and the attendees and I will be writing more about this in future articles.
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Thanks for reading!