What to think about before creating your organisation’s website.

In this section, we provide information to help you to plan your website project. We will discuss ways to:

Before you begin planning, it is important to identify what you expect your website to achieve. To make sure you have clear expectations, think about setting goals and practical considerations.

Setting goals

As you plan your website, keep your goals in mind.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Ask yourself questions like:
  • What is the purpose of this website?
  • What messages do I want to communicate?
  • What do I want my visitors to do after they have visited my website?
  • Do I have an existing brand and an existing set of users of my products or services, or am I a new organisation?
  • Do I want to sell products or services online?

It is really important to determine exactly what you want a website to do for your organisation. By answering these questions, you are making sure that you are prepared to start setting goals for your website.

Setting clear goals can help ensure that the website is relevant and useful for your target audience and that it delivers the outcomes you expect.

For more information on setting goals for your website, see ‘Defining your goals’.

Practical considerations

Once you have set your goals, it is worth taking a moment to make sure that they are logical and realistic.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Does the budget allow me to hire any professionals that may be necessary for the website that I want to create?
  • Can I afford to hire a graphic designer to create a custom website? Or would a template-based website fit better within the budget?
  • How will visitors interact with, use and navigate my site?
    Ensure that the website focuses on accommodating customer needs.
    Talk to friends and colleagues to find out what they want from similar websites. For example, do they expect to be able to buy products online? Do they expect a vibrant, interactive experience, or are they more concerned with finding specific information quickly?
  • How do I see future development of the site? How can I make sure that visitors have reasons to keep coming back?
    Remember: unless you are planning to handle all of the website content yourself, there will be ongoing costs associated with refreshing and updating content.
  • For more information on keeping visitors coming back, see ‘Keeping your website fresh’.

For more information on budgeting, see ‘Costs and budget constraints’ and ‘DIY vs outsourcing’.

 

Consistency is key

It is important that your organisation’s reputation in the physical world is reflected and enhanced by your online presence. Similarly, it is important to remember that going online does not necessarily change what you offer to customers or members, donors and supporters.