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How to plan a website in 6 steps


How to plan a website in 6 steps

Having a strong website is invaluable for establishing your brand and driving growth in the digital age. But simply launching any site isn’t enough. To truly make your mark and outshine competitors, understanding how to plan a website is a must.


With the right approach, your website can capture attention, reflect the essence of your brand and drive real results. Follow this website planning guide to develop an online presence and learn how to make a website.  


Streamline the process of planning your website with Wix's website builder.



What is website planning and why is it important?


Website planning is the first step in the process of website creation. Think of it as a blueprint for your online presence—an outline of what you want to achieve with your website, who you aim to reach and how you intend to do it.


This process sets the strategic foundation for your online presence, leading to a successful, user-friendly website that meets your business objectives and provides a satisfying experience to visitors.



Defines objectives


Defining clear objectives ensures that every aspect of the website is strategically aligned with the goals of the business. This includes determining the purpose of the website, the target audience and the desired outcomes. Clearly defined objectives also make it easier to measure the success of the website.



Helps in user experience


A thoughtfully planned website enables visitors to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. It also ensures that the website is responsive and optimized for different devices, which is critical today with the increase in mobile usage.



Streamlines communication


Website planning involves collaboration between different teams and stakeholders, including designers, developers, marketers and content creators. It facilitates effective communication between these teams, ensuring alignment and collective contribution towards shared objectives.



Saves time and money


Proper website planning eliminates the need for costly redesigns or rebranding efforts. By investing time up front, you ensure that the website is designed correctly from the start, setting you up for long-term savings and success.



How to plan a website




01. Define clear goals for your website


When setting website goals, view them as stepping stones to achieving broader business aims. First, identify your website’s purpose. For example, are you trying to gain traffic and build an audience or are you looking to sell products? Identify 2-3 key business objectives, then brainstorm actionable website goals enabling users to participate. Whether you want to boost impressions, gather data or motivate purchases, let these specific business goals steer your tactical website goal-setting.


For example, if increased lead generation is crucial for future revenue, focus conversion goals on capturing contact details. A website goal might be to utilize popups and value offering incentives to generate 50 newsletter signups daily.



02. Understand your audience


Whether you’re seeking to engage a broad consumer base or a specialized niche target market, getting specific on your audience drives more impactful website planning. Rather than taking a generic one-size-fits all approach, research key demographics to generate a buyer persona like:


  • Age

  • Gender

  • Location

  • Education

  • Profession

  • Purchase intention


Other important audience aspects to consider:


  • Professional details: Industry, company size, job details

  • Psychographics: Interests, hobbies, values, motivations

  • Influences and biases: Online activities, blogs, newsletters, social networks

  • Challenges: Pain points, barriers 


The more thorough picture you have of your target audience, the easier it is to make informed choices when designing user experiences on your website. From visual aesthetics to content messaging to product offerings, you can customize components to resonate with the preferences and motivations of prospective visitors.



03. Pick a domain name and hosting provider


A carefully chosen domain name, well-designed site architecture and reliable hosting service are foundational elements when planning a website. These factors influence the success of your website by affecting both user experience and search engine performance.


First, it’s important to understand what is a domain, and in turn you’ll be able to choose a domain name that both suits your business and is also available.


When picking a domain and hosting provider, these simple tips will help you invest in a solid technical foundation: 


  • Select a domain name that is short, easy to remember and directly related to your brand. Avoid overly complex or confusing names. A domain like "johnsmithphotography.com" clearly communicates what the site is about.

  • Prioritize web security and uptime when evaluating hosting providers. A reliable host helps ensure consistent site accessibility for both visitors and search engines. When you build your site with Wix, you automatically get free web hosting when you publish your website, so you don't need to find an external host.

  • Factor in scalability needs for the future. As your site and traffic grow over time, make sure your hosting plan allows upgrading server capacity, storage space and bandwidth. With advanced security monitoring, TLS (transport layer security), automatic backup and a 99.9% uptime, Wix website infrastructure simplifies the scaling-up process and also guarantees peace of mind regarding your website's performance and security.


What often gets forgotten when talking about choosing a website builder is the capabilities of the infrastructure that’s promised to you - the reliability of the hosting, the level of security that’s in order to protect your visitor’s data, and of course your site's speed. Even if infrastructure is not the first thought that comes to mind when it comes to how to plan a website, if it’s not robust enough, it can cause large headaches for website owners when trying to scale a website later on.

Esin D.Habif, Product Marketing Lead Outbound at Wix.com



Try this domain name generator as part of your website planning. 



Wix domain name generator tool


04. Plan and build your website type


Before you can fully start planning your website, first decide what kind of website you require. There are many types of websites to choose from based on your needs. 


Here are a few most common types of websites to consider:



Next, outline a sitemap or hierarchy framework of key webpages to optimize user experience, this is also sometimes referred to as a website wireframe. This helps connect all elements intuitively as you build out pages. Consider how many pages and what content is needed to achieve your goals. The next step after this is to consider your page layout.


Some common elements are:


  • Homepage: Introduce visitors to your brand with clear calls-to-action.

  • About page: Include your background and qualifications to build trust and credibility.

  • Product/services pages: Describe what you sell or offer with photos, costs and contact options.

  • Blog or resources page: Share knowledge that attracts visitors and positions you as an industry expert.

  • Contact page: Make it easy for visitors to get in touch and ask questions.

  • FAQ page: Address common inquiries about your business, products or services.


Then, identify must-have features and functionality to support user experience and business needs:

  • Navigation menu: Foster website navigation between the different pages or sections of a site.

  • Contact/inquiry forms: Remove barriers to contacting you for sales, questions, etc. with form builders.

  • Search bar: Help users find what they want seamlessly—and fast.

  • Calls-To-Action (CTAs): Strategically place CTAs to prompt visitors to take a specific action, like buy products or subscribe to content.

  • Privacy policy: this may vary depending on where your business or you are located (so check all local and country regulations before proceeding) but should generally include information about the data collected from users and what it will be used for.

  • Payment systems: if you're building an eCommerce website, you'll need payment solutions or gateways in order to accept and process payments.



popular types of webpages


Pick a website builder


With your website elements and goals clarified, the next step is choosing a website builder to bring your vision to life. Here are several options for building your site.


  • Use an easy drag-and-drop interface, or Content Management System CMS, for uncomplicated no-code website creation, like Wix’s Editor.

  • This includes using a platform with hundreds of pre-designed free website templates for any type of site.

  • Start from scratch and build with custom code on an open source platform like Velo.

  • Consider a responsive website or web design, with a platform like Wix Studio.

  • Hire a web designer to help outline your website planning and site creation.

  • Consider creating a website with AI - Wix ADI is one way to do this with an AI website builder.


When it comes to how to plan a website, you'll also need to fact in the cost of making your site. This can be done for free with a website builder like Wix, which also has a number of premium plans available depending on your website planning goals.



website planning with Wix website builder


05. Choose elements for your website design


Cohesive visual design makes an impression on visitors. Research current styles and layouts that successfully engage your audience on existing websites for inspiration. To help unify aesthetics, create a brand style guide outlining important design assets to use:


  • Logo: Craft a recognizable logo that encapsulates your brand essence. This visual signature builds consistency on your website and across platforms, both on and offline, including your favicon, social media channels and printed assets. You can use a logo maker tool to create something lasting and unique.

  • Colors: Website colors are emotional and eye-catching, they can immediately set the tone of your site within seconds.  Pick a palette that aligns uniquely with your branding. You can explore different complementary colors to convey your brand identity.  Consider all the places that colors can make an impact as you plan your website, including buttons, menus, backgrounds and elements.

  • Fonts: Curate a font combination of sleek headings and clean body text that enhances readability and accessibility. Typography directly impacts tone.

  • Photos: On-brand photographs visually connect users to your brand’s human centric stories and values. Be sure to use high-quality images and consider inclusivity when selecting images. When you plan your site with Wix, you’ll have access to a Media Manager with hundreds of free Wix image and video files that you can add directly to your site. You can also use an image resizer tool to ensure photos fit the page accordingly.

  • Illustrations: Custom iconography and illustrations are a creative option to differentiate your unique look and feel.

  • Other visual elements: You can explore a wide variety of background options, interesting scrolling effects and layouts, all directly within the Wix Editor.


Explore the Wix database of totally customizable website templates to see which one fits your vision best. 



website template for website planning


06. Create compelling website content


Well-planned websites don’t just look nice—they provide value to audiences through engaging content. This is where you can really showcase your creativity and expertise with a strong content marketing strategy.  Keep in mind that your website content should be dynamic and evolve with your brand. For example, if your product offering changes, be sure to update descriptions and images.


Don't forget to include relevant keywords in your content to improve your website's SEO and visibility. Here are some tips:


  • Conduct keyword research to identify terms and phrases your audience is searching. Incorporate these organically into content.

  • Optimize page titles and meta descriptions with keywords, aiming for under 60 characters.

  • Use keyword-focused headers and subheaders (H1, H2 tags) to improve on-page SEO.

  • Create SEO-friendly URLs using keywords separated by dashes instead of spaces or underscores.

  • Add image alt text and video transcripts with keywords for visual assets.


Integrating SEO considerations from the outset ensures that the website is optimized for search engines, improving visibility and ranking. Include this step in your website planning process with Wix SEO tools such as the SEO Wizard. This tool analyzes your website content and structure, delivering tailored recommendations to boost visibility. 


You might want to consider how to incorporate AI content creation into your workflow, when it comes to creating website content as part of your wider content marketing efforts.



Bringing your website planning to life


Once your website build is complete, comprehensive testing helps identify and resolve any issues before launch:


  • Conduct thorough user experience testing to optimize navigation, task flows and content clarity based on feedback.

  • Perform technical tests including site speed, mobile optimization, browser compatibility and more to catch bugs.

  • Implement ongoing maintenance like link and image checks, content updates, backups, theme and plugin updates and security reviews to maintain performance and provide continuous value.

  • Make sure your website is connected to an analytics tool (like Wix Analytics) so that you can track the traffic and user engagement on your website.

  • How are you going to include your website within your marketing strategies and how are you going to market your website.


Staying proactive with iterative tests and website maintenance keeps your site running smoothly for the best visitor experiences possible. Identify issues early and rapidly resolve them to avoid disrupting site growth.



How to plan a website FAQ


How do I plan a website project budget?

Budget can have a significant impact on website planning. Limited resources may require prioritizing certain features or functionalities over others. It's important to determine what aspects of the website are essential and allocate funds accordingly. Creativity and resourcefulness play a vital role in optimizing the website within the given budget, such as leveraging cost-effective tools and technologies.

What technical requirements are important to consider when planning a website?

Who should have input in the website planning stage?


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