Five phases of website design

Trustmary teamTrustmary team
Last edited: January 26th, 2024

Five phases of website design

Website design is usually one of the first steps to start when thinking about building a new website or updating existing pages.

Most typically, website design focuses mainly on the visual aspects of what a website should look like and how it should be conveyed.

Often, visuality becomes such a key factor that the actual purpose of the website is overlooked.

Next, we present a clear 5-step process for website design. It helps you avoid the most common mistakes and makes sure you focus on the essentials.

1. First phase of website design – Define Website’s Purpose

The first step is the most important of all. If you don’t think carefully about the purpose of your website, you will be almost 100% likely to fail.

The idea of ​​why a site exists also needs to be kept in mind throughout the process to ensure the best possible outcome.

For most companies, the primary goal of a website should be to either generate direct sales or promote sales, for example by generating leads for sales.

So everything on your website should be aiming at getting more sales directly or indirectly.

Of course, this is not always the case, as in some cases the function of websites may be to communicate or news coverage on the topic. This is the case, for example, with media companies and sports clubs and with various nonprofit organizations.

2. Second phase of website design – Keyword research and planning different conversions

Use keyword research to find out what search terms people use to find the services you offer on Google. This usually gives you a good idea of

  • ​​what kind of information the site should contain and
  • what search terms the site should be optimized for

For keyword research, it’s a good idea to choose the pillar keywords for your site that are most relevant to your business.

In our case, the pillar keyword could be “authentic testimonials” “reviews” or “customer experience”. When you’ve chosen your most important key words, also prioritize your content production for other search terms, which aren’t super important, but still relevant for your business.

These additional terms can be more about your core business and you should ignore their search volume completely. In fact, targeting zero volume key words can be an effective strategy especially if you’re operating in a very specific niche.

Choosing Conversion Events

In addition to regular blog posts and content found on different subpages, it’s a good idea to plan at the same time what types of conversions you want to drive the customers to in different places on site.

For example, if a person reads from a customer experience, you may not want to try to get them to download a guide about Facebook marketing. Or, if they read about SEO, they may not be interested in the online employee experience development course.

The blog reader may not be ready to ask for a quote, either, but the reader of the references may be much closer. This is a good time to think about the different types of conversions your site should have.

3. Third phase of website design– design your website structure

It is usually a good idea to create a clear layout of the site structure in Excel or some other software. The plan should indicate what all pages are on the site and what sort of hierarchy they form.

Generally, you should try to build a relatively low hierarchy site. In other words, it is a good idea to try to make the structure so that every relevant site is within a relatively short distance of the front page. By the distance I mean clicks.

Also, when it comes to site design, you should keep in mind the conversions you defined in step two and what page leads to which conversion.

Typically, a site should have at least:

  • Home page
  • Service page
  • Testimonial page
  • Blog
  • Contact page, and
  • some sort of about us page

Pro tip: Add social proof to all these pages with branded widgets to increase conversions!

4. Fourth phase of website design – Visual design

What should the site look like and how is the visual layout implemented? Of course, when it comes to the visuality of your site, it’s important to make sure that your site is brand-friendly, but also that your design is clearly driving customers towards purchase.

The layout of the site must be in line with the purpose of the site, and it is advisable, for example, to highlight call-to-action prominently on the site, for example by using counter-colors.

Images are of course an important part of a website’s visual design. Images can be tricky, though, and slow down your website’s loading time, costing you traffic. That’s why you should pay attention to optimizing image sizes.

To keep your visual design and brand look consistent, consider using free templates for different uses. It enables you to easily create content that remains uniform throughout your website.

5. Fifth phase of website design – technical implementation

Depending on the budget, the technical implementation may advance a few steps in order of priority, but if you are not talking about budgets of less than a couple of thousand euros, the technical implementation may be left to last.

If all the above specifications are clear, the actual technical stuff, should not cost that much.

Personally, I mainly recommend WordPress due to the fact that it is open source and really commonly used, but it is not the most beginner-friendly to build on your own. The upside is though that there are many WordPress developers all around the world, so if you have a lot of budget it is probably a great option.

Of course, for different cases there are a lot of different platforms to build a website on, for example, in the case of online shops, Shopify is often recommended. Another great option is Webflow. I am not really an expert on different website builders, but there are a lot of good resources on the subject online, for example: WpBeginner and WebsiteBuilderExpert.

I would personally recommend WordPress, but if you like to build the website 100% yourself some other builder might be a good fit.

Once your website is built, whether you handle this internally or outsource it to a third-party agency, you need to think about hosting. There are plenty of popular options out there, with GoDaddy being one of the best-known names. Of course, weighing up the web hosting alternatives to GoDaddy is a good idea, as you might find more flexibility and affordability with one of its rivals. It’s a case of matching your needs to the platform you pick.

Summary from website design

It takes a lot of time to design a website, and website projects are often made bigger than they need to be. Many times you even run into situations where a website project freezes all other marketing efforts for the entire year.

However, the most important thing about a website is that they serve customers and help your business do more business, directly or indirectly. 

Trustmary team
Trustmary team


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