Planning your WordPress website.

How you plan your new website is crucial to make it work hard and win you new business.

It’s often said that planning, designing and building a new website is only 25% of what you should be doing online.

That means, even once you’ve got your shiny new website live, you still have three times as much work still to do. How you plan your website and the process the project follows is so important – you don’t want to invest hours and money into your new site if it’s not planned properly in the first place.

If you’ve worked on a website project before, you’ll know that’s a daunting task; the web project alone can take 8–12 weeks, so you’re looking at at least another six months of hard graft (usually on top of everything else you need to do).

This is why you need a plan and a process.

We use WordPress for all our sites if you’ve used it before, you’ll know why; enterprise-level content management, security, updates and flexibility in a free, ‘works-out-of-the-box’ app.

WordPress is and continues to get more amazing, but it’s a tool, not a solution, and unfortunately, if you see WordPress as the all-encompassing solution for your website, you’ll end up with something you end up reworking six months later.

WordPress is part of your toolkit for building an awesome website. It’s an important one, but it needs to used properly.

How to plan a website.

When we build sites at Toast, we spend nearly as much time helping our clients to plan them as we do building them. Planning stages typically include:

  • Site objectives – you don’t ‘just need a website’. Why do you need it and what is it for?
  • Persona identification – who are your target customers, how do they use, and what do they need from your site?
  • Keyword research – where do you currently rank, and for what?
  • Keyword planning – which keywords will convert for you, and what keywords do you want to rank for but currently don’t?
  • Function specifications – what ‘stuff’ do you need your website to do? Does it need to talk to other apps or perform routine tasks for you automatically?
  • Analytics research – what insights can your Google analytics reports give us into your current site?
  • Content plan – how much, who is writing it and when?
  • Site Maps – planning the structure of your website
  • Defining success – how are we going to measure how well the new site is performing?

There are only nine points there, but they cover a lot of ground. If you are serious about getting your website working hard for your business, you’ll invest time and budget into the planning stages to make sure the site performs well.

Sounding a little complicated?

It is, but that’s why you need to talk to a web agency that thoroughly plans what they do and has a process to make sure it’s done.

David Foreman

David Foreman

Dave is the MD at Toast and has been working on branding, creative and web development projects for over 25 years. He's a founding member of Toast and enjoys a good rant.