Website Design Decisions: 5 Things I Needed To Know
The only way to describe creating my first website is it was a journey. A long journey.
I spent hours coming up with website design ideas and trying to make website design decisions.
Many times I threw all my work out and started all over again.
If you’re looking to create that awesome website I hope my experience helps you and you begin creating your online presence today.
How is that possible? Please, read on.
Why Did I Want A Website?
When I decided it was time for me to step into the 21st century, I immediately thought of creating a website. I had some website design ideas but I wasn’t sure how to make good website design decisions. There are so many elements to think about including choosing a theme template, hosting, backup and security procedures just to start.
This post is intended to help you learn from my experience and feel comfortable making your website design decisions by working through the 5 things I needed to know to create my first awesome website.
Stuck In the Middle With You…
I’d seen the ads for free websites on TV and online.
I didn’t want to miss out on a good thing (a free website) and I didn’t want to get scammed.
Some of the websites I read said to plan on spending $1,500 for a professional website. WOW! From free to $1,500 that was a big difference. And, too much money for me to spend.
I was stuck and didn’t know how to go forward or backward.
The right thing to do was not clear to me.
So, I waited trying to sort it all out and losing valuable time and my patience in the process.
A quick Google search provided a long list of website design (66 million), creation (509 million), and builder site (21.7 million) results to review.
I was reading for days and I still didn’t know how to begin.
It was like being in a swimming pool moving my arms and legs a lot, getting tired and not moving forward an inch. Nothing was happening.
I struggled to cut through the noise, trying to make good website design decisions, and to start creating my website.
Out of My Comfort Zone?
I feel like I know what I’m doing when searching the web for information and buying stuff on the Internet.
I think I have good website experience.
Yes – as a user!
That’s important because using the web has shown me what good website decisions look like.
I was thinking about it.
There are some websites that I stop and read and others I will click away from in seconds without reading more than a sentence or two.
I certainly didn’t want to be one of those two sentence read websites.
But I’m not a computer programmer; I don’t know anything about software code, and honestly I sometimes find my email a challenge.
Could I still create and manage a great website?
Moving Ahead – 5 Questions I Needed To Answer?
Working through my frustration and researching what to do, 5 questions I needed to answer became clear to me.
- Who is my target audience and what did I want to give them?
- How much do I need to know about computers to build a website?
- Will one of the free website offers meet my needs?
- How can I connect with people who have successful websites to learn from their experiences?
- Where can I find high quality training to help me build and grow my online presence?
Let’s look at these questions a little more in depth.
Then, I’ll tell you what I did.
1. Who Is My Audience and What Am I Providing For Them?
I think of starting my online journey much like going on a long overdue summer vacation. I know where I want to go and the fun I’ll have when I get there but first I have to map out the best route to my destination.
My first website design decision was to identify my target audience and what I’d provide for them. It was a little like turning on my GPS and setting the destination.
I found out that a well defined target audience also defined my message and, in turn, identified what I needed a website to be able to do to deliver my message.
I learned that my website will capture people’s attention if I put their needs and goals front and center.
2. Getting Online – Do I Need To Speak Geek?
My experience is that if you can turn on your computer, you can have a successful online business.
Does that surprise you?
I’m okay with computers but I’m not a computer geek and that’s okay too.
I found out that I needed to know very little about computers to create my website, learn how to manage it, and grow my online business.
The three things I needed to be successful were:
- An awesome website (of course).
- The ability to connect with people who have successful online businesses.
- A place that would help me learn how to start and grow my online business step-by-step.
3. Can I Start For Free? – Really free?
I found a number of website builder programs where I could create a website for free.
With my target audience and the message I wanted to deliver to them defined, I was able to compare the functionality and features of the free websites with my needs.
I found the basic functionality the free websites provided would not meet my long term goals.
A fully functional business (called eCommerce) website always required upgrades with higher monthly costs.
If I needed to pay a monthly fee for my website that was okay because I understood the website functionality I needed to connect with my audience.
But an eCommerce website from the “free” website programs became rather expensive and then there were additional upsells. Many of the “free” to start solutions quickly grew out of my price range.
4. Can I Talk with Someone Who’s Driven Down This Road?
I think it’s important when I start any new effort to ask questions of others who have traveled down the road I’m on.
Asking what they encountered and how they moved past the roadblocks in their way can save effort, time, and money.
- What were their challenges?
- What did they do?
- What were the results?
- If they had to do it again what would they do differently?
A Google search is great but speaking with other people provides insights and support that keeps me on track and moving forward. An interactive and supportive community was important to me.
5. Will You Help Get Going?
Whatever I do in life, I’m always trying to learn how I can do it better.
As I looked at the website design decisions that I needed to make, I developed a list of topics that I wanted to learn more about. Again, I had questions.
- Which website providers will help me continue to learn?
- What type of learning do they offer?
- If they will help me learn, is it included in the price or is it an add-on cost.
My website was to be an online marketing and sales tool.
There are technical aspects of maintaining the website and tracking its success. And, there are marketing aspects of driving traffic to my website and getting sales. Things I didn’t know anything about but wanted to learn.
My goal was to create a website that would establish and grow my online business. To accomplish this goal, I knew I needed a well-thought out comprehensive training program that wouldn’t cost thousands of dollars.
In the next section, I’ll tell you what I did and if it was successful for me.
What Did I Do?
When I started I didn’t know what to do first and I wrestled with this for more time than I’d like to admit.
I had seven reasons for wanting a web presence and starting my website.
- help people solve problems
- give me a voice
- start and grow my own business
- educate people on good products and services
- provide high-quality quality work
- offer the best possible customer support
- be available 24/7
There’s a lot to consider.
Making the wrong choices cost me time, money, and worried me. And I knew very little of the technical components of website and online business I wanted to create.
Then, one night while I was searching Google I stumbled across a program that looked promising.
I wanted to know more. So, I investigated and here is what I found.
The program is called Wealthy Affiliate:
- I could start for free and I didn’t need my credit card to get started.
- My limited knowledge and computer skills wouldn’t hold me back.
- The free program included 2 fully functional eCommerce websites.
- I would be able to choose from 12 website template designs.
- My website would be up and live on the web in less than 15 minutes.
- 10 online business lessons were available in the free program.
- There was a weekly live training session.
- A keyword and niche research tool was included even with the free program.
- Website hosting was included.
- I’d become a member of a large online entrepreneur community many of whom were already successful and available 24/7 to provide encouragement and assistance.
- The free program included access to much more than any other free website builder program provided.
- There was only one upgrade to a Premium membership and no other upsells.
- Premium membership was reasonably priced ($19 trial for the first month and $49 per month after):
- with access to 2,600 website templates,
- and 120 lessons on
- building out your website,
- getting free traffic to the website, and
- growing your business.
So, I tried the free Wealthy Affiliate program.
In less than 2 weeks I knew the Premium membership was right for me. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
What Do I Recommend?
I’ve done the research and tested the system for you and found the best option for someone just getting started.
No matter what your computer skills are, if you have ever thought of building a website now is the time.
The training is excellent and the community support has helped me quickly grow from a beginner to an advanced online marketer.
And, the best part of it all is that I was able to use the free membership and test drive the whole system.
If you’re ready to start putting your website creation ideas into action and learn how to grow a successful online business, click on the Yes, I Want to Get Started Now button.
What do you think of this website decision post?
Leave any comments, questions, or concerns in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you soon!
The opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and are based on a combination of personal experience, published product reviews and users’ ratings.