Put simply, web development is the process of designing and building a website. Every website starts with an idea: an idea, a theme, a feeling, a product – something that gives it meaning.
Figuring out why a website is being built is integral to figuring out what it will contain, which will then determine how it’s built – within reason, of course.
Figuring out why you’re building a website is at once the easiest and hardest part of the process. If you’ve decided you want to build a website, you’ve probably put in a lot of groundwork already! Keeping your “why” in mind throughout the development process is vital to ensuring that you communicate your vision with those helping you build, or, if you’re more of a self-starter, figure out how to do everything necessary to build the type of site that you want. If you’re building a website for a client, the same is true – make sure you know what your client wants, and make sure you ask plenty of questions to draw out their ideas to ensure that your final product meets their expectations.
The “why” for your website should govern everything from design choices like layout, colours, and which photos to use, to the level of help you get in making your website come into being. For those looking for help with web development in Melbourne, highly professional resources are only a click away; for those who want to do it themselves, read on!
What exactly does the website need to do? Which parts of the website do you want visitors to be guided to or spend the most time on? How many pages does it need? Answering these questions is key to defining the structure and flow of the website, also known as the layout. Some sites need to be structured: a company website used for selling products is going to draw visitors in with some flashy images and a few catchphrases, prompting them to click through to a product page that gives them the option to buy. But an event page or blog might want to make more information easily accessible right away and use a simplified layout, sometimes keeping most – or even all – content right on the home page.
Regardless of what your website is about, there is one thing you will likely need plenty of, and that’s images. Photos of your products, your team, the subject of your blog – nearly every compelling website make generous use of photos. Photos help situate your website in the real world: they provide context, giving your visitors real examples of whatever your site is about that help connect your website and the information it provides to the physical world.
Which images you choose depends on the “why” of your site, but also the overall design theme. The colours in your website should speak to your audience: they should say something about you, your brand, and your products. Choose your colours wisely – they reveal more about you than you know!
Colour Scheme Trends
The colour schemes and layouts that look good on websites tend to change over time, much like fashion trends in clothing, cars, and other consumer products that people use to convey their own personal image to the rest of the world. Ensuring that your website uses an updated colour scheme ensures that your brand doesn’t lose credibility with your audience in ways that even they might not be able to describe!
Once you’ve chosen a layout, a colour scheme, and photos, you’ll need to write copy, or written content, for your site. When it comes to copy, it’s often true that less is more, especially when advertising products. While clarity and detail are important, most marketing courses teach that using simple, direct language not only makes content accessible for more consumers or viewers, but also leaves more to the imagination, allowing the people reading your content to inject their own thoughts, feelings, and interpretations.
Including more descriptive content as users dig deeper into your website can be very beneficial, especially if you’re selling a very specialized or high-quality product, or if your readership expects technical detail to reassure them of your credibility on the subject. But it’s usually best to leave those details tucked away for the user to discover rather than forcing them on everyone who visits your site. There is a delicate balance to strike between making information easily accessible and not overwhelming the user with more than they ask for – a balance that an experienced web developer will understand.
And now for the tricky bit!
There are a wide variety of web-building tools available to beginners. Web development isn’t for everyone, but just about anyone can learn the basics and implement their own ideas from scratch if they take the time. Tools like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace make web development, web design, and even basic SEO accessible even for beginners. These tools come with layout and colour templates that make it easy to get started and also offer deeper integration and customization options for those who know CSS, HTML, and other languages typically used to develop websites.
YouTube is filled to the brim with tutorials and how-to videos for these platforms, and WordPress and Squarespace both have notoriously helpful communities based in the web forums on their respective websites where knowledgeable professionals spend time with the express intent of helping others learn how to build.
Whichever path you choose, we wish you the best of luck on your journey! Never forget why you’re building your site, so you can stay motivated and ensure that the end result meets your expectations!