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Whether starting from scratch or updating old ideas, designing a website is a huge undertaking. Businesses have a lot to think about when beginning the web design process, but there are five main things to consider before beginning your corporate web design project.

1. Target Audience

One of the most important things to consider when designing a website is your current and prospective clients. While the preferences of and considerations for your internal staff may play a role, your website’s design, content, and overall user experience should cater directly to your target audience.

2. What is the Purpose of the Website?

When considering who your target audience is, the natural next question is how your website will be used. The answer will play a significant role in the website’s entire development process. Will it be used to generate sales? Is it there to provide information for investors? How important is interactivity with your clients and customers? These questions—and their detailed answers—will help shape the website’s layout, user interface, and functionality.

3. Professional Content

When designing a website, important elements such as copywriting and photography are often overlooked. Poorly-written content or unprofessional stock photography can ruin an otherwise perfect design, so creating quality content should be a process that works in tandem with the website’s design and development processes.

4. Your Competitors

It may seem counterintuitive to study your competitors when beginning a web project, but knowing what other companies are doing right (and wrong) with their websites will help ensure that you’re on par with the top players in your industry. It will also help you differentiate your company from others like it.

5. Brand Standards

Your website should be consistent with your company’s existing brand identity. Businesses spend a lot of time and money creating a corporate identity, which extends well beyond the company colors and logo; brand standards dictate the style, voice, and overall feeling a business is trying to convey. By adhering to existing design standards, a corporate website will be a powerful asset that perpetuates and builds on your company’s brand.

Planning and developing a website is an important but time-consuming project for any business. By taking these five elements into consideration as part of the initial planning process, businesses can avoid many costly mistakes down the road while ensuring that their finished website is a long-lasting success.

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