What is the Purpose of Your Website?
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF YOUR WEBSITE?
This might seem like so basic a question that you don’t even want to ask it. But if you can determine what the purpose of your website is, then you can make sure that every page points to that purpose. By knowing what your website’s purpose is, you can more easily figure out what should be in the navigation bar and footer. You can more easily determine what goes on your home page and where it should go on your home page. If you know your website’s purpose, then you can make a website that helps others accomplish that purpose. If you don’t know your purpose, then you might make a great website, or you might make a horrible one. But you won’t know because you’ll be shooting in the dark.
What is the purpose of your website?
Is your website a personal website or a business website?
If it is a personal website, are you using it for recreation? Are you writing a blog on a certain subject or hobby you enjoy? Are you trying to promote your career by showcasing your portfolio?
Each of these types of websites has a different purpose. The home page and navigation bars on each will look radically different.
If your website is for recreation, then you can create the design any way you want.
If your website is for blogging about a hobby or a subject matter, then you will need to have a sidebar which highlights articles of interest. You will need to determine categories and subcategories. You will need to make those subcategories be narrow enough that someone interested in your subject matter would be able to follow the trail of all your blog posts on that subcategory without coming across articles that pertain to a different subcategory.
If you are trying to promote your career by showcasing your portfolio, then you will need to make sure that the website comes across as professional. From the fonts to the images, everything will need to be authentic. How does the background give your site a feel that is individual to who you are and what skills you are trying to promote?
If you are building a business website, are you trying to build passive income? Or do you have a retail store that you are trying to sell what you have in stock? Or do you provide a service that people can hire you to do for them?
If you are building passive income, then the focus of your site needs to be on the subject matter. The sidebars and footers need to have links to resources that would help you build an email list and help your users build their knowledge of a subject or a product.
If you have a retail store, then your sidebar and footer needs to provide links to your highest selling items or to upcoming sales and specials. You need to make sure that your shopping cart is front and center so that your customer has no hoops to jump through when they find what they want to buy.
If you provide a service for people, then you will need to make sure that your phone number and contact information is readily available on every page – perhaps even in the navigation bar. You want them to be always be one click away from contacting you.
The other kind of website is an institutional website. This kind of website is for churches, schools, and other kinds of institutions. The purpose of these sites is to provide those in the institution with the tools they need to know where the institution is, when the events for that institution are, and what educational materials that institution is creating. Also, if they are a non-profit organization, there need to be links to pages explaining how to donate to this institution to keep their cause going.
If you can determine your website’s purpose, then you can ask the question of every element on every page: does this help me accomplish my purpose? Or does this hamper my website from accomplishing its purpose?