How to Plan a New Website

Written by Ethan He

July 7, 2023

website planning

So, you’ve been tasked with creating a new website for your company. The burden fell on your shoulders, and they want a brand new website as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you’ve also been given limited time and resources. You have never done it before, and don’t have a plan or know where to begin.

Well, here’s the first piece of good news you’ve been given all day; you find the right place.

If you’re looking for a guide on website planning, then this will help you out. I have lots of web design experience. As such, I know the essential steps that go into planning a new site. It’s critcial that you follow these steps because they provide you with a structure. You end up with clear aims and goals; a framework to refer back to. It will help you be more productive with your time and work towards your end goal.

So, here are a few key steps you need to implement when planning out a new website.


1. Define your Target Market

All websites begin with finding your target audience. Who will this website be aimed at? If you know this, it will help you set the tone for the site, and it also aids the website SEO and visual design aspects later on.

Thankfully, this task may already be done for you. Grab a copy of your business plan and find your target market. This will give you all the details you need; target age, gender, job status, and so on.


2. Define the Website Goal

What is the purpose of this website? Does your company want to sell a product or offer a service online? Is it purely for lead generation to get more emails or calls? Define the main goal of your website and set the the framework on how it should look and operate.

A website that focuses on sales conversion will be considerably different to one that’s just there to provide information about your business and generate leads.


3. Define Key Features

I’ve worked on many websites for the past seven years, so you can trust me when I say there are endless features you can implement in your web design. A big part of the website planning process is to understand which features you need, and which ones you can avoid.

Everything has a cost in web design, the more features the website has, the slower it will tend to be. The last thing you need is for a user to bounce off your website because it takes a long time to load the page.

Consequently, you have to look back at the website goals with your target audience in mind. What features do you need to achieve your goals? What features help you connect with your target audience?

For example, an e-commerce website aims to sell things online. You probably need compelling content, great photos and videos to promote your product if you want to generate leads and convert sales.


4. Working on the Visual

You must start thinking about how the website will look with all the features you require. Tailor your website based on your goals. A lot of places do templates or themes that you can use to cut down on time. However, ensure you focus on a layout that’s appealing to the user.

Not only that, remember it might not always be a good choice to use the off the shelf premade website theme as they lack originality.


5. Make it SEO Friendly

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is vital if you want the website to rank well and draw in a lot of traffic. So, spend some time considering all the important keywords you need to include throughout your website. Don’t forget about simple things that improve SEO too; make sure your website loads quickly and offers great content, etc.


How can I Help you Plan a Website?

To start, I’ve designed websites for many clients, so I know the ins and outs of website planning. By empowering you with my expert knowledge, I will help you take your vision and turn it into reality.

Plus, as a full stack web developer I have technical skills that you might not have. As a result, there could be aspects of web design that are impossible for you to deal with. By working alongside me, you get these technical things handled.

Furthermore, I can provide you with a discovery workshop. This is something you can attend to as it allows you to put forth your concerns and work with me to identify all your clear design problems.


Why Discovery Workshop?

When planning a website, discovery workshops help you get on the right track. There’s a type of workshop called the Design Sprint in which you go through a process to answer all the critical business questions.

In essence, if you attend a discovery workshop like this, then you will find solutions for your main problems. It helps you figure out the direction you want to go with your website, and allows you to plan everything professionally. If you dive in right away with no discovery stage, then you run the risk of facing so many more issues down the line.

By attending a discovery workshop with me that’s designed to help you. I will look at your project, and I will take all the main points into consideration; target market, goals, SEO – everything. With your knowledge of your company and my knowledge of web design, we combine forces to develop the ideal plan for your new website that we can both be proud of.



Website planning is no easy feat, but it’s a crucial task. With no plan, you have no direction. The steps listed in this article will help you plan out a path for your site.

However, it pays to work with an agency/freelancer and attend a discovery workshop. Here, you can go into planning in more detail, to the point where you have a clear sense of direction and know-how to plan the perfect website.


If you need help implementing any of the above suggestions, please contact me! You know I am always happy to help. 

Ethan He

About Ethan He

Ethan is a Full Stack Web Developer and SEO Specialist based in Pittsburgh, PA. In his free time, Ethan enjoys working on various projects involving Ruby, Vue and AWS applications.

Ethan graduated from The Firehose Project coding bootcamp in 2016 with a focus on Ruby on Rail and Computer Software engineering.