Developing a successful Web site requires thinking strategically about a few key issues. First, determine the purpose of the site. For example, is it a public relations tool, an information clearinghouse, or a direct channel for selling products? Next, determine the target audience for the site. Select a style and tone of writing based on your purpose and audience. Be sure to use energetic language to catch your readers’ attention.
Previously printed brochures, newsletters, and other marketing materials are a great source of information for your site. Be sure to select material that is still relevant to your readers. A Web site can be ideal for displaying information typically hard for your customers or members to find. Consider looking at Web sites of competitors or similar organizations to spark ideas.
One way to organize your content is to separate items that change infrequently from items that require frequent updating. For example, group together a summary of the organization, core products or services, and location information separately from new product offerings, special offers, press releases, and upcoming events. Organizing information in this way enables you to easily update sections needing frequent revision and also helps readers quickly find the information they desire.
Using graphics and photos can add vitality to your site. But keep in mind they require significantly more memory than text, which means they will take longer to download. When you’ve finished creating your site, run the Design Checker to make sure the site downloads quickly and to catch problems with page design.