Planning for a brand new website is absolutely crucial, without careful planning and structure the website will simply fail.
The most important thing that you must do during the initial making of your website is to think about what your target audience will be. You also have to think about what the point of the website is, what message are you trying to get across? Are you selling something? Without a clear target and goal the creating of the website will be rather difficult.
If you are aiming for an ecommerce site then you need to think about if you need a marketing strategy to promote your site in order to actually sell something. You will have to have a shopping basket feature and allow for products to be paid online. You need to think about what content you will need on your website. You need to target keyword based articles, blogs, product descriptions and general information pieces of the best quality and all unique.
You will need to prepare all of these perhaps simple things in order to continue, as long as the basics are recognised; some things can be altered later on.
The navigation of the website is also essential; you need to work out what you want to have on the homepage and how many links off you require. It is best not to cram so much information into the homepage as it will all become just a little too much.
So the design must be addressed, the developing of content, promotion and where all the links will come from and where they link too. If this doesn’t seem to flow first time round, then it’s back to the drawing board for another go.
Once you are pleased with the overall design, you can test your website and all its tools on a test server. This will show you whether all links placed in the texts actually link, it will show you how easy the navigation is around your website and it will highlight any changes that need to be made.
You need to plan out how the site will get traffic; this will need to come form on site and off site search engine optimisation. When will the launch date be for the website? Also if you are preparing a website solo, you must be aware of everything that needs to be done, and if you are a part of an agency; all responsibilities must be taken on and completed in order to gain a successful website.