Build Your Own WordPress Website - The Business Side
This post is part one of a series in which I’m going to show you my step-by-step process for building a WordPress website. We'll go from business strategy to user experience to technical build. And today, we’re tackling the business side of your site.
1: The questions
Whether you're doing it yourself or you hire someone, there are some essential questions you’d better answer before creating a website.
- Why do you want or need a website: can you define its key goals?
- Who is going to use it: determine your audience.
- How is it going to generate business: are you going to direct sell through it, or only use it as a marketing tool?
- How much time do you have to maintain it, update it, blog, etc.?
- How does it fit into your overall business strategy?
- Will it be your primary income stream?
- Do you have a brick and mortar business or offline clients?
- How much revenue do you want to generate from it?
All of this informs the direction of your future website when it comes to design and technical features.
2: The answers
Now, I know this can be overwhelming, so I’ll show you how I do it, and you’ll see that it doesn’t have to be complicated.
My philosophy is to make assumptions first and refine later. The beauty of anything digital is that you can change it anytime at the click of a mouse. So if some of my assumptions are wrong, I’ll always be able to ask my users what they want even after the site is live.
With that said, let’s get this field trip started.
The example website I’m going to create is a real estate search platform for the Brussels area, in Belgium. With the above framework in mind, I’ll start doing my research.
Why do you want or need a website: can you define its key goals?
The real estate industry is significant in Belgium, but after doing some online research, I found that almost all the major real estate search platforms have terrible user experiences. There is a tremendous gap to fill when it comes to ease of use, clarity, and design.
Users are complaining that these platforms are terrible, but the only option considering how comprehensive they are.
Screenshot of one offending example: Immoweb
The primary goal of this website is to present an alternative platform to users. Therefore the principal focus will be to make the user experience flawless.
Who is going to use it: determine your audience.
The target audience for this website will be buyers and sellers in the Brussels area. Since I have to start somewhere, I’m targeting the capital city and give myself the option to go bigger or smaller once the website is live. I’ll define my user in detail in part 3 of this series.
How is it going to generate business: are you going to direct sell through it, or only use it as a marketing tool?
As with most real estate search platforms, sellers will be charged to list their home on the site. The key ingredient will be to generate enough traffic to provide value to sellers (enough potential buyers), and to buyers (enough homes listed).
How much time do you have to maintain it, update it, blog, etc.?
If it were for a real-life project, I’d dedicate 20 to 30 hours per week on maintenance, blogging, and marketing.
How does it fit into your overall business strategy?
Will it be your primary income stream?
Again, if this were the website of an actual business, it would generate the highest income stream of the company.
Do you have a brick and mortar business or offline clients?
No, hence the above statement about income stream.
How much revenue do you want to generate from it?
In the beginning, let’s say I’d want to generate €5000k per month. Selling each home listing at 25€, I’d need to sell 200 of these. It seems like a reasonable goal, not too high, neither too low.
Okay, we covered a lot, but we made it through. Now if you feel like doing this for your own business and future website, you can grab a copy of that same framework I used here.
In the next part of this series, we'll look at the marketing side of a WordPress website.
If you have questions, drop them in the comments. Let me know if there's anything you would add to this, do differently, or don't do at all.
Until then, take care, geeks!