7 steps to a successful website

In my opinion, as an experienced website designer, I believe that a successful business website is essential for reaching and engaging with potential customers. If you’re reading this, you’ll probably agree. A well-designed website can help you to establish your brand, showcase your products or services, and generate leads and sales. After all, that’s what they’re for. However, creating a website can be a hugely, daunting task, especially if you’re planning on doing it yourself and don’t know where to start.

With so much stuff to take into account, it’s a big ask to create a website yourself, that truly represents your business and meets your goals. But it’s possible. That’s why it’s essential to understand, at least the basic, factors involved in creating a successful business website.

In this article, we’ll walk you through at least seven essential elements to consider when planning your new website. This advice holds true, if this is going to be a self-build website, or if you engage a professional to do it for you. We’ll discuss defining your website goals to understanding your ongoing maintenance needs. Many people will engage a designer, like myself, to help with this. Regardless of whether you’re creating a website on your own, these tips will help you to build a successful business website that resonates with your target audience and achieves your business objectives.

1: Your Website Goals

The first step in creating a website for your business is to define your website goals. It’s important to ask yourself, “What do I want my website to achieve?” Here are some common website goals:

Lead generation

Your website can be a powerful tool for generating new leads for your business. You can use forms, calls-to-action, and landing pages to encourage visitors to provide their contact information, so that you can follow up with them.


If you sell products or services online, your website can be your primary sales channel. You can set up an online store, and integrate it with a payment gateway to get paid online.


Some businesses use their website to provide information to potential customers. For example, a law firm may provide details about their areas of practice and expertise, and offer educational resources such as blog posts and FAQs.


A business website can be a powerful branding tool, helping you to create a strong visual identity and message for your business. It could make you more recognisable in a crowded marketplace.

Path to a successful business website
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else!

Defining your website goals will help you and your website designer to create a website that meets your business needs.

2: Your Target Audience

Knowing your target audience is critical to the success of your website. You should already have a good idea who your ideal customer is. Your website should speak directly to your them, addressing their needs and concerns. Here are a few questions you should consider when defining your target audience:

  • Who are your potential customers, age, gender, location, etc.?
  • What are their needs and expectations?
  • What problems are they trying to solve?
  • What are their goals, or what are they trying to achieve?
  • What are their pain points, or what challenges are they facing?

By understanding who you are targeting, you can create a website that resonates with them and meets their needs. For example, if your target audience is busy professionals, you may want to include easy-to-find contact information and a streamlined checkout process.

3: Your Budget

I am often asked, “how much does a website cost?” In my view, that’s the wrong question to ask. If you think of your website as a cost, it’s going to be something you regret having to spend out on. A better way of looking at it, is that your website is an investment. Something that will pay for itself.

Your budget will play a significant role in determining the level of design and functionality that your website can include. When determining your budget, it’s important to consider both the upfront costs of website design and development, as well as ongoing costs such as hosting and maintenance.

Here are some factors that can impact your website budget:


A more complex website design, with custom graphics and animations, will be more expensive than a simpler design.


The more functionality you want your website to have, such as e-commerce or integration with third-party software, the more expensive it will be.


Don’t forget to factor in the ongoing costs of maintaining your website, such as software updates and security patches.

It’s important to be clear about your budget from the outset so that your website designer can work within those parameters. You might find our pricing page to be of help.

4: Your Timeline

Be sure to communicate your desired timeline for the website development process to your designer so that they can plan accordingly. Your timeline will depend on your business needs, budget, and complexity of your website.

Here are some questions to consider when setting your website timeline:

  • When do you need your website to be live?
  • What is the scope of your website project? Will it be a simple informational website, or a complex e-commerce site?
  • A more complex website, or one with many pages, will probably take longer to develop.
  • What is your designer’s availability and workload?

5: Your Branding and Visual Identity

Your branding and visual identity are crucial to the success of your website. Branding is more than just a logo. If you already have a brand and visual identity in place, make sure to communicate this to your website designer so that they can incorporate these elements into your website design.

Here are some branding and visual identity elements to consider:


Your logo is the visual representation of your brand, and it should be prominently displayed on your website. Simple is usually better. Think Apple or Nike.

Colour palette

Your website should use your brand’s colours to create a cohesive look and feel. Be careful not to have too many colours, as that’s difficult to get right.


The fonts you choose for your website should reflect your brand’s personality and values. As with colour, keep the number of typefaces to a minimum. You can use font weight to indicate visual hierarchy.


Your website should include high-quality images that reflect your brand and resonate with your target audience. Although there are some excellent sources of stock images today, employing a professional photographer is always best.

By incorporating your branding and visual identity into your website design, you can create a consistent brand experience for your customers.

6: Your Content

Your website content is what will ultimately drive visitors to your site and keep them engaged. Knowing your industry, and writing about it in a way that your site visitors will relate to, are two completely different things. If your budget allows, I’ll always recommend that you hire an experienced copywriter. Here are some tips for creating effective website content:


Make sure that your content speaks directly to your target audience, addressing their needs and concerns.

Be concise

Keep your content concise and easy to read. Use short paragraphs, bullet points, and headings to break up text.

Use visuals

Use high-quality images, videos, and infographics to make your content more engaging.

Include CTAs

Include calls-to-action throughout your website to encourage visitors to take action, such as filling out a form or making a purchase.

Your website designer can work with you to create a content strategy that aligns with your website goals and target audience.

7: Your Ongoing Maintenance Needs

After your website is launched, you’ll need to maintain it to ensure that it continues to function properly and remains secure. This is a step that is so often missed, and can lead to heartbreak, if you’re unfortunate enough to be the victim of an attack. Here are some ongoing maintenance tasks to consider:

Software updates

Your website’s software, including the content management system and any plugins, will need to be updated regularly to ensure that it remains secure and up-to-date.


Regular backups of your website’s data can help to ensure that you don’t lose any important information in the event of a website issue or hack.


Your website should be secured with an SSL certificate and other security measures to protect both your data and your customers’ data. Google, and other search engines, will penalise your website ranking, without one.


Regular analysis of your website’s analytics can help you to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions about your website’s performance.

Make sure to discuss ongoing maintenance needs with your website designer, and consider setting up a maintenance plan to ensure that your website remains secure and up-to-date.

Bonus tips

The seven essential elements we’ve outlined are comprehensive and cover the most important aspects of creating a successful business website. However, depending on the specific needs of your business, there may be additional steps to consider. Here are a few possible elements that you may need to consider:


Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to integrate your website with other systems such as a customer relationship management (CRM) system, a payment gateway, or an inventory management system. You’ll need to consider these integrations when designing and building your website.


Search engine optimization. Although this is a job for an expert, you can optimize your website for search engines by incorporating targeted keywords, creating high-quality content, and ensuring that your site is technically sound and easy to navigate. For WordPress, the Yoast or Rank Math plugins are excellent for this.


Making your website accessible to all users, including those with disabilities, is not only the right thing to do, it’s also required by law in many countries. You’ll need to consider factors such as font size, colour contrast, and keyboard accessibility when designing your website, or get an expert to do it for you.

While these additional elements are important, they may not be necessary for all businesses. It’s important to assess your individual needs and goals when creating your website plan.


In conclusion, creating a successful business website, involves careful consideration of many factors, including website goals, target audience, budget, timeline, branding and visual identity, content, and ongoing maintenance needs. By working with a skilled website designer and taking the time to define your business needs, you can create a website that meets your goals and resonates with your target audience. You can see some real-life successful website examples here.

Further reading

We hope this article has been helpful in providing you with a comprehensive guide to creating a successful business website. If you’re interested in learning more about website design and development, we encourage you to check out some of our related articles below. With these additional resources, you’ll be well on your way to creating a website that truly represents your business and connects with your target audience.

About the author

Based in Brighton on the south coast, Neil Hart’s extensive earlier career in automotive engineering reflects how he helps his clients today.

Neil is an expert in business website design, and would be an excellent choice for anyone looking to create a successful business website. His web design and development business, needs a sharp focus and attention to detail, which he has in great abundance. He takes great pride in creating websites for discerning clients, helping them get noticed!

Feel free to contact Neil here, to discuss your next website project.


If any of this has been of interest, and you’d like to learn what we can do for your business, have a browse through some of our services below. You can also see some excellent business to business website examples here. We’d be happy to discuss the benefits of working together.

Website Design in Brighton


I will design you a beautiful, responsive website that you and your customers can be proud of.

Website Development in Brighton


For specialised sites, I can develop custom functionality to do whatever you want.

Website Hosting in Brighton


Once your shiny new website is finished, I’ll keep it safe, secure and online.

Logo Design in Brighton


A logo, is part of your brand. It doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, a good word logo, is better than a poor graphic logo.

Content Writing in Brighton


Having a great looking website, is… well, great. But you’ll also need great content as well, to keep your visitors interested.

SEO Services in Brighton


There’s little point having a great site, with great content, if nobody finds you. Let my SEO service help you.