This is the first in our new series Web 101, the basic things you should be looking at if you are thinking about a new website, redesigning your current site or just want to be sure your website is as good as it can be.

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Lesson One:
The first question a web designer should ask is, whether working on a brand new site or reviewing a site for redesign, is “What is the website for?” Your designer needs to know the purpose of the site. Is it for selling a product or service? A brochure site? An educational site? An information portal with links to other sites? Or…? Whatever the purpose it is important so that the site is created with that purpose in mind.

A sales site is very different from an educational site. A sales site has calls to action. It guides the visitor to the product or products available and tells them how to purchase them. An education site gives the visitor lots of information but does not necessarily ask him or her to do anything with it.

Whatever the purpose for the site, to be effective, it must be designed with that purpose in mind. This applies not only when starting a new website, but when evaluating your current website.

We recommend doing this first step even if you’ve had your website for years. Figure out the purpose of the site and then see if the site meets that purpose.

Next lesson: Who is your website for?