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6 steps on how to write an effective website specification document

NIU 6 Steps to write an effective website specification document

Website development will be smooth sailing with an accurate website specification document

Website development without a plan is like building without a blueprint. Things end up in the wrong place, features are neglected, and you feel misunderstood by your contractor. Planning your website on time will give it a clear direction, prevent missed deadlines and backtracking.

How can you make the perfect plan for your website and avoid costly surprises along the way?

No matter the size of your company, this guide will help you lay the foundation for whatever you plan you decide to build – be it a corporate website for your small business, or a custom web application for your dental practice.

What should a website specification contain?

website specification document

It all comes down to what you want to build, who you are building it for, and how is it going to work.

A detailed web specification will save you the stress. And most importantly, the result will meet both your visitors’ expectations and your business goals and objectives.

Sounds like a lot of work?

Don’t worry, the NIU team will support you from start to finish, providing you with guidance every step of the way!

A website specification is inevitable for successful website development, so here are a few tips to help you write one.

1. Set goals and purposes 

What is your business about? What problems are you trying to solve? Who are your customers? What is this project about – a redesign of your website, a new landing page, or a whole new website from scratch? These are important questions to help you determine the purpose of your website as well as your target audience.

Define your goals. What are you trying to achieve with this project? 1k new Instagram followers within 9 months? How much do you expect from sales? Set measurable, specific goals that are consistent with your marketing goals.

2. Assign roles

Who are the people within your organisation that are managing this project? Who will be responsible for adding content – your marketing executive or the web development agency? Who is expected to take care of SEO? If you assign roles correctly, it will be much easier for everyone to know what needs to be done, when, and who needs to do it.

3. Set a budget

No matter the size of your company, you should always set a budget for website costs. This will likely include resources for website development, design, and web hosting. When it comes to hiring the right people at the right price, pay attention to their recommendations and portfolio.

Website costs are similar to that of running a physical shop especially if running a functional eCommerce website. Having an eCommerce online store is just the same as having a physical store – budgeting is the same.

4. Know your content strategy

Determine what kind of content you want to have on your website and the organisation around it. Providing a sitemap is a great way of communicating such intentions to your website development team.

In essence, content is everything that gives your users important information about your product or service, and it can take many forms. What information would you like your customers to find on your website? An “About Us” page? A “Contact” page? Or something more? Something different? Content will lead & help achieve goals. If your goal of the site is to gain leads, make sales and create brand awareness, content will need to be adapted and planned accordingly

5. Choose your style

Envision how you want your webpage to look. What style and values do you want it to reflect? Do you have any constraints that should be taken into consideration? Does your target audience prefer mobile, desktop, or app?

If you already have a design in place, then make sure you provide detailed information about it in your website specification document. Implementing design ideas is a big chunk of website development. We will provide you with full guidance on this, to put your mind at rest!

6. Define accessibility and functionality parameters

Is your target audience using your services on the go? What are their constraints? Knowing how, when, and where your customers are going to interact with your website is vital for creating a successful one. Besides being great for your audience, an accessible website is also good for your business.

Will your visitors need a payment option? Do you need your website to be displayed in more than one language? Make sure to list all the functionalities your website should have.

With these six tips, you can create a detailed web specification document. This will allow your website development team to create a website that will impeccably represent your business and delight your visitors.

Curious to see what NIU can do for your brand?

Ever wondered what does a perfectly designed eCommerce and website development feels like? Take a look at our project for Road to Belle.

Another job we are particularly proud of is providing ongoing website development services for the MFSA.

Feeling inspired? Let’s meet for a discussion over coffee, with no obligation.

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