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Website Goals and Mission

The first thing you need to do when starting to create your own website is to set its goals and its mission. This will also assist you later on in measuring its success. It is important to note also that this process must occur even if you are not building a new website but improving your existing one! What are the main goals that you want your website to achieve? If for instance you want to build a website regarding breast cancer, then the main goal will be to provide the public with information and maybe to raise funds for that cause. For all websites, the number one goal is to communicate and provide information regarding a subject. Additional goals that a site can have, might be:

  • Selling and cross-selling products and services (e.g. for an e-commerce site)
  • Raising funds (e.g. for a site supporting a cause)
  • Product brand awareness (e.g. for a new product of your company)
  • Entertainment (e.g. sites for games, jokes, videos, music)
  • Sharing news, thoughts and ideas (e.g. blogging sites, forums)

and many more! What you need to do, is to take paper and pencil and write down the goals you wish your website to achieve. This goal setting will also define the mission for your site. Along with each goal, you also need to think of ways to be able to measure its success.

Target Audience

Along with this exercise, you should also think of what your site's target audience will be. Who is it going to target? What are their profiles? What are their preferences? What are their goals? This is especially important since your site must have the goals that you think it should, aligned with the goals that your target visitors will expect. These two are not necessarily always the same think. Therefore try to put yourself into their shoes. Think of what they might need and what they will expect from your site. If you can, try and poll a few people which you think match your target audience profile to answer you those questions. Your target audience is the single most important thing for your website. They are your "customers". Without them, your website has no reason of existence!

You will then see that each goal is going to be associated with an action from your target audience. A "selling" goal will be associated with a "buy" action from your audience, a "sharing news and thoughts" goal will be associated with a "post an article" action from your audience and so on. This will help you in figuring out what services your site will be offering. In other words, this will make you come up with the logical building blocks for your site. For example if you are working on making a website to sell books online, your goal setting might lead you that your site will be comprised of the following logical building blocks:

  • Company introduction block
  • Search for a book block
  • Download/buying block
  • Feedback/contact form block
  • Sign up for a newsletter block


It is very important to first do a market research and take a peak at your competition. Take a peak at sites with similar ideas, goals and missions. Note them down. Find out what their differentiating factors are. This will help you in adjusting and fine-tuning your site goals in order to eventually perform better than your competition. This list of competitive sites will be also used for all other aspects of the design as well as implementation process. You can get ideas, pieces of code (why re-invent the wheel? Re-use code whenever you can!). Oh! And don't throw away anything you design or develop. There have been numerous times in the past when I wished I had kept old designs and old code which at that time I thought was useless. Disk space is today cheap, so don't worry about keeping old stuff archived. They will provide useful in the future!

After having written down the final goals of your site, its mission, the target audience actions and having come up with the general building blocks of your site, you have started paving your website's road to success!

Are you ready to work on finding the right character for your site?

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