Having sorted out the content and then the structure of the web site,
another question: Have you thought about the look and feel; the colours,
the fonts, the format etc. of the web site?
A web site for fashion accessories will be different from one about steam engines - hopefully.
The look and feel is dictated by the intended purpose and intended audience of the
web site. There are some limitations that should be acknowledged when thinking
about this however. For example, there is no control over what sort of device
is being used to view the web site: laptop, tablet or mobile phone, and most domestic
web browsing is now done with a mobile device. The devices may not have the
capability of viewing some files, from word or excel for example. Once
a web site has been designed, a prototype needs to be tested on various
devices to see how it works. For example, how does the web site look on
a mobile device or on a text only web browser connected to a speech synthesiser?
Even though a web site can have animations with music in the background, keep
it simple, it will probably work better with a range of different devices.
A printed page uses reflected light whereas a computer screen uses transmitted
light and, while a printed page can have text of very high resolution (1200 dots
per inch[dpi] perhaps) resulting in smooth curves, a computer display has lower
resolution (the standard used to be 96dpi, but is heading towards 300 dpi) using
square or oblong pixels and curves can look jaggy. Therefore what looks good on
one may well not look good on the other. Generally, serif fonts should be used
sparingly at larger sizes with most text using one san-serif font. Text on a
coloured background can be difficult to read, use it sparingly. Colours can be
distracting, especially more strident hues and adding images to the background
should be avoided. Like the rules in typography, just because you can doesn't
mean you must. Fortunately, if a web site is designed properly, it is possibly
to change some of the look and feel relatively easily. The structure, though,
is usually fixed.
One further comment: plagiarism is your friend. Look at a number of different
web sites noting what is good and what is bad. Develop the look and feel from
the best bits.