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Understand the Culture | Website Planning & Development Guide for Newbies

In today’s world, every business needs to have a website that serves either as an online brochure, a catalogue to display products, a shopping portal for purchases or an engagement tool to help connect and build healthy relationships with their target audience.

In the past, I have planned, strategised and built a bunch of websites for a varied range of industries but I must admit that every new project has been a different experience and has taught me something new, helping me improve my skills and grow in my ability to deliver quality website that accurately showcases the desired aspirations and goals of the leaders and its employees within the set timelines.

Even though I’m a Marketer at heart, I do have a fair understanding of technology because of my engineering background. But in this article, I want to share my thoughts purely for the sake of my non-technical friends who are entrusted with the task of building a website either for themselves or for an organisation they are associated with.

Know the vision and understand the culture

My first and primary advice before initiating any work on a website, you need to know the vision and understand the culture of the very organisation for whom you are planning to build a website.

Recently, I was talking to one of the seniors in my current firm who was explaining why this is so crucial. He said that this will allow me to grow and make much of my career to which I totally agree. Unless employees are able to connect with the company’s culture, they will never be able to find fulfilment in the work they are doing.

As an employee, if it is important to know the vision and understand the culture of the organisation then for someone responsible to build the company’s website, it is even more important because otherwise, you will never be able to produce a website that accurately represents the organisation and its people, and it may even fail to connect with the right audience.

Here are a couple of practical things you can do to know the vision and understand the culture of your organisation.

Talk to the leaders – If there is one person/s in the organisation that can give you the most accurate description of the company’s vision and culture then it is the owner/s of the company. They are also the ones who will eventually give you the final approvals to go-live with the website.

This, according to me, is the perfect place to begin thinking about what kind of website you want to build.

The leaders of the organisation make a huge impact on the companies culture. They communicate and model it out for others to follow.

Therefore, set a meeting with the leaders of the company and allow them to share their story and vision of how they started the business. Understand their values and follow their personalities to get a broader perspective of how the website needs to shape up.

Talk to the employees – Culture is defined as the values, beliefs and practices shared by the members of the same group. Company Culture, therefore, is the shared values, beliefs and practices of the company’s employees.

If the organisation has employees who’ve been working for the firm for a pretty long time then they definitely can help you understand the company culture even better.

When an employer hires new employees, he/she hires them based on certain characteristics that suit the personality of the brand. If the brand is perceived as a youthful and energetic brand then the company will hire individuals that are youthful and energetic. If the brand is perceived as a high-performance solution provider then the people they hire will exhibit a certain level of high-performance personality traits.

Eventually, as the employees stay with the company for a long period of time they imbibe the values, beliefs, traits and practices that are imparted to them by the employer.

Therefore, interacting with the employees who’ve worked in the company for a long time are the right set of people with whom you should connect and understand the culture of the organisation from their perspective.

Finally, remember, a website is not just a place where we communicate business related stuff but it is also a depiction of the people who are working for the company. Talking to the leaders and the employees will help you plan a website that represents them.