Ways to Research Similar Websites While Creating Your Own

Creating a website is not as difficult as it used to be. In the past, it was imperative to know coding because websites were built from the ground up. Today, there are plenty of options and building blocks to get a website started for little to no cost at all. Wix, a popular website builder, has a wide variety of starting templates for users, and it is what will be used to build the website for Appalachian Insights.

The purpose of this research collaborative is to study the Appalachian region’s audience insights/analysis and its market. From there, the collaborative will shed light and understanding about the behaviors and thoughts of those living in the Appalachian region. To that end, the website should reflect audience insights and market research.

When it is established the type of website that will be created, start to research similar organizations’ websites. Make a long list of your direct and indirect competitors. Visit each website and pick it apart, making note of the layout and content. How does the homepage of the website make you feel? Is there an overwhelming amount of material, or does the site lack information and appeal to keep interest? What actually works — hyperlinks for example — and what does not?

With each organization on your list, make note of what you like and dislike about the website. When listing your thoughts and opinions, keep in mind what you need and want for your website. The plan for this research collaborative is to have a modern-looking layout online. It is to be visually appealing to users and present information in a clean and organized manner. The website shouldn’t present users with excessive amounts of images or information on a single page.

Because Appalachian Insights’ website is going to have a more modern feel, it was important to note the websites that had a modern, updated look. The traditional-looking websites were not ruled out because they still had much to offer. UCRI was a college research website that was noted. The site has a modern look, with moving images and effects, but there were some pros and cons in regard to layout and content. A more traditional website noted was Longwoods International, which is a professional marketing, advertising, and public relations research firm. There are no special effects or moving images on this site; however, it does capture the user’s attention with organizing the layout and content so nice and clean.

So, as I mentioned before, do your research. It is important to take note of the direct and indirect competitors. Study those organizations’ websites and keep your own thoughts and ideas in mind for your website. Be open to new ideas you find on another website, and if you do branch off those ideas, be sure to maintain originality with the final product. Creating a website is not what it used to be, and although it’s not as difficult as it once was, it’s definitely not a walk in the park either.

“My name is Christina Cook, and I am in the web department at Appalachian Insights. I aspire to someday own a ‘Pepto-Bismol pink’ Cadillac convertible like Barbie’s. Follow me through our journey on Twitter — @christina_elana”