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Designing a website

Step 1 - Planning your site

Assessing the size of your audience

As you start on working on a fresh site, the foremost thing you would want to take into consideration is the size of your would-be-audience. This is important for three positive reasons-initial/end stage of the process, revenue and expenses.
Three reasons why size matters:

  1. Backend building. With the growth in user base, technical requirements of a site change. A growth in the number of visitors will result in the enhancement of bandwidth and powerful servers. If your site has plenty of applications, you may have to improvise on your backend code so that it runs in an efficient manner at greater volume.
  2. Foreseeing the expenses. A site gets much expensive to maintain with the growth in its popularity. You’ll require a high number of strong servers, additional bandwidth and probably extra workers. An increase in customer services indicates extra community moderators, which in turn points to an additional fulfillment operators and so on.
  3. Foreseeing the revenue. If your site requires to raise funds, like most of them, your success will depend on your knack to find and retain clients. This is why prior to starting, you got to know that there are adequate number of customers available to back your site.

Amplifying your would-be-audience is an easy job, particularly if you are highly inclined towards the content of the site. Also, it’s an easy job to amplify your draw. In majority of the cases, you’ll be fortunate to pull in 10% of your potential audience.
In order to find out the size of your target audience, the first thing you need to do is to elucidate them.
If you have the funds to put into a research service, you’ll be able to obtain the best numbers from organizations such as Nielsen NetRatings and Media Matrix. If you don’t have adequate funds, you can get a lot of information by viewing their websites for press releases and public studies.
However, if you are unable to find the exact figures, you can come up with a relatively better assessment by combining census data and the assessments of industry.

  1. Start off with the whole Internet universe (the number of individuals on the web)-whether they are present in the world, the same country you reside in or the city.
  2. Select the distinctive characteristics of your audience you can honestly find and calculate their percentage on the whole.  This is what is known as target audience.
  3. Assess the percentage of the target audience you can capture in a fair manner. If you are able to capture 10%, it’s a nice way to begin with.

For example, if we develop a new website that focuses on Singaporean women, find out the size of the audience we can expect in the first year.

  1. Nielsen states that the total online population in Singapore is 2.3 million
  2. Even though exact figures are not available, we’ll assume that women comprise of 40% of Singapore’s online population. (Women are normally behind men in this aspect). The total number women who remain online in Singapore is 40% of 2.3 million=920,000.
  3. Since we have a significant marketing financial plan, we’ll target to capture 10% of this in our first year-10% of 920,000=92,000 users

Therefore our aim for the first year is to pull in 92,000 visitors to our site.
Finding statistics on the internet
Nielsen NetRatings



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