What's the first thing you do when you decide to build a new website? Do you download and install Joomla!? Do you go to a template supplier and select your template? Or do you do something else instead?

If you do something else then I hope what you choose to do is to grab a pencil and a piece of paper and start to plan. P, P & P.

If you want to build a successful website, and why would you want to build a failing website, then you need to plan it first. You wouldn't build a house without first drawing some plans and a website is no different.

Planning 1

The more time you spend with a pencil and paper before you start to build the site the more time you will save in the long run. Starting with a template first can be very limiting, for until you have planned what you want on the site, what menu links there will be, etc you cannot truly know what will be a suitable template.

So what is my workflow process you?

I begin with a clean sheet of paper and write down a list of all the main menu links that I think I will need. When I have done that I write next to each link more details of what that page will contain. Will it be a single article? Perhaps a list of articles? A contact form or something completely different.

Now that I have this site map on paper I can see what type of categories I need to create in order to structure my website in the most efficient way. I can also see what type of extensions I will need. Maybe I need a photo gallery or a form builder and now I can go to the extension directory to research and select the ones that I need.

At this point I still haven't installed Joomla! as there is one more thing I still need to plan. The design. I now have a pretty good picture on paper for what I will need to display and the type of content that I will be displaying. So now is the time for me to visit my favourite templates shop and look for a design that most closely matches the plan for my site that I have on paper.

So remember, a successful Joomla! websites begins with a P not a J.