5W1H is a technique in project management that helps in analyzing a problem and building a solution systematically. The term stands for question words that start with 5W and 1H - Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. Asking these six questions will result in a thorough investigation of the problem at hand, and facilitate the identification and implementation of the right choice.
Origin of 5W1H
The term originated from the poem ‘Six Serving Men of Curiosity’ written by the famous poet Rudyard Kipling. The author claims that these six questions taught him everything that he knew. This methodology was initially popular among journalists, owing to its suitability in streamlining discussions and interviews. So, it is sometimes rightly called the ‘reporter’s tool’. Over time, its application to discussions was extended outside journalism settings, and the method gained popularity in technical discussions as well.
Project management with 5W1H
Today, the 5W1H methods have been applied to almost every domain, and website production is not an exception. 5W1H provides the necessary structure for the discussions and decision-making involved in the website building process. Industry experts recommend the usage of this methodical tool, right from the conceptualization of the online business. It will streamline the discussions and bring clarity that will help in improving the understanding of problems and their potential solutions.
This method is also effective in setting the agenda for a meeting and making sure that the team members don’t digress from the discussion matter. For example, consider the discussion regarding taking a business online by building a website. It involves multiple stakeholders, and the discussion may go on for hours, with each person pulling the conversation in a different direction. In such a scenario, employing 5W1H will ensure that all the attendees are mindful of the questions to be answered. By using this tool, meetings will be more productive and less time-consuming.
Build your website with 5W1H
Online presence is essential for every business today. In this era of fast digitization, if your business doesn't have a digital address, then people won’t even know it exists. You may be actively promoting your business on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. But, social media doesn’t build credibility and trust. To turn your customers into loyal followers, a website is a must-have.
When you start building a website for your business, it is important to analyze all the factors and make a website design that will be fit-for-purpose and user-friendly. 5W1H is the best methodology to ensure this. Let us look at each question in 5W1H, and explore how it will help in building your website.
The first and foremost question to ask yourself while building a website is ‘Why do people need this website?’ This question will help you in identifying the purpose of your website. Answering this question will help you in understanding the big picture, and streamlining your website towards its ultimate goal. Think of the problems people are facing in the real world, and why your website is the solution for that problem.
For example, look at the covid-19 situation. Owing to the pandemic, most parents are turning to e-learning platforms for their children’s academic and other interests. In this situation, there is a need for websites that will provide e-learning materials, and connect teachers who can teach through video calls with parents who need such services.
Image taken from Strikingly user’s website.
‘Who is my target audience?’ The entire website production process will depend on the answer to this question. Identify your end-user segment and make an in-depth analysis of their behavioral patterns. Let’s say, you are going to build an online clothing store. You need to first narrow down your customer group based on gender, age, occasion, etc. Your product line may be formals for professional men or maternity wear for young mothers. Depending on the type of clothing you manufacture, determine who is the ideal customer that you want to visit your website.
Another ‘Who’ question that you will find useful at this point is, ‘Who is going to build the website?’ Some businesses choose to hire a professional software engineer to build their website from scratch. This is an age-old method of website building and it costs your business a long lead time and considerable expense. Intelligent website building platforms like Strikingly enable users to build their website within thirty minutes, without any prior knowledge of programming. By taking advantage of this advancement in technology, you can design and launch your website all by yourself, without having to depend on a third-party developer who may cause unnecessary delays and deviations.
Once you have answered the question ‘Who is my ideal customer?’, it is time to put yourself in their shoes and think about ‘What’ you would like to see on the website. Let us look at a few use cases to give you a starting point.
An online store will have a portfolio section to showcase its products. From the portfolio, viewers should be able to add items to the cart and make purchases through online payments. Users would also like to see offers and discount coupons.
Image taken from Strikingly user’s website.
If we look at the use case of a professional blog, the reader would be interested in seeing the catalog of articles curated under different categories. They may also like to get updates about new articles through email newsletters.
Finally, let's take the example of an online tutors’ website. Here, parents would want to see profiles of various tutors available, under different subjects. An integration of Google calendar to book classes will also be useful.
Every project needs a deadline. If you start a project without setting the finishing date, then there is a good chance of the project taking longer than what it should ideally take.
Decide the launching date of your website, after considering all relevant factors. Some sample factors are:
- Socially important dates: You may want to time the launch of your dating website a few weeks before Valentine’s day.
- Season: A gardening website will get more popular around spring when lots of people take up gardening.
- Time taken for market analysis: Before launching your business you may want to do a thorough research of the market like competitor analysis and calculating the opportunity cost. Factor this time in the schedule to make the deadline realistic.
- Time taken for website building: This can be made trivial by selecting a drag-and-drop website builder like Strikingly. You can build your websites with all necessary components, within minutes on the Strikingly platform. If you get stuck anywhere, there is a well-documented support page, and a team of friendly support personnel available 24X7 to resolve your issue.
Once you decide the timeline for your website building project, keep all the stakeholders informed and work towards it.
Just like a business has a physical address in this world, your business website will have an address on the world wide web. This address is called ‘domain name’ in the web terminology. Put some thought into choosing your domain name, since this is the first thing that people will recognize about your business. Pay attention to the domain extension as well. You can select from a range of options such as .com, .net, .io, and .org. Every extension has a meaning and relates to a particular industry or region. Choose the right one that your target customers (from ‘Who?’) will be able to relate to.
Strikingly offers you the option of purchasing your domain name from within your site’s editor. You can also go for a free subdomain provided by Strikingly, in case you are looking for a cost-effective option.
Image taken from Strikingly website.
The final question ‘How?’ encompasses a whole suite of details about your website.
- How to host the website? Choosing the right hosting partner is imperative in running your website without any overheads in the long run. A free website hosting platform like Strikingly provides all essential features for a website, without adding a hefty bill to the entrepreneur’s list of problems.
- How should the website look? Your website should have a look and feel that will be pleasing and inviting to your customers. The layout should hold all the information that you want to convey to your user. You may also consider using components such as pop-ups and splash pages.
- How to optimize website content for search engines? SEO is an important feature of any successful website. Starting from the URL of your pages to the anchor links buried deep inside your content, make sure you employ every trick in the book, to bring your site’s SEO ranking up.
- How to make the website versatile for viewers from different devices? Gone are the days when users opened their desktop computers to browse the internet. Most users prefer to access websites through mobile phones or tablets. Make sure the user-experience is excellent irrespective of device.
Image taken from Strikingly website.
Strikingly offers an all-in-one website builder that takes care of the above needs. You can choose from the rich repository of themes, designed for different niches. In every template, you can add or remove any feature that you want. Moreover, Strikingly websites are by default SEO-friendly and work seamlessly in mobile. Despite all these cutting-edge website features, Strikingly lets you try your hand at website building free of cost. You can even enjoy PRO features for free, for a trial period of 14 days.
Sign up today and start building your website. Planning with 5W1H and implementing with Strikingly is the perfect combination that can never go wrong.