Aesthetic design, that is, what a website looks like, is the very last stage of development. What comes first is establishing the website’s goals, then developing an organizational schema to achieve those goals.
At a functional level, every post and every page of a website must be accessible from every other post and page of a website, except when a post or page is part of a sequential set. An example of a sequential set can be seen here: Design & Development Questionnaire. I develop your website’s organizational schema with that in mind.
The most important part of developing the organizational schema is to ensure that visitor frustration is avoided. Content anywhere on the website must be easily accessible from anywhere else on the website, no matter what, with the exception of sequential sets of activity pages, such as a multi-page form that a visitor may choose to fill out.
A website must be structurally designed with expansion in mind. There’s nothing worse than needing to expand, only to discover that your website has dead ends and, to expand it, it must be completely redesigned to accommodate that expansion.
Last comes the design aesthetics — the color choices, the style and theme, the imagery, the font faces utilized, and the placement of all the elements that make a website a visually appealing visitor experience.