When designing your website, there are countless factors to consider. It takes heavy planning, researching, and optimizing. As a website owner, you make critical decisions on a daily basis, especially during the early stages.

Website creation is no easy task. In fact, designing a website is a lot like designing a printed circuit boards (PCB), although these two projects seem worlds apart. PCBs are the small board-like objects inside of every major electrical appliance we operate. By comparison standards, you’re basically an engineer — kind of. There are many misconceptions about PCB design in the same manner that there are misconceptions about web design. Both hold weight over the final product. PCBs require a different kind of engineering, but the framework is similar to that of website creation. Here are three ways that website design is a lot like PCB design:

Picking a Platform

When you’re building your website, one of the first important decisions you’ll make is what platform to use. Options abound: WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Blogger, and Shopify among them. What you choose depends on your needs. Different platforms offer various features; consider the primary goal of your website before you make a decision. For example, though vastly popular, WordPress isn’t for everyone. With thousands of templates and plugins, it can be overwhelming for a domain owner looking to find a simple home for their site. On the other hand, there are some who would prefer the options and ultra-customization. And of course, those using their websites to sell products need to compare different ecommerce solutions to ensure they’re getting the long-term value.

On the same note, PCB design also requires the right platform. With so many PCB design software options on the market, choosing the right one really depends on the needs of the engineer. For example, newbies in the PCB space should consider software that’s intuitive, budget-friendly, and has the features they need to hit the ground running. Experts, on the other hand, need comprehensive software (like Altium) that come equipped with a large library of components and features: the WordPress of website builders, if you will.

The Foundation of Your Brand

Your website is the foundation of your brand in the same way PCBs are the foundation of a product; it pieces everything together. This means the foundation must be fool-proof and error-free. After pinpointing the reasons a PCB is needed, an engineer decides on the product’s final concept. The final concept includes its features and the functionalities the PCB has to perform. Similarly, a website is your blog or business’ face. The features and functionalities it has all come together to create a cohesive appearance for your visitors.

Why is this so-called foundation so important for your website? Because often, you only have one shot at turning a visitor into a recurring visitor. If your website focuses on ecommerce, flaws to features like the shopping cart or search function can be crippling. For personal blogs or portfolios, faulty contact forms can lead to a loss of work. Any flaws in this foundation can make the entire site come crashing down, literally and figuratively.

Building Your Design

Your website design can easily make or break your business, brand, or image. Every decision that goes into website design should be a calculated one. Your logo should be representative of the business: if you run a dry cleaning service, you probably don’t need the multi-colored 3D logo of a graphic designer. The website color scheme also holds value; different colors have been psychologically proven to affect our moods. Where you place links, content, menus, widgets, etc., all contribute to how intuitive your website is. Your visitor should be able to navigate easily. Your design should be both appealing and functional to your visitor.

Engineers have all the same challenges designing printed circuit boards. Any mistakes made during the design process can lead to a faulty finished product. Each component is critical to the overall board and each piece serves as an important function.

PCB and website design both have their own learning curves as you go through the motions of bringing a piece of work to life. There is an end consumer whose engagement you depend on, and you should continue to challenge yourself to design better, whether you’re looking to do a website redesign or a new PCB design for a product upgrade.