Developing a new website is a big endeavor. Having a simple checklist to get you started will allow you to be creative and stay on the right track to meet your goals.
Do you have a domain? Do you know what you want your domain to be?
Do you already have a domain and are you keeping it? If you need a domain, starting researching available options now. Are you considering forwarding domains for SEO? Make a list of what makes sense and see what’s available.
What is the purpose of your website? What goals do you expect to reach?
Why do you need a website? You need to understand the purpose of the site to know how to develop it to meet those expectations. Do you need to pull attention to your services? Are you trying to sell products? Do you just need to create a community? Have a clear vision of the goal you want to reach and base your design to fit those goals.
Who is your target market?
Who makes up your target market? What are the demographics? Breaking down your audience will create a clear path for your website needs. How do they search, what are their click patterns, what do they expect from their online sources? Researching this aspect will guide you in the direction of optimal results.
What content do you want to showcase? What primary and secondary navigation?
How much content are you going to provide? What content is top priority and what can be made into secondary navigation? Strategize what content is going to get your message and branding across. How much content do you need to fulfill the purpose of your website while satisfying your audience’s needs?
Do you have a logo? What is your color palette?
Do you already have a logo or do you need one? Is it time to revamp your existing one? Understand your current branding and where you want it to be. Ensure your logo is relevant to your company and your color palette represents it well. Color psychology places a crucial role in branding and it should be intentional.
Are there any design elements you want to include or don’t want to include?
What design elements do you like? What will represent your business and website purpose the best? Choose design elements that compliment your brand identity and goals.
What specific functionality is required? What calls to action are important to you?
Do you need e-commerce? Do you need sign-up forms or interactive elements? What calls to actions do you want to establish to direct your traffic in the ideal direction? Consider a viewer coming to your site for the first time or returning, what do you want them to see? What actions do you want them to complete to reach the end goal? What call buttons will make the most sense for easy navigation?
What kind of graphics and imagery do you need?
Visuals are extremely important. They can relay a message, break up endless content and complete your overall image. Determine if you will be utilizing your own imagery and/or graphics or if you need professional assistance to create exactly what you envision. Find a healthy balance of visual representation that will portray the branding you need while creating the appropriate message without being a distraction.
How do you want to implement your social media and Enewsletter elements?
Include links to your social media accounts to allow viewers to follow you on all fronts. Consider a social feed, giving a sneak peek, generating interest and encouraging clicks. Take every opportunity to build your audience by providing easy Enewsletter sign-ups right on your website.
What means of contact are you going to utilize?
Consider all the possible ways you want people to be able to contact you. Include those on your website, making you accessible to your viewers. Make note if you need a professional email set up.
Who are you hosting with?
Will you be hosting in house with your website developer? Do you have a hosting provider established and is it the best option for your website requirements? Understand your hosting needs and gather all the information to be prepared for launch.