Do you need a website checklist?
As an entrepreneur, you are encouraged to have a website as it is a critical part to your marketing strategy. Are you overwhelmed at just the thought of starting one?
Let me help you by planning a standard static website.
This checklist gets an update as new information comes in. The latest tweak is December 10, 2019.
Planning Your Website
Before you start building your site, look at what you want in a website. Pick up a pen and paper. Do you have favorite websites that really attract you? Are there colors that energize you? With those two criteria in mind, come up with a list of pages, styles, and colors you feel are important for your brand.
I recommend to all of my clients that you start simple but have the structure in place to grow once you get traction online.
Here are my “must-haves” pages.
- Home page with 300 words or more introducing yourself and/or your company. This should include a call to action and possibly an email sign-up widget.
- About page with a picture of the primary contact and about 300 words about how your company started; this may not be necessary for a sole-proprietor.
- Blog page if you want to have a blog build that into your original site. If you will not be blogging for a while just put a placeholder on the page saying “Coming Soon” and a teaser of the content you will be providing.
- Contact page for giving complete contact information. I recommend a contact form and putting contact information on each page either in a sidebar or footer.
If you have a business that will engender a lot of questions, you may want a frequently asked question page or paragraph.
I recommend to all of my clients that they give me a list of at least three websites that they love and reasons they love it. This gives me a peek into how many columns people like on the site, style components and whether they like a clean look, professional, etc.
- Colors are important to branding. At least two color choices are needed for a website.
- Font preference will be important and give your site tons of style. I recommend using Google fonts and providing at least two preferred fonts. Nancy Seegar wrote an excellent article, Best Font Size for Websites. Paola Mesber sent me a tip about some free fonts that can be used in Commerical projects by Jill M. Sheehan.
- The background color is important to highlight your content.
Okay, I see your eyes glazing over. Take a deep breath and just take everything one point at a time!
- What is your budget for your site? Think about the website creation and then separate that cost from the maintenance of the site.
- Do you have a domain name? If not, do you have ideas on one? If so, what is it?
- Who is your hosting company? Here’s what I use: SiteGround
- What is your company name? Do you want to use the entire name on the site, logo, and graphics?
- Do you have special features in mind like eCommerce shopping cart, BLOG, RSS, Forms with emails, Ezine, Newsletter sign up, autoresponders, advertising landing/call-to-action pages, etc.?
- The expected completion date for your website to go live.
- Intended audience. Is the audience regional, industry-specific, company size specific, etc.?
- Do you intend to give a call to action – make a sale, call into you, fill out a form, etc?
- What is your ideal client and the specific attributes that you will be targeting in the website?
- What are your website expectations, the main emphasis, and primary goals – increased sales, increased leads, etc.? Prioritize!
- What separates your company from your competition and what do you expect will draw clients to the website?
- How do you plan to market the website?
- What company properties do you want to emphasize on the website? Prioritize. Remember that less is more.
- Do you have a logo, professional photo or other graphics to be used? If not, do you want to have one created?
- Have you identified a tag line? An example would be my tagline “The Chaos Whisperer“. Here is some information on the subject http://advertising.about.com/od/copywriting/a/guesttagline.htm.
- Do you have keywords that you want to be found by in the search engines?
- Provide a list of websites (at least 3) that you like and don’t like and the reason.
- Provide a list of competitor websites.
- Provide a list of colors and fonts. If possible, give example sites.
- Provide intended website screen size (i.e. 1024×768, 800×600, or stretch to the entire width of the screen) and your preferred alignment, centered or left.
- Provide your main pages for the site.
- Provide any website copy you may have. This can be in word format. Excellence source is existing brochures, sales flyers, etc.
- Provide any existing branding so that can be incorporated into the website. That would include business cards, letterhead, etc.
- Provide image files for the website. Make sure you have permission to use the images.
Access will be needed for testing and uploading your site. All information will be kept confidential.
- cPanel Access (Username and Password)
- FTP Access (FTP Host, User, and Password)
- Hosting Company (Name, URL, Tech Support Phone Number with any needed login information)
Good luck with your new site. It seems like a lot but break it down into 15-minute tasks for a week. Collect the information and create a Word document or Evernote notebook with the needed information. You can do this!
If you need further assistance, Olinda Services is here to help!
Here is a Website Creation Checklist for you to download and use.