how to make my website

Checklist to kick off your website {web content + design}

A website is a necessity for entrepreneurs, small businesses, home-based businesses, and anybody selling products or services. Regardless of your other marketing methods, enabling potential customers to either find you through a Google search or learn more about you after they’ve seen your other marketing material is key to creating and developing new customers. Your website should detail your background, experience, and other credentials to give you credibility and give potential customers more confidence when deciding whether or not to deal with you.

Before we can build your site, we will try to gather as much information to learn about your business geared towards bringing benefits to you and your customers. Below is a list of what you should be thinking about to get started:

1 - Why do you want a website?

It might sound like a silly question to open with, but knowing your motivation for getting a website gives us the direction for the type of website we build for you.

2 - What is your business all about?

This will be easier to answer if we split it down into the following sub-questions;

  • What does your business do? 
  • What service do you offer and how do you carry it out?
  • What are your long-term business goals? 
  • What image do you want to portray to your customers?

3 - What s sets your business apart from your competitors?

Many businesses offer similar products but what makes YOU different?

4 - Who is your target audience?

Knowing the kind of visitors you wish to attract to your website will influence the design, content and overall 'feel' of the site we create for you.

5 - What do you want visitors to do on your website?

Before we can develop a site that meets your customers' needs and expectations, we first need to establish what it is that you want them to achieve while they're there. Once a goal has been established, we can hone a design to encourage the direction you'd like them to take to make the user experience enjoyable.

6 - What features do you need/want on your website?

We appreciate that at times it can be hard to explain what you like, especially when you don't know what something is called (all this techno mumbo-jumbo is gibberish to us too sometimes). A picture speaks a thousand words, so please take this opportunity to find an example, and show us what you mean with a working link to illustrate. A link will certainly help to avoid confusion.

7 - What features do you NOT need/want on your website?

It's often much easier for a person to express what they don't like, rather than pin their choices down to something that they do.

You've probably visited quite a few websites already and have no doubt come across things that drive you nuts. Even on a site that you otherwise really like, there is bound to be something that just doesn't sit well with you. Maybe it's a scrolling news box on the home page that you find distracting? Maybe you have a personal hatred for the color orange! Now's the time to say so we can avoid making a website with features that you don't like (unless there's a very good reason to include them).

9 - Who will be providing/preparing the written website content?

A website isn't complete without the bulk of text that forms the main body of your website. Each page needs it and it has to fully explain about you, your business, products and services.

We do have a team of copywriters who can research and prepare the written content for you, but if you don't have that kind of cash, then you should be prepared to write the content yourself, or get somebody who works with you to write it on your behalf.

This is actually a good thing. Yes, it takes effort, but who knows your business better than you?

10 - Who will be providing images for your website content?

This is your opportunity to showcase your business and the people behind it. If you don't already have high quality images, we would absolutely LOVE to take pictures of your business, products and headshots of your key employees for your website.  

11 - Who will be updating your website?

Assuming that your website won't just be a static online brochure, you should probably think about which aspects you'd like to update, and who you'd like doing the updates.

If you'd like to update frequently, maybe adding new pages and uploading images, then it's a good idea to think about using a Content Management System (CMS). A CMS will allow you to update your own website, which is great if you're already comfortable with other computer software as you should be able to master a simple CMS with minimal training.

If you don't have time to work on website updates, or you think that it's safer to leave it to the experts, then let us know so we can work a quarterly or monthly update schedule into your maintenance plan. Alternatively, we can do ad-hoc updates for you and charge by the hour.

12 - When do you need your website completed by?

Building a website can be very complex, and very time consuming, and some clients have very unrealistic expectations of how long it actually takes to make one.

You should tell us your time frame to avoid disappointment and we'll give you an honest indication of how long things are likely to take, based on the features that you've requested.

13 - Other things to think about:

We will need your company logo in high resolution. Don't have one? Let's build your brand together!

Do you already have a domain name and website hosting? We can help you if you don't.

Search Engine Optimization + Google Analytics- It shouldn't be an afterthought. Let us know what types of techniques your company will be using. If you know nothing about organic or paid marketing, we can help.

Social Media Marketing- Should your website include "share" links? We think so, but what pages? What will your target audience be comfortable sharing?

Working through this checklist will help focus the direction of your site and the content we'll need to start gathering to kick off your website design.