10 Steps to Plan Your Website

How to Get Started:

Deciding to create a new website, especially if it’s your first one, may seem a bit daunting.  Where do you start?

I’ve put together some basic suggestions to help you get started:

  1. Make a list of your top four or five objectives.  What message do you want to promote?  What do you want your website to do for you or your business?
  2. Surf the web for a few websites whose design and function you like and some that you dislike.  Make particular note of navigational styles, colors, layout, and features you’d like to have on your site.  Save the links to show your designer.
  3. Look at what your competitors are doing and how they’re doing it.  Consider if you want to offer something more, better, or different.
  4. Jot down a few notes about your ideas; making a rough outline or sketch can be helpful (but is not necessary).
  5. Consider what pages or sections you want to have on your site.  A typical site may start with the following basic pages:
    • Home/Welcome: The Home page should answer the question ‘What is this site about?’
    • Profile or About: This page should answer the question ‘Who are we?’
    • Products and/or Services and/or Portfolio: Here is where you answer the question ‘What do we offer?’
    • News and/or FAQs and/or Links
    • Contact
  6. Make a list of any additional features or pages you may want on your site, such as Shopping Cart, Feedback Form, Events/Calendar, Blog, Newsletter, Search Box, Site Map, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, Database, and/or Flash.
  7. Register your desired domain name, or ask your designer if you would like help beginning at this point.
  8. Select a hosting service, or ask your designer to help you with the selection process.
  9. Ask your designer  to get started on the design process for your new website.
  10. Start roughing out the text content for your site.