Starting a Website? Where you should start
Are you considering a new website or a redesign of a current website? Any time a client decides or even inquires about moving forward with us, invariably their next question is, “what do you need from me?” Below you will find a handy checklist of “to-do’s” that will make your next website project move much quicker if you gather them before hand.
Business logo on some sort of digitial file. A PSD file from the printer that created it is best but we can also work with a Jpeg or other files if they are large and clear.
Business tagline. Sometimes this including in the logo, but not always. It should be short and get’s right to the point of what you offer to your clients. Insider’s Tip: Don’t be afraid to focus on a specific niche market. If you specialize in one specific niche market well, others will follow.
Domain. This is your web address you will use. Go with a “.com”, but if you have a real catchy one you can only find in a “.net” form, that will do. If you already have a domain, have the log in information handy from the company you purchased it through. That way, when the site is ready to go live the web development company can get everything set up for you to launch.
Business Contact Info. Business name, address, phone number, fax number and main email used.
Note Your Favorite Websites. We can always build websites without input or notes about what you like, but of course this makes the process much longer. It is always good to have a list of 2 to 3 sites on the web that you found you like with features or design qualities.
Note Your Favorite Colors. It is always good to know 2 to 3 of your favorite colors you envision the website to be.
A list of other email accounts you would like set up.
Home page content. This content is the first message they see from your site so make it short and sweet. Insider’s Tip: It’s not about you. Don’t spend the home page content talking about yourself. Make sure you express you know the visitor’s need and know how to help. Also, try to write in as few paragraphs as possible. No one wants to read War and Peace. Keep it in bullet points.
More info for the home page and your site to think about:
* Cover the questions who, what, where, when, why and how. Going over those usually ensures you are getting them all the info you need on their website * What separates you from the competition? Imagine we lined up 4 of your competitors’ websites or you were sitting with them at a table along with the potential customer. What would you have no hesitation telling any of them that separates you from them and why you should be chosen by the potential client. * DON’T BE AFRAID TO SELL AND PROMOTE YOURSELF. This should be the easiest but is always the hardest for a client. Modesty is great but a little self promotion never hurts. If you don’t promote yourself and your services, who will? Don’t be afraid to say why you are the best. And of
About Us page Now it is time to talk about you and your company. If you have them going to this page you have initially hooked them with your home page message. Now seal the deal by speaking about your experience, history, background and education of yourself along with a history of your company. Insider’s tip: Are you a new business with no prior history? Use your personal history. If you are starting a business in that field you must have prior knowledge and experience in it. Use it to your advantage to prove your value.
Contact page This is where we will list your business location along with a contact form to reach you.
Above are the 3 standard pages to just about any basic website. You can also include common pages like:
Blog This section allows you to post informatioin you feel is valued and should be shared with visitors. Separate yourself from the competition by showing off your knowledge about your particular business.
FAQ Section Maybe your site has a lot of functionality that you need to educate the user with. Maybe your business or service needs more explanation. This is the perfect place for it.
Testimonials Gather AS MANY AS YOU CAN. They are worth their weight in gold and should be everywhere on the website.
Images for the website. If you have personal images you can gather them and email them BUT MAKE sure they have been downsized for web use otherwise the file size will be too big and our email will reject them. Do you lack photos and need some? A great resource is www.istockphoto.com. Pick some out you like and jot down the numbers. Don’t buy them if you choose us as your web developer. They are included in the cost of your website.