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Save Yourself Both Time and Money When Building Your New Website
Planning a new website? Whether you hire someone or do it yourself, the project will go much smoother if you gather your thoughts and your content with a checklist.
Some web projects seem to take forever to complete, not because the effort is so intense, but because it’s so difficult to chase down the information needed. Your time is money – and your money is money, too! Don’t waste both by being unprepared and dragging the work on and on. Your web developer (or you, if you are doing the job yourself) will need three main categories of materials: Objective, Access, and Content.
Objectives to determine:
- What is the goal of your website?
Think about what a “successful” website looks and acts like is to you.
- What impression should your new site give?
Using design, color, and text, your website could project folksy, high tech, respectable, or some other impression that reflects your brand.
- What is your Call-To-Action?
Decide what you want your visitor to do once they get to your page and plan out what the customer journey should be.
Access to provide:
- Your domain provider
So you can associate your domain name to the new site.
- Your social media accounts
You’ll want to link to them from your website and from your social media profiles back to your site.
- Login information for your team
If you and your colleagues will be updating news, photos, or blog articles, make a list of who will be able to log in and what level of security they should be given.
- Your business logo
Vector format is best, but a large jpg may be acceptable.
- Your official color palette
Use Pantone, RGB, or Hex Color Number to be accurate.
- Graphic images and photographs
Don’t use images less than 1,200 to 1,400 pixels wide and proportional to the space where you plan to put them.
- Permission and attribution information
Always make sure to get the rights to copyrighted images to prevent problems later.
- Name of business or organization
Be consistent in the name you use across all directories, social media, and your website.
- Official address of business or organization
If you are a brick-and-mortar location, again, it’s important to be consistent. Don’t use “Ave.” one place and “Avenue” at another.
- Mailing address, phone number and email address
You do want clients to contact you. Consider adding a Captcha challenge to slow down spam.
- Names, bios, and headshots of staff
People like to buy from people. Names and smiling faces make your organization more personable.
- Business hours
This is a common question and sets expectations.
- A short description of your business or organization
Meta tags need good text. For the best SEO, get some help choosing and arranging search terms to put in your description.
- A longer description of your business or organization
Somewhere on your site you should talk about what you do. While you may tweak it quite a bit during the building process, it helps to have a few paragraphs ready to guide you and your developer.
- A history of your business or organization
Content like this helps customers get to know you.
- Certifications, partnerships, memberships, and affiliations
Listing these proves that you are a trusted professional which inspires confidence.
- Logos for certifications, memberships, and other trust marks
A picture is worth a thousand words that won’t get read. Logos provide at-a-glance identification.
- News, articles, and blog entries
Strategize to post searchable content that will appeal to your target customer.
- Lists and descriptions of services or products
People are looking for what you are selling. Be sure you include content that answers the questions they are asking.
- Samples of previous marketing material
If you already have good marketing material, your website should be consistent. And if you don’t like your old marketing material, use it as an example of what to avoid.
- Samples of websites you like
It’s so much easier to show your developer the styles, designs, or functions you like than to hope they come up with something and have to go back to the drawing board.
There are bound to be changes along the way, and those are easy to do on a website, but by thinking through the project before you get started, you will eliminate a lot of the unnecessary back-and-forth that slows down the process. Go one step farther and have a preliminary chat with your developer before you even start. Technology is updating so fast, you might not even be aware of the latest options.
Give us a call to talk through the options. We can’t wait to show you what your new website can do!
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiy
This article is an update to “How to Save Time and Money Building Your New Website” dated 1/19/2015.
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I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history. Other posts by Kate Gingold
I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.