If you’re thinking about investing in a new or redesigned business website, here’s a list to help you with your planning process.
Do you have a current business website?
If you do, you should take a look at what’s working and what doesn’t.
- How often has your current business website been updated?
- Do you make changes to the website yourself? Would you like to?
- Where is your website hosted? How is the hosting company working for you? Do you find their support is available and helpful? (Five Web Hosting Points to Ponder and Hosting server options)
- Is your current site mobile friendly and responsive?
- What do you like about your current site? And, what would you like to change?
What kind of website are you thinking of?
Are you thinking of an informational site, portfolio, blog or news site, or a commerce site? Take a look at this article that describes the different types of websites.
Is there a site that you’ve come across that you like?
Get online and take a look at some websites. Maybe, look at your top competitors’ websites. Notice what you like and what you don’t like. Do you prefer a particular layout? Are there some features or functionality that might work well for your business? Make some notes and refer to them when considering your website project.
Are there any particular features or functionality that you will need?
When you’re looking at other websites, it’s easy to get ideas for new or different features. A lot of features are easy to include on websites. If you need some custom coding for special features or functionality, you need to be aware that this can add to the cost of your website project. The best approach is to have list for “must have” features and “nice to have” features. Then, when it comes to planning out your website, be flexible. Chances are you may not be able to get everything you want, exactly as you want it, but you can probably get pretty close.
How many pages do you think your business website will have?
This is important to have figured out because it will give you an idea of the scope of your website. Also, if you’re enlisting the help of a web designer, it will help to have your page number for a website project quote. I have had clients that wanted to limit their website to five pages to save money. However, when it came to building out the site, it grew to more than 20 pages. This of course had a big effect on the scope, cost, and timeline for completion.
Do you have a logo?
If you have a logo, the website should be designed in a way that not only considers the logo, but makes it stand out. Logo elements like color, fonts and style are important for any website design. If you’re working with a web designer, they should ask you about your logo early on during your conversations.
Do you have photos or will you need to use stock photography?
Sometimes, the use of photos isn’t something that’s thought of right away. It needs to be. Some people provide their own photos. Keep in mind that any photos used on a website will need to be optimized so they’re the right size for where they’ll be used.
You may decide that you want to use stock photography. This is fine and can be a good choice for some websites. I would recommend that if you choose to use stock photography, include some of your own photos. For example, include photos of your business location, inside and out. Stock photography can be great, but keep in mind that other websites may also have the same photos. Whenever possible, use photos that highlight the uniqueness of your business.
What’s the anticipated timeline for completion?
You may want to have a website done in two weeks. If you have all of the page’s content and images for a smaller business website, two weeks may be doable. If you’re looking to create a commerce site with multiple products and a full checkout process, you’ll need more time.
A new website or site redesign can seem a bit daunting but with some thoughtful planning, you can make the job easier for yourself and whoever you decide to ask for help. Also, thinking through your website goals can make your website work harder for you in the long run.