Through years of building websites for businesses, we've developed a list of helpful guidelines that streamline the website creation process. Considering these 10 simple steps will help you visualise the full project cycle of building a website, and enable you to better plan your project.
A clear idea of what you would like to achieve from your website goes a long way when deciding how to approach the project. Write your main goals down in order of priority so that these can be considered at every step of the process. You may also want to consider setting measurable goals of some kind so that progress and effectiveness can be tracked at a later date.
Most companies these days have already done this, but if you haven't now is the time to start! Your web address must be easy to remember, therefore keep it as short as possible while still succinctly describing your company or your business. You will often need to tell people your website over the phone, so bear this in mind when selecting a name.
We recommend getting co-workers involved and coming up with a shortlist of 10-20 possible names, as not all of them will be available. Contact us or your ISP to find out how to check domain name availability.
Once your website is developed, your web address should become a part of your Brand Development strategy - featuring on your business cards, letterhead, company newsletter .. maybe even your building and vehicles. Planning for this now will save you costs later.
Based upon what you decided in Step 1, put together a basic structure for your intended website with sections and pages logically grouped together how you would like to see them on the website. Your web designer will be able to help you with this, so don't worry if you get stuck, but even spending a half hour putting something basic together will help immensely when it comes time to plan costings.
Assign one staff member to be the 'Web-Coordinator' within your company. They will be the liason with your web design company and communicate all materials and instructions. This will ensure consistency and help avoid conflicting instructions.
Any web designer worth his or her salt will endeavour to retain brand consistency between your new website and your existing marketing initiatives. They will ask you for samples of your existing business cards, letterhead, brochures, videos, advertising and any other marketing materials that convey your company brand. Why not get them ready now?
No-one knows your company like you do, and certainly not your web designer! And while they will usually try their very best to fully understand your company and how it works, the task of writing the text for your webpages will logically be up to you. Plan ahead for this or ask your web designer if they can provide a copywriter for this purpose.
OK, a party might be a little over the top - but when your website is launched you will want your customers and suppliers to know about it. It's worthwhile thinking about how you will do this and who you want to tell so there is time to plan your launch.
So you've built a website... it's one out of billions so it's time to make some noise and get noticed. It's not enough just to build it - you've got to let people know you're here! Depending on your budget, leave room for some site promotion. TV, Radio and Print Advertising are the traditional methods, but you should first consider the more cost-effective methods of Search Engine Placement, Email Stationery, and Online Advertising.
Most websites will require regular updating if they are to retain interest to your customers. Talk to your web designer about Content Management and plan for this in your budget.
And there you have it, 10 easy steps that will certainly save you time and money. Whether you decide to contact us to discuss your project further or go it alone, we wish you the best of luck with your project.
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