Thank you for visiting Cassey’s Designs! Congratulations on your decision to get your website up and running!
This post is designed to get you thinking about what your business needs from a website. You are not required to have all of the answers! We will discuss everything mentioned here when you contact me to start building your website and/or blog. I will advise you on any aspects you are unsure about.
The following are things you should consider when planning what you want from your website so that it will meet your objectives!
Why do you want / need a website?
What purpose do you intend to fulfill with your website? Will you be selling products, providing information, displaying your work or do you have another objective?
What product or service are you offering to existing and potential customers and what do you expect potential customers to search for?
Knowing what your customers are likely to search for will help determine how we will set up your site engine optimization (SEO). For example, if your selling photography services you might expect customers to type in “local photographers” or “wedding photographers” etc…
You should take a few minutes to look into who your competitors are and determine how you will compete with them.
Who do you want to visit your website?
What type of customer are you primarily trying to attract? Consider demographics, age, gender, income and other profile indicators for your ideal customer.
What do you want visitors to do once they have made it to your site?
Do you want visitors to share your site, buy products, and/or contact you via email? Do you want to offer information to help solve customers issues or answer questions they may have? Would you like visitors to be able to join in on conversations and submit their ideas or would you prefer one way communication?
Do you have a deadline for the completion of this project?
We will discuss the timeline for the design aspects of your website, and I will develop a plan so that we can meet your deadline as long as it is realistic. The timeline can be affected by how long getting your content images, copy (text), and other information prepared and delivered to me takes. Other things that may effect your timeline include testing times, approval responses for milestones, and ease of communication.
What is your budget?
It is important to have an idea of what you can afford to spend and what you expect from your website for that amount.
Do you have a logo and or business name?
Your brand is perhaps the most important design for your business. You want it to be creative and stand out because it can make or break you when your potential clients are comparing you to someone else who offers the same product or service.
If you do not already have a business name, please also read my post Business Names which will help you in your process of creating your business name with awareness and creativity.
Do you have your content (text) ready, or have a plan for getting it ready?
Will you be writing the content for your site yourself, will you be using a content writer, or do you have another method for preparing your copy.
It is important to have a strong content base in concerns to your search engine optimization (SEO). The more relevant, honest, and original information your site offers, the higher ranking your site with get. There are many other factors that effect SEO as well but that will have to be the subject of another post.
Do you have images that you would like to use on your site?
You may use images that you have personally taken, or you can purchase professional images. In the latter case you will be required to provide your licensing information (you will receive this when you complete your order for your images).
Images should be submitted in high resolution, 300dpi (dots per inch) or higher is preferred. Logos should be provided in vector format if applicable. If your logo is a raster design, please provide the highest resolution file that you have.
Do you have a domain name and web host?
I do ask that you acquire your own domain name and host server. You do not have to set anything up, you simply have to purchase your domain name and purchase a hosting plan. I will then set up your accounts and you will be provided with all of the information needed to access them upon completion of your project. Both the registration of your domain and hosting of your site have recurring fees that vary depending on the companies you decide to go with. You can visit companies like Host Gator, GoDaddy and BlueHost to decide which one best suits your needs and your budget.
I personally use Host Gator.
Do you have a marketing strategy for when your site is launched?
How will you be proactive and get people to your website? Will you be using a marketing company? Will you be advertising and using promotions on social networks? How many customers do you need to have to make a profit and how many customers will you be able to handle at any given time?
Other tips that may help assist you in preparing for your new website
Research your competition!
Explore the web and find websites that you like and dislike, make notes about what you find.
Map out what your short term and long term goals are for your website.