As part of the "So you want a website" course I've been writing, I've created a simple Website check-list. It's for anyone that is thinking of getting a website. The aim of the check list is to help you get the basic information that any web developer will need to know and to get you thinking of want you want from your new website. It covers everything from who you are and what you do to how the website should look and what it should do.
1 Who are you?
The first thing any web developer will need to know is your name or business name. If you don't know this you're in big trouble.
2 What do you do?
It's a good idea to know exactly what you or your business do.
3 Why do you want a website?
You may not need your own website as sometime social media or information on other site may be sufficient. Think of a good reason why you need a website.
Answering "because everyone else has one!" is not a good enough.
4 Who is the target audience?
You need to think of your customers /readers when commissioning a website. Therefore you need to know who they are and why they want to visit your site.
5 What content is required?
To make a website you need content to go on it. Good examples are contact pages, about pages, price lists and product details.
6 What are the keywords?
To find your website people will normally use a search engine like Google. Search engines and content authors require keywords and phrases that describe your website and enable the site visitor to find your website.
7 Basic site design.
You need your website to look like it's yours, so make sure it looks like your other marketing.
8 Site layout and site navigation?
Visitors to your site need to easily navigate you website and find what they are looking for. Try to make things obvious for them and think of what they want to find.
9 Is the site required to directly generate revenue?
A website can do much more than advertise your business or sell products. It can provide customer support, project management, make money from relevant advertising and it can even be your product.
10 Do you require social network integration?
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter can provide news feeds for your website. You can also have buttons on your web pages to make sharing on these networks easier for your visitors.
11 How are you going to attract repeat visitors?
You want people to come back to your website or use your company. How are you going to achieve that goal?
12 How are you going to maintain the site?
You need to look after your website to get the best from it. Therefore you need to know how you are going to look after it, secure it, update it and how often.
13 Are there any legal issues?
Make sure you own the copyright (or permission) for the content of your site or make the correct references. Is the site suitable for anyone to access?
14 Site accessibility.
In the UK the Disability Discrimination Act and the Equality Act 2010 also cover access to websites so make sure your website is accessible.