Website Checklist 1.0 - pre-site checklist

The internet can be awfully confusing and frustrating. you can use this checklist to give you some clarity about what needs to be done in order to get your new website off the ground.

Getting Started

  • It's easy and free to setup a Gmail account - https://www.google.com/gmail/ If you already have a personal one, you could use that, however, it's probably better to set up one just for your business. Even if you plan on having a [email protected] type email in the future, it's a good idea to have a backup and your gmail account will give you a login for other Google services (business.google.com, YouTube.com, etc).
    • . You can store this in a physical notepad, or using a tool like LastPass.
  • Pro Tip: You can register your domain at my GoDaddy reseller account (http://domain.infoready.net) with all the same features as GoDaddy, however, better pricing in most cases. If you already have a domain registered somewhere else, it's probably not worth moving it.
    • . You can store this in a physical notepad, or using a tool like LastPass.
  • Most domain registrars, including GoDaddy and http://domain.infoready.net offer free website forwarding.

Set up local listings.

Priorities and goals (record your answers to the following questions)

  • What are your goals? What do you expect a website to do for you?
  • Items like, sell products, photo galleries, animation, social media integration
  • May be useful to express this as a weekly amount, versus, for the whole project
  • Will help you decide how much of the work you'd like to take on yourself
  • This, as well as time available, will be key determining factors in deciding if want to try and build your own website.

Initial research (Google other companies in your industry).

  • The competitor sites will give you some good basic's. This is just a general list of pages you may want to have on your site at some point.
  • These sites do not need to be in your industry.
    • . It's important to do this for each site individually and to list out both likes and dislikes. For these sites, you are only focused on the look, and not on the content contained.

Content creation

  • The standard pages include: home, about us, products/services, and contact us. Depending on how difficult and/or expensive adding pages is later, it's often it's best to start with just the minimum amount of pages, and add more later.
  • You can get an idea of the kind of information normally shared based on your competition research (above)
  • https://pixabay.com/ - http://billionphotos.com/ - https://stock.adobe.com/ The last two are paid sites, however, your developer may have other resource, and may have accounts at those sites, so it's best to check with him/her before purchasing any photos. You can generally download demo images for free (that have watermarks), so you can use those to start.
  • The goal is to write without editing yourself as you go. Just get all the words on the page as quickly as you can. Trust that you'll be able "fix" things later. NOTE: If you didn't do an outline, don't try and do the rough draft. It'll take a bunch of extra time and not be as good. The outline is important. Do it first.
  • Important: Wait at least 24 hours after previous draft. Letting the some time will pay huge dividends.
  • Beyond looking for typos and grammatical issues, it's a good idea to ask for feedback on the general messaging.

Wrap up and organize

Save all of your pages of content, as well as notes from the different exercises into a website folder. This information will be very important, no matter if you are building your own site, or hiring a professional.

This is the first version of this checklist. I imagine there will be some questions and updates that need to happen. Feel free to contact me with questions.