Beginning a new website project can be a daunting and intimidating task. There are so many moving parts it is easy to overlook some of them. This doesn’t just go for the web designer; it goes for the client as well. In an effort to help make the process a little less frightening, here is a website project checklist…
- Domain Names
- Do you have a list of all relevant domain names?
- Does your company own the domain(s) and have access to the domain registration info?
- How many domains point to this website?
- Would changing any of those domains impact other areas of your business such as company email?
- Site Security
- Does your website require an SSL?
- Password protection?
- Target Audience
- What kind of audience will the site be developed for?
- What kind of information are they looking for?
- What kinds of actions should they be taking?
- Is any usage or analytic data available for the web design team to review?
- Compile a list of keywords and key phrases you think your website should be targeting
- Are these words the same as what your audience might use to search for your products or services? Be sure to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
- Be sure to consider this list when auditing and compiling your website content
- Audit Existing Content
- How much is staying?
- How much is being removed?
- How much needs just minor editing?
- How much new content needs to be generated?
- Don’t forget to include logos, images and videos in this process
- Site Structure
- Does the site already have a sitemap to follow?
- How will changes in your content impact the way the site is organized?
- Creating New Content
- Are you developing the content internally?
- Do you need to enlist a copywriter for partial or full copywriting assistance?
- Existing Site Assets and Functionality
- Is there any data or functionality that needs to be carried over?
- Do you already have a web analytics solution in place that should be retained?
- New Functional Requirements
- Is there any new functionality the new site should be capable of?
- Does the site need to communicate with any backend systems?
- How will ecommerce transactions be handled and processed?
- Who with your organization should receive web form submissions and notifications?
- Technology Requirements
- What technology requirements (if any) does the new site have? For instance, should the site be developed on the Microsoft .Net platform, or .PHP?
- Do you need a printable version of the site?
- A mobile version?
- Content Management
- How much of the site’s content will you need to edit on a regular basis?
- How often does the content change?
- What kind of content changes will you be making?
- Product data, simple text updates, adding/removing whole pages, and images to a gallery, etc.?
- Who within your organization will be responsible for these updates?
- Does content need to be approved by other in your organization before it goes live?
- Where will the site be hosted?
- If switching to a new host, does the new host support the technology the new site will use?
- When does the new site need to launch?
- What is the plan in the event there are any delays?
- What is the budget available for this project?
- If there is not adequate budget for this project, can some of the features and functionality be phased in?
- Social Media
- What social media does your company participate in?
- How will social media be integrated into the new website?
- Do you own and have control over all the usernames and passwords for those accounts?
- Do you need to create them from scratch?
- How will you promote the site to your existing users and customers?
- How will you attract new users and customers?
- Project Management
- Who will be the main point of contact during the project for your organization?
- Who has the power to make decisions and approve project milestones?
- Have you assigned tasks to other team members from your organization to assist with the project?
- Do they understand their roles and responsibilities?
If you’ve never been responsible for a website design project before, we hope this list gives you some confidence and sets you in the right direction.
Website Design Questionnaire Questions
We recommend the following questions to get a better understanding of your requirements:
- What does your company do?
- Who is your target audience?
- What’s your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
- Do you want to improve an existing website, or create a website from scratch?
- Do you want your website to be optimized for SEO? Do you have a list of keywords you’d like to target?
- What is the URL of your existing website (if any)? What do you like and dislike about your existing website?
- What is the URL of 2-3 reference websites that you like? What do you like about these websites?
- Do you know what platform you want to use for your site?
- What pages do you need on your website?
- What features do you need on your website?
- What’s the underlying goal of your website?
- Do you have the content ready for your site?
- Does your company have a brand book covering things like colors and fonts?
- When would you like to launch your new site?
- What is your budget for the website?
- Do you need help updating and maintaining your website?
- Do you need help with blogging and content marketing?
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