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PREPARING TO BUILD A WEBSITE

Building a Site Takes A Lot of Organization and Preparation

CREATE YOUR SITE PLAN

Throughout my years of building websites with clients, I’ve found that the single most helpful step in preparing to build a website is creating a site plan. A lot of people working on their own seem to skip this step, which is a huge mistake. Nothing can speed up the creation of your site more than a well-thought-out site plan. 

WEBSITE PROJECT PLANNER
Preparing to Build a Website

WHAT IS A SITE PLAN?

Figure out and document exactly what you want and then when you are ready to build your site, all the difficult decisions are already behind you. The most basic site plan would be nothing more than a simple outline. Notes, fully written text, images, and more can be added to make it more robust. I usually recommend adding as much information as possible into the document which can result in your site plan ending up as an offline version of what will become your website.

Building a site takes a lot of organization and preparation. That is what I am here for. All you need to do is make an outline of how you want your pages listed and what pictures you want in it (if any) and I will do the rest.

To create an effective web site, there are several points you have to know and understand:

YOUR AUDIENCE

• Who is your audience, how would they come to your site, what would they be looking for?
• What would make them return to your site?
• What level of technology is your audience likely to have access to (fast or slow computers, fast or slow modems, recent or outdated web browsers, high or low quality monitors, etc.)?
• What will the skill level be of your audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced, or expert)?
• How might this audience differ from other audiences you might want to target (i.e. with other media such as print, radio, phone, etc.)?

THE IMPACT

Companies invest thousands of dollars when they want to redesign their website, hoping that a more attractive design will lead to more revenue. But does it really matter? Is simplicity more important than eloquent design? Where do you draw the line between simplicity and overkill? What really matters to users? While the ‘wow factor’ may leave a positive impression on investors, banks and even prospects, does it lead to more sales?
• What overall impression, experience or look and feel do you hope to convey to your audience?
• Is it an appropriate visual representation of your business or what you are trying to convey?

THE CONTENT

Whatever your reason for having a content site, whether it’s for business or a personal hobby, it’s important to do it right.

• What content do you want to make available on your site?
• How much of this content can be gathered in digital format? (this makes is a lot easier on your web designer)
• Which content lends itself to on-screen viewing and which needs to be available in downloadable or printable format?

THE STRUCTURE

• Will it be important to your viewers to construct the web site so that content is presented to different audiences in different ways?
• What are the most important elements to keep close to the top of the site?
• What are the navigation concerns? (Simplicity, consistency, being able to get anywhere from anywhere?)
• How might the structure of your web site reflect the structure your business?

READY TO START?

There is more to creating a web site than you thought, right? Don't worry, I can help you through this stage, too. If you have a topic for a web site, that is a good place to start. SPOON FROG graphics can guide you through this process.

WEBSITE PROJECT PLANNER
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