The Definitive Checklist
The thought of building a new website can be overwhelming for you. Where do I begin? What do I need?
Quit putting off building your new website or refreshing your current site. Your website is the foundation of existence on the internet. You own it, whereas you don’t own the content you post on Facebook.
It is almost impossible to thrive in the market without a web presence.
We have put together guidelines for you. These are items you will need to gather before diving into the web design process.
1. What do you do?
Try to give your elevator pitch in 30 seconds. If someone asked you what you did or what your business did, what would you say to them in 30 seconds or less?
There are a lot of questions to consider about your business before developing a marketing strategy:
- Target audience - Demographics/Geographic
- What problem do you solve for your customer?
- Calls to Action – What do you want your customer to do when they are on your website?
These are a just few starter questions to consider before diving into the website development essentials list.
2. Domain Name
If you don’t already have a domain, pick one one out that matches your business name. If the one you want is taken already, get creative. There are many options available. Keep in mind when it comes to a URL, the shorter the better. Long domains are harder to remember and have room for error when someone may try to type it in a browser.
Be sure to check the availability of the domain and secure it as soon as possible. Don’t put it off and let someone else snatch it. You can use this link on Godaddy to search for available domain names.
3. Business Email Address
If you are serious about this business, I would suggest having emails with your domain name you picked out. It helps your credibility as a business. If I see you have an email listed on your website such as firstname.lastname@example.org or an old school email with a .edu, I going to think is this product or service even reliable if they aren’t willing to spend five bucks a month on a legit business email.
If you are serious about building a brand and growing your business, take the time to set it up. It is fairly inexpensive and can be set up with Google’s G Suite.
4. Website Building Platform
You will need to decide on a website building software such as WordPress, Hubpsot, Squarespace and Wix. There are pros and cons of each platform.
Take into consideration what you are trying to accomplish with this website.
Would it be beneficial to have a Content Management System (CMS)? A tool you can use to design, manage and publish a website.
The HubSpot Website platform has an easy to manage interface and houses all components needed to create a successful digital marketing strategy:
- Lead generation forms
- Search engine optimization (SEO) education
- Social media management (SSM) tools
- Content development tools
HubSpot is an investment. If you are on a tighter budget to start, it isn’t a bad idea to build on Wordpress and maybe think about transitioning to HubSpot down the road. If you are not getting the results you want and are looking to refresh your current website, the HubSpot platform could be the next option for you.
The downside of using HubSpot is you will need an expert web developer who knows some coding.
WordPress is an inexpensive platform and fairly easy to navigate if you are looking to manage the content on your site once it has been built.
At InnerAction Media, we utilize these two platforms for our clients to achieve the best results. There are other good website platforms out there; however, I would recommend looking into Wordpress or HubSpot to start.
5. Brand Colors and Logo
If you have a brand book already, this will be an important asset to bring to the table. It will help the developer know exactly what colors to utilize in the website design and how the logo should be used. If you don’t have a logo or a brand identity, you will want to take a step back and develop these items before you build a website.
Example Brand Book Page
6. Websites You Like
It is important to have an idea of sites you like in terms of layout and style. I like to ask clients to do a little research and give me three examples of websites they like. Why does this site stand out to you? This doesn’t mean your website is going to be designed just like the examples you give. But it helps our designers get a look into your taste.
What is Your Next Step | Website Development in West Virginia
Gathering the assets we need to begin your website development will help ease the workflow or set you up to start building your own website. Download our free checklist today!