Website Design Checklist

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 Foster’s website project checklist for the client

  • 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?
    • Other?
  • 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?
  • Keywords/SEO
    • 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?
  • Hosting
    • Where will the site be hosted?
    • If switching to a new host, does the new host support the technology the new site will use?
  • Deadline
    • When does the new site need to launch?
    • What is the plan in the event there are any delays?
  • Budget
    • 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?
  • Marketing
    • 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?
About the author

Chris “Fosdog” Foster is the Pack Leader of FosDog Marketing. Foster is a local, experienced, affordable website designer and marketing expert. A life long Michigan resident with a passion for helping small businesses since 2006. He has worked for the large, impersonal marketing companies and found them severely lacking in personal touch and customer service. As of 2012, he knew, as an entrepreneur, he could do it better for the small business person who wants to stay competitive with the “big dogs”.

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