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Planning Your Website

If you are considering a new site, improving your existing site, or planning a redesign, the following will help provide you with some tips and information about getting started.  A website can be one of the most cost-efficient means of promotion or advertising. Below is an outline of things to keep in mind when considering your website and the overall process.


Phase I: Planning

To help prepare yourself with your information prior to your consultation:

  • Write notes while you brainstorm, including questions you may have.

  • Make an outline or detailed notes of your needs.

  • Organize folders in which you keep information for your web site:

  1. Physical folder with photos, brochures, company logo, written materials.

  2. A directory folder on your computer with text for your web site, digitized photos, images, logos, and other pertinent information.

Look at as many web sites as you can that are related to yours in some way. Make note of the following:

  • Web sites that you like and why,

  • Web sites that you don't like and why not,

  • Any web sites that have elements that you like, such as colors, navigation, overall layout, the type of content and how it's presented.

This will not only help you see what your competition has going and an overall perspective of web sites in general, it will also help you brainstorm for your own site.

Things to consider:

  • Purpose of the website

  • Target audience

Web site content:

  • Text - who will write or provide the text if not already available.

  • Some very basic contents might be:

  1. Who you are, what you do, how to contact you.

  2. List of services or products.

  3. Photographs or other images (to enhance or illustrate the text).

Logo:

  • Updating of text and other content to keep site fresh and content current.

  • Ways to bring in new visitors, repeat visitors.

Costs:

  • Internet Service Provider.

  • Domain name and registration.

  • Database information to make available online (know existing database format, online password access only or available to public).

If you wish to sell products or services online:

  • Secure server for processing transactions.

  • Merchant account through your bank (or alternatives).

  • Online purchases by credit card, alternative purchases by fax, postal mail.

  • Shopping cart software, if needed (usually recommended for over 10 products or so).

  • Set up system that integrates easily with new or existing accounting software.

If you haven't already done so, write or gather your content and other materials as needed for your Web site.


Phase II: Building

  • Agreement and deposit.

  • You will be able to review your site at each step of the creation process, with regular communications throughout (by email or by phone).

  • When site is completed we get your final OK a final payment.


Phase III: Making your presence known

  • Web site registration with all the major search engines.

  • Other means of bringing in visitors.

  • Add Web site and email address to all correspondence, all advertising.

  • Consider sending announcements or commencing other advertising of your new, redesigned, or improved Web site.


Phase IV: Website maintenance and updating

  • Keep your Web site content fresh and alive.

  • Provide reasons for new visitors and for them to return to your site.

  • Add new information as appropriate and update existing information regularly.

  • Check search engine rankings and tweak pages and/or meta tags if needed.

  • Continue to promote your Web site regularly.

 


Suchart Web Design, L.L.C.
Custom Websites, Hosting, SEO Packages, Virus Removal, Network & Tech Support Services
 
Phone: 713-817-5934
Email: neil@suchartwebdesign.com