Pressplaymedia’s Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Starting a website

So, you’re ready to take your business online. But are you prepared for the process?

Here is a checklist of things you need, before you even start thinking about pretty designs.

1. A very clear vision of what you as a business expect from your website

Believing that you “just need a website” is one of the most common and also one of the worst mistakes.
Here are a few questions you need to answer before you start looking for a developer.
Take a minute and think about your website’s target audience and what they’ll likely be expecting to find on your website.
Will it act only as a presentation of your company and your services?
Or do you also plan on selling your products online, or do you just want to inform people about them, or both?
Do you want to keep in touch with your customers and/or provide online support for your products?
Will you provide constant updates about your company’s services and products, or will it be a static website?
Will your site be multi-lingual or aim at different markets?
Are you interested in business-to-business dealings? If so, what information and online tools will you offer to other businesses?
What content are you planning on providing your visiting customers – user manuals, product specifications, software updates, etc?
I could go on, but if you put yourself in the role of a clueless customer, I’m pretty sure you will find other important things specific to your case.

A good tip is to check out websites of your competition (or better yet websites of established businesses) for inspiration and see what content and tools they offer their clients / website visitors.

If you have a clear knowledge of what you need and what you aim for, you will make work much easier for the developer and this will save you precious time and money. And that’s a good thing!

2. Content for your website

Depending on the purpose of your website, you will need to prepare written and photo material to populate the content of your site.
The developer will usually give you a list, but here are the most common things, just in case:
– your company’s logo / slogan (if you don’t have a logo or a slogan yet, get it!)
– a well written description of your company (about us), company goals, accomplishments, etc
– a small description of key personnel and your company’s references (this is good for building customer trust in your company)
– a full list of services you offer with short descriptions
– a list of products you offer including descriptions or specifications (at least your featured products)
– if you intend to sell those products online, a picture of each product is a must, as well as the current price list
– your company’s contact and legal details (a map to your headquarters/shops is also very useful)

These are just a few pointers, but in general, think of what is useful information for your audience and add that to the list.

3. Money

Have a budget ready, because what you pay is what you get!
Seriously, if you have a strict budget, communicate with your web developer and see what you can get for your set budget and maybe discard some of the things that are less important to your audience.
If you are completely clueless about web design be careful – some web developers will try to bundle in as much as they can (things you might not even need!) to raise their total price.
Of course, the bigger the budget, the more functionality will be added to your website, things like content management, e-commerce, user community, etc, and generally more time will be spent on polishing all of the details.
If your needs are bigger than your budget and the local prices are too high for you, try outsourcing the development to countries where web design services are much cheaper (http://www.getafreelancer.com is a good start).