This information is intended to serve as an aid in preparing, developing, and publishing your new website. While CCC takes great pride in creating artistic, functional, up-to-the-minute web sites, there must be a starting point. To that end CCC furnishes this checklist to provide a general, though not all-inclusive guideline. In preparation and planning for a consultation or request for a site, please review and try to assemble as many of the items listed below as possible. Thank you.
Any pertinent or important Company/Organization information, including addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, company history, and any other facts you wish to share.
Any corporate art, logo, or designs which identify your Company.
Any printed or published matter that has worked well, you are very pleased with, or just would like to include in your site.
Any text, typed or printed, which you wish to include in your site. This saves a lot of time on our part, and money on yours, avoiding typing. Due to the possibility of viruses, CCC will not accept any material on disks.
Any photos or art you want included.
Any examples of print ads or web sites you feel could be incorporated into your site, or that you particularly like, including competitors’ ads or web sites.
At least one existing e-mail address which can set up as your "default", which simply means any unassigned mail gets forwarded there, and any others you are ready to assign. These e-mail addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org) will be forwarded to any e-mail service you desire. They can be changed at any time, even if you change your own e-mail service. Large amounts of e-mail administration would require charging an hourly rate.
Designing a website can be a time consuming and often complicated task. Even if you have a general idea or a vision for your site, there are many details that will need your attention before the project is completed.
1. Purpose and Goals
What is the purpose of your website? What do you hope to achieve with it? What are your goals? Is your purpose to attract a larger audience through search engines? Or to provide information to your current customer base? Jot down your thoughts, this will help keep you focused on working toward and achieving the goals you set for your website.
2. Target Audience
Take some time to think about who your target audience is. What is their age group? Their gender? Most importantly, what sort of a web design interface is going to appeal to them? What do you plan to say to them? Do you have a good idea of how to communicate with your target customer through your website copy? Consider what their problems are and how you plan to offers solutions to those problems through your product or service. Write down your thoughts.
3. What You Like
Spend time browsing the Web. Take note of the Web sites that appeal to you. What is it you like about them? The layout? The colors? The navigation? The fonts?
Think about how you would like your website layout to look. Write down the URL's of several web sites that have a layout similar to what you would like to have on your website. Add to your notes what you like about the layout.
What kind of navigation links would you like for your site? Buttons? Tabs? Text links? Drop down menu? A combination? Again, take note of the URL's of several Web sites that have navigation links that you like.
Carefully choose your colors. CCC can't emphasize enough how important the colors are. Keep your target audience in mind - what would appeal to them? Remember that colors represent emotions and perceptions.
When you see a website that has a color or color scheme that you would like for your site be sure to write down the URL! CCC recommends choosing one color that will be your primary color throughout the site and one or two complimentary colors. If you choose a background color other than white for your website, make sure you choose a text color that is easily read on that background color.
We recommend using an easy-to-read font for the majority of your text, but fancy fonts can be used for headings and subheadings. Take note of several web sites that use fonts that you like.
4. What You Don't Like
It is also important that you take notes on web sites you don't like. What don't you like about them? Are they visually overwhelming? Difficult to read? Write down the URLs of several web sites that you do not like with a short explanation as to why you don't like them.
5. Site Map
Decide on how many pages you would like to start out with. More pages can be added in the future as your company grows.
This is the first page of your website and it is mandatory. It's also known as the index page. It should clearly state what your website is about. It sometimes includes a mission statement and contains links to your "inner" pages. This page is your most valuable page, as it is the front door to your website and will be the first impression that your visitors will have of you.
Here is a listing of some of the most popular inner pages. You can customize this list by adding to it or subtracting from it to meet your needs.
About Us Page
This is a page about you and/or your company. It may include your credentials or your resume. You may also what to include your picture.
This page contains a listing of links and resources that are relevant to your website and may be of interest to your visitors. This is a good place to list web sites that you have affiliate programs with.
This page contains a listing of your services or products and can also list your rates and prices.
Contact Us Page
This is a page that contains information on how to contact you. Often times it contains a form for your visitors to fill out. It may also contain your address, phone number, fax number and email address.
This page may contain letters of recommendation or testimonials that your clients have written for you.
This page provides a clear definition of how you intend to use information collected on your site.
This is a page devoted to site navigation and contains a detailed map of your website.
Write down any thoughts you have for additional pages.
6. Other Thoughts/Ideas
Take note of any other thoughts and ideas that you have for your website. Do you want your navigation buttons to change when the mouse rolls over them? Do you want a copyright statement at the bottom of your pages (recommended)? Do you want music added to your website? Message board? Polls? Any other special features? Add these ideas to your notes.
The clear insight you're able to provide will save a lot of time and money by clearing up questions regarding your design before they ever come up. Just like creating a plan for your business strategy or marketing efforts, creating a plan for the creation and design of your site is highly recommended. Call or fax 406.338.7217 or send an email for a FREE consultation.