Today, websites are the modern storefront for almost every type of business out there. Even brick and mortar businesses such as retail, restaurants, and hospitality, are almost always hybrid with a website representing their business. Often times unless you have a designated web and marketing team, websites are often missing some core components. These overlooked items could range from visual to the functionality of your site.
Don’t worry though, whether you turn to our web team for help or another, this list will help you prep before you hire a team to build a new site or update your existing site. Let’s dive in.
Our Website Checklist
We found this checklist to be more useful when asking yourself the right questions to get started. You may not be able to answer them all, and that’s ok, but it will give you a better idea of what you need to get prepared before starting a project.
- Have you thought out the structure of your site? What all the different pages will be and how they link to one another?
- What is your site’s main call to action? Are there multiple?
- Do you have your content figured out? Having the “copy” and images ready for every page will not only reduce costs, but you should know your business better than the person making your site. Thus, it will be better if you fill in the blanks and not them.
- Are you too busy to come up with all of the content or images? Do your research on finding a copywriter or photographer for your industry.
- Do you have all of your brandings put together in a kit, i.e. Brand Colors, Brand Fonts, Vector Logo Files?
- Are there other sites out there you really like and would like yours to look like?
Yes, most firms will walk you through this process, but it will usually lead to delays in projects, more hours and money spent, and a site that might not be what you had envisioned. Here is a more in-depth look at some of these items.
This is an essential piece for our clients to hash out before starting a web project. As mentioned above, you know your business best, so why would you want our team writing your content? In short, you don’t, because we don’t know your business like you do. Also, getting the real content from you, in the beginning, will save countless time later on.
Keep in mind the content focus for the initial launch shouldn’t be blogs like these. Rather focus on each different page on your site, i.e. homepage, about us, services, contact us, etc.
This would be a good time to focus on key phrases for SEO. On your main landing pages consider what keyphrase you want to adapt on each page and try to incorporate that keyphrase at least a few times. We won’t dive too much into this in this article because SEO is an entire beast within itself.
Lastly, images are a core part of your content and expressing your business, which is why it is a crucial part of any website checklist. And Google searching images and uploading them to your websites can get you in trouble if the image is copyrighted. So you’ll want to use a service such as Shutterstock, Envato, Adobe, etc., or use your own images.
This section is very important. If you are a new business you might not have any of these assets yet but you should get them figured out before building out the site. Though bulk changes can be made to a site quickly if a good designer built it with CSS, however, it is better to be prepared because that isn’t always the case. So having your branding kit ready before starting is important.
You will want the following for your branding kit:
- Brand Colors
- Brand Fonts
- Vector Logos (.AI, .EPS, .SVG)
- What is a vector logo?
- A Vector Logo is an infinitely-scalable image format. It’s our preference for starting a web project because we’ll be able to resize your logo to the perfect specifications needed for your website.
- Is your logo pixelated? It isn’t a vector, and will be difficult to use for your new website?
- How to know if your logo is a vector: It will have the file types .AI, .EPS, .SVG, and sometimes .PDF.
- What is a vector logo?
Now that you have the structure, content, and branding down, the fun part of the design process starts with choosing your website’s appearance. A great way to get better express what you are looking for to your developer is by showing examples of what you like. These could be competitors’ sites, themes, or completely unrelated sites.
The idea isn’t to copy your competitors but to give your web developers an idea of what you are looking for on your site. This allows them to put a whole new spin on the website that will often keep you the customer happy with what you paid for which is why it is important to include this in your website checklist.
Bringing in experts for Copy and Imagery
High-quality content is what can make a website really shine. A site using original imagery specific to your business will always feel more authentic than a site with stock imagery found on the web. Of course, it’s more expensive to hire a professional copywriter or photographer, but it’s something we recommend considering at the start of your website project.
Connecting with a professional photographer or copywriter in your area or through a freelance service such as Fiverr, allows you to bid for the quality of copy or imagery you need.
Copywriters will help you write professional content for your website that will utilize best practices and boost your SEO scores. They typically charge per word, so the longer the page they write, the more they’ll charge. Services like Fiverr and Textbroker are excellent tools to find copywriters.
If you want a website with an authentic and custom appearance, hiring a photographer will be your best bet. Local photographers will typically find a time to meet with you and learn about your project needs and then make a quote. Custom photography costs usually start at about $2000 and go up from there.
Is your Website Checklist done & you’re ready to get started?
We offer a full arsenal of solutions here at Zenatta when it comes to web services, that come with Zoho expertise as well! Schedule a FREE consultation to learn about our custom site solutions, templated site solutions, branding kit options, maintenance packages, SEO consulting, and more!