Checklists are wonderful to use because you can simplify a rather complicated task, like building a new website. When you have steps to follow, as well as reminders about the essential things to add, you can construct a fantastic website without running into unnecessary setbacks. Below is a new website checklist to help get you started.
What You Need vs. What You Really Need
Okay, before getting into the checklist, I wanted to take a moment to discuss “needs and wants.” This is a conflict people deal with on a regular basis, such as needing new shoes versus wanting new shoes.
Be sure to ask yourself the following questions when deciding on what is truly essential for your website, niche, and business:
- Who is my target audience? And more specifically, who is my IDEAL client?
- What tools and features does my website need? Will some of the features I want actually clutter my site or will they really be useful?
- What are the ultimate goals for my new website? (For example, I want my website to cut down on 80% of the phone calls and emails I get from those who are not my target audience)
- List the top 5 websites I like. Why do I like them?
What you think you need is almost always different than what you really need, so going through these questions and processing them is time well spent.
The New Website Checklist
1. Choose a domain name
A domain name is the first thing you need when creating a website, because it is your digital real estate. People will automatically content your domain name to your brand, so choose carefully. Always opt for a paid domain name over a free one.
2. Get a business logo developed
The face of your company is going to say a lot about how trustworthy your site is, as well as give imagery to your brand name. You want this logo to last for many years and to be easily recognizable so it is worth investing in your brand.
3. Create a business email account
Having an appropriate business email account is oftentimes more professional-looking than a simple @aol.com or @gmail.com one. Sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. People want to see an @yourcompany.com or something similar to get a sense of credibility and reliability.
4. Decide on a CMS (Content Management System)
There are multiple platforms out there such as WordPress, Wix, Joomla, Weebly, and Squarespace. Each have their advantages and disadvantages, so choose the one that works best for you. WordPress is our favourite because of its flexibility, ease of use, array of plugins and themes, popularity, and Google-friendliness.
5. Find a suitable website developer
Many people build their own website for personal purposes, but when starting or running a business or organization, few people have time to develop a profitable website. A good website developer will be able to walk you through the process in a stress-free manner, from hosting and emails all the way to a published website with training to do your own updates.
6. Procure an SSL certificate
Customers want to know their sensitive data is protected and Google is now putting emphasis on it. Get that “https.”
7. Enrol in a newsletter subscription service
One of the best ways to be gaining a customer base is to have a newsletter that keeps them connected to your business. Many templates and themes have services you can integrate in the design, but a good choice is always MailChimp.
8. Obtain good quality pictures for content
Content is more than just words. Enrich your website with high quality images that deliver visual statements. The best is to hire a professional photographer so that you have original images, but online stock photography sources work well too.
9. Google Analytics
Make sure your website is signed up for Google Analytics as soon as possible. You will be able to measure your advertising ROI and other important elements of your website. If using WordPress, ensure the Google Analytics plug-in is installed too.
10. Utilize free SEO tools
11. Create the required pages for your website
There are certain pages all websites need that customers want to see. That would be your About page, contact information, and any information or licensure numbers that may be required by law for your industry. Put together an outline that will become your main navigation for the site.
The takeaway from this new website checklist? These 11 steps are absolutely essential and will give you a great start in creating a responsive and productive website that is enriched with the right amount of features and content users crave. You will have a better SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking from the beginning by following these tasks and creating excellent content.
We would love to be of help with some or all of these steps. Feel free to contact us today.