Here is a checklist of things you will need to start your new website design project:
Domain Name: See if the domain name is available and if it is register it in your name or company name. Private registration is an option that hides your contact information from spammers. We recommend using Hover.com for registration. Their pricing is competitive and they offer free private registration.
Branding Guidelines: These are the elements that make up your company brand so that your brand stays consistent across all media. These include high quality logo artwork, colors and fonts.
Copy for pages: Organize content by topic. Make sure all copy has been proofread and is free of spelling and grammatical errors.
Images and other media: High quality, professional photography can make all the difference. Stock photography is always an option to fill in the gaps but we always recommend you use your own photos. This will convey value to your image. Check that all stock images are properly licensed.
SEO: Define key phrases and words and make a prioritized list. Define your geographic area. Are you a local business with a defined service area or do you sell your product worldwide? Here is a great SEO Starter Guide provided by Google.
Social Media: Make use of the social media outlets that apply to your business and focus on establishing a robust presence. Don’t spread yourself too thin on social media platforms that do not pertain to your audience.
Website Hosting: In order to publish a website online, you need a Web host. The Web host stores all the pages of your website and makes them available to computers connected to the Internet. All website hosts are not created equal. Shared hosting is the least expensive. You are sharing space with hundreds of other websites on a server and security risks are higher in this type of set up. If one site gets hacked, the others on the server are more likely to get hacked. Remember “Cheap hosting is not good and good hosting is not cheap!”
Analytics: Make sure your website is set up to capture web data and analytics. This valuable information will allow you to continually improve your website going forward. Analytics will provide data on who is visiting your site, where they are located, and what search terms they used to find you. Google Analytics is the leader in this arena and is a free service.
Security & Backups: You can prevent loss of data and protect against malware and other damages by properly setting up site security and regular backups. This can be done through additional software installed on your website.