I built my first web site in 1998. At the time, I didn’t really know what I was doing and was just playing the whole thing by ear. Fifteen years and over two hundred web sites later, I wanted to put a check list for new customers to prepare ahead of time before they start working on their web sites. This list will help the customer with their expectations and will move your design along at a smoother pace.
Web Site Check List
Search for keywords that you want the search engines to locate you. Having between 10-20 keywords is ideal, but you should have a separate keyword for each page. When we refer to keywords, we do not mean single words. If you are in the auto industry, for instance, you will be disappointed if you are competing for the keyword “Chevy Trucks“. There are just too many web sites in the world who also sell Chevy Trucks and for the most part, the internet user won’t look for that phrase when shopping in for a truck. A better use of a keyword phrase might be “Wadsworth Chevy Trucks”. You are most likely not going to have as much competition using this term and will rank better on the search engines. If you need help finding quality keywords, you should go to the Google Keyword Tool and seek the proper keywords. DO NOT try and guess which keywords people will search for.
Sign Up For Dropbox. Dropbox is an external hard drive that allows you to share information with others. Once you sign up for a web site, I like to send an invitation to Dropbox. It is free to join and you can put any files that will be used for the web site within the folder. There will be a place for images and text. Please email the recipient when new information is added to the Dropbox because it isn’t very good about informing other participants.
Set up a plan. You should never go into your web site without a plan. Know what pages you are going to want to have on the site. The pages should include: An About Us Page, Contact Information, and a Home Page. These are minimum requirements for any good web site. Other pages may include a list of products, information about your business, or companies that you deal with. The more clear your plan, the easier it will be to make it a reality.
Gather your information. This is the most important thing you can do before starting your web site. This should be done even before you decide upon a domain name or choose a hosting. Why? Because this will help to implement the plan we set up in the last step. Have the information gathered and your web site will be complete in a quick time period. If you don’t have a plan, you are wasting money with your domain and hosting and spending more money with the web designer. I have seen web sites go on for months and even years because the company owner didn’t have the material needed to complete the web site. Don’t be one of these people. You should have the information put together in JPG images, Word Documents, and PDF files. If you have videos, you should have a link for the designer to find them. You should also have all email addresses that you wish to use for easy markup of contact forms.
Buying your domain and hosting. This is the next step that you must follow. We can set this up for you, but you have to come up with a name and place to host the site. I almost always recommend GoDaddy. It is cheap to use and having your domain and hosting purchased from the same location makes it easier to keep everything under one roof.
Respond to Your Designer in a Timely Fashion. No one wants to waste time, especially you. When your designer requests information, make sure that you respond quickly. If a week or two goes by, your web site gets put on a back burner for those who are responding. Just like in your business, time is money, and if you aren’t responding, then you obviously don’t have your web site as a top priority.
I hope these tips help you to build a quality relationship and web site. By following these simple rules, you should be able to have a web site created quickly and efficiently and even save a little money in the mean time.
James Fowler is a writer and web marketer who lives in Wadsworth, OH. He is the creator of http://www.myfivebest.com, a trivia blog of top five lists. Among his interests, besides helping businesses succeed include: his wife, Maggie, their dog and two cats.