1. What exactly do you want from your site? – You need to know exactly what you want. Be prepared with a detailed brief and you will get asked a lot of questions by your web team including the following.
2. Why? – what is the purpose of your website? Is it to get sales leads, is it to inform or is it there just to look pretty? How will you measure whether your site is working to achieve your goals?
3. How much? – what budget do you have in mind? A range is fine but it needs to be predetermined in order to get want you want to achieve.
4. When? – have a timeframe in mind but also be realistic. Allow for contingency as well as your own resource to get all the information together and the sign off process.
5. Design – come in with ideas of what sites you like and what you don’t like. Think of all the websites you have visited recently and comment about what you do and don’t like. They don’t need to be relevant to your industry but just get a feel of how you envisaging it looking.
6. Functionality – understand what your site needs to do for you? This includes not only immediately but also in the future to allow the site to be built in a way to handle this. Are you thinking online payments, forums, news feeds etc?
7. Project Team – ensure there is sufficient resource within your staff to help the process run smoothly. There does need to be a chief in order to steer the project clear of having too many Indians.
8. Search Engine Optimisation –how will people find your website? Have you thought about how your market will find you once your website is up? “Build it and they will come” really doesn’t fly in the world of web – especially not with millions of websites competing for attention in search results. This not only includes integrating with your traditional marketing but also the famous three little words, Search Engine Optimisation.
9. Upkeep – not only setting aside budget for this but also how do you plan to keep the site fresh into the future and a champion to enable this.
10. Who are the best people to do all this? – is it really your workmate’s nephew’s friend? Make sure you shop around to find the best fit for your needs.