Here are several things to consider as we prepare to develop a site for you. Keep in mind that this is written for companies but most of it is applicable to personal sites as well.
Who Are You
- What does your organization do?
- What is your mission or vision?
- What products or services do you offer?
- What do you do that others don't?
- Why should someone use your services?
- What are your key messages?
Who is Your Audience
- Is it clients?
- Is it friends?
- Are you a money making venture or a not-for-profit organization?
What is Your Look
- Do you have a logo?
- If so, is it available in digital format?
- If not, should you have one?
- What do you like in a website? Show me some examples if you can.
- What do you dislike in a website? Show me some examples of this, too.
- Do you prefer horizontal or vertical navigational bars?
- Do you have special fonts or graphics that you want to use?
- Do you have permission to use those items?
- Do you have copy of material you want to include on the site?
- What do you want people to say about your site?
What makes You Different
- What makes you different from your competitors?
- How do you want your site to differ from your competitors?
- Why would someone stay at your site?
- Why would someone buy from your company or pay attention to your message?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and their web sites?
What is Your Contact Information
- Where are you located (if that is important)?
- Can you provide a map of your location?
- Will you want contact information on the site?
- Will you be using people's names, or generic contacts (like "Orders")?
- If you have several contact people, do you have short descriptions of what they do?
- Do you have a fax number?
- Do you have a toll-free number?
- Don't forget to provide the little things, like the area code and the postal code
- Do you have email addresses?
- Do you intend to sell something on-line?
- If so, have you looked into forms of payment?
Marketing and Promotion
- Do you have a marketing plan for the site?
- If so, please provide a copy of that to me
- Are you going to market it yourself or hire a professional to advise you?
- Search engines
- I will need a short (25 words) description of your company, organization, or site, to submit to search engines
- When writing this, use keywords that describe your company, preferably ones that are not common
What You Can Provide Me With
It is preferable for these items to be provided electronically or on disk
- Photographs in .jpg and .gif
- Do you have people's permission to reproduce photos they took or photos of them?
- Samples of brochures, pamphlets, flyers, newsletter, posters
- Make sure these are up to date
- Clean copy of your logo and any other graphic art your company or organization uses
- Text to be included on the site
- Make sure it is edited and up to date
- Use simple, short sentences (they are easier to read than dense text)
- Use bullets
- Use headers
- For tips on writing for the web, see e-write and Writing for the Web
- Any other media that you want on your site
- Any other organizations you want to link to or provide contact information to
- Who do you intend to use as a host?
- Who do you intend to use as an ISP?
- How often will you want the site updated?
- We can discuss the process and fees for this
- How will you provide material for updates?
- Will you be doing your own editing of updated materials?