Congratulations on deciding the launch a new website. You surely got everything you need to get moving with construction, right? You’re not going to forget to anything, are you? The thing is that even the most professional web designers can sometimes make mistakes, and that’s why a new website checklist comes in handy. Not only will it help you adhere to successful design practices, but it will ensure the essential components don’t get overlooked.
Wants vs. Needs
Before introducing the website checklist, let’s have a brief chat about wants versus needs. Similar to needing food but wanting pizza, you need to realize that giving into your wants all the time can be dangerous.
Ask yourself want is truly essential to your website, industry, and business goals. Here’s some questions to put you in the right frame of mind:
- Who is the target audience? What do they want?
- Who is the ideal client? Does the website adhere to that buyer persona?
- What tools and features will make the backbone of the site?
- Will some features make my website needlessly cluttered?
- What are the performance goals for my website? (Are you aiming for full mobile optimization? Quick load speeds? Targeting the correct demographic? More conversions?)
- What are the top 5 websites that I love and how can I use elements of those designs?
Take time to process the answers to these questions before you start building your website. If you do, you’ll gain new insight and be able to make an amazing website.
The New Website Checklist
Choose Your Domain Name
A domain name is more than just the characters that go into a URL. A name is important, and every entity worth giving attention to has one. Just like people automatically connect your name with your face, your domain name will be connected with brand identity and image. Choose a domain name that encapsulates what your brand is all about.
Also, always choose a paid domain name if you want to be considered professional.
Develop a Business Logo
Apart from the domain name, you need a logo for two reasons: the logo is the first impression and the face of your company. Imagery is important. Furthermore, having a logo is going to make your business more trustworthy and reputable.
Get a Business Email Account
A business email looks far more reputable and professional than an @aol.com or @yahoo.com one, so be sure to invest in a business account.
Decide on a Content Management System (CNS)
WordPress, Joomla, Weebly, Squarespace, and Wix are all considered CNS, or content management systems. Depending on your needs, one platform might be better than the others for you. The favorite for most businesses is WordPress because of flexibility and customization options.
Find a Website Developer
Most people want to DIY their website, but when you’re just starting out, you want to avoid any coding kinks that could slow down your growth. Hiring a skilled web developer will ensure that the entire process goes smoothly—all the way from selecting a host to constructing the website and launching it.
Get an SSL Certificate
Both Google algorithms and real people want security online. Don’t snub the https:// in the URL. Get that SSL certificate.
Sign Up For a Newsletter Subscription Service
Newsletters are an opt-in feature that most people enjoy having, especially when they like reading your content. Many services have templates and themes that can change the design, but if you’re looking for simple and effective service, consider MailChimp.
Procure Quality Photos For Content
No one wants to read blocks of text. Not you, not the target audience. Get top quality photos with a high resolution to aid those who are more visual and provide intriguing elements. While stockphotos are nice, you should always consider hiring a professional photographer, especially if you have products you want to highlight.
Get Google Analytics
Every website needs Google Analytics. Without it, you won’t be able to access metrics about the health and progress of your website.
Use Free SEO Tools
Hundreds of tools exist like Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Browseo.net, KeywordTool.io and many more. Whatever you need, you can find a free tool for it.
Create Pages For Your Website
Don’t overlook the value certain pages. People want to see an about page, contact page, and a services page. If your industry requires licensure, include those numbers on your website, too.
These 11 steps are the foundation of a great website that functions properly and gives potential customers everything they need. Without completing these eleven steps, your website isn’t going to meet the standards and will fall behind the competition. Start off on the right foot. Use this website checklist wisely.