Building a new website can be as exciting as it is trying. You obviously can’t wait to publish it and send it out to start attracting people to your business, but are you positive you’re not forgetting anything important? People make mistakes, and those mistakes are common on websites, especially when it’s your first time constructing one.
That’s why we have drafted up this checklist for you to use.
What You Want vs. What You Need:
Before getting into the checklist, let’s talk about design and why it’s important to think about needs and wants. Many people who make a website for the first time think solely about what they want, not want the website needs, and they end up with a cluttered mess.
It’s the same as “wanting” to buy new clothes or shoes and ending up with a wardrobe full of garments you really don’t need. Your customers don’t want to see that kind of mess either.
That’s why you need to ask yourself the following questions:
The answers to these questions will help you figure out what is truly essential within your website, niche/industry, and business.
The New Website Checklist:
1. Select Your Domain Name
Just like some businesses need a storefront with a signboard to sell products and services, you need to claim your digital real estate with a domain name. The domain name becomes your business title, so to speak, and people will associate that precious URL with your business. Choose wisely.
2. Design a Business Logo
Second to the domain name is the business logo. The logo is the face your brand. It becomes the identity and a crucial part of the overall first impression. Without a logo, people will have difficulty recognizing your brand.
3. Add a Business Email Account
It might sound harsh, but no one wants to see your email from the eighth grade on a business card. You should have a business email that ends with @yourcompanyname.com or .org. Otherwise, you’re not going to be considered reliable or professional.
4. Decide on a Content Management System (CNS)
There’s dozens of CNS out there, like Wix and WordPress. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Do your research and choose the one that is within your budget and offers the features you need to succeed. Most people like WordPress, but those in more creative industries tend to prefer Wix. The choice is completely up to you.
5. Find a Website Developer
If you want a profitable website that runs cleanly and smoothly, then you should enlist the help of a website developer. They can help you with hosting, coding, emails, and even with building your website and getting it published.
6. Grab an SSL Certificate
Google has started putting emphasis on getting an SSL Certificate; and people are also on the look out for secured websites started with https://. Without that, people will pass your site by.
7. Get a Newsletter Subscription Service
Newsletters do two things: they get you the emails of your subscribers and help those people stay updated to any changes on your site. This helps with email marketing. The most popular service is MailChimp but others exist, so research your options.
8. Procure Quality Photos For Content
Pictures add depth to your content and give your site visual appeal. If you have a physical location or branded products, consider hiring a professional photographer.
9. Sign Up For Google Analytics
Google Analtyics is a must for all websites. Without it, you won’t be able to access valuable information about the people using your website. If you’re using WordPress, make sure to install the Google Analytics plug-in as soon as possible.
10. Use Free SEO Tools
There a many free SEO tools out there that can simplify your life. Some of the favorites include Google Search Console, KeywordTool.io, Browseo.net, and Screaming Frog. Whatever you want, there’s bound to be a free tool for it.
11. Create Pages For Your Website
Finally, you need to add the essential pages to your website. Those include the contact page with updated information, like physical address, business email address, phone number, and business hours. You should also have license numbers and certifications present on the website and an about us page to deliver pertinent information to visitors and potential clients.
Now that you’ve see the 11 foundational steps to building a new website, be sure to use them! Without implementing the steps on the new website checklist, your website won’t meet the standards of your industry. You will be behind before you ever begin, and that’s not how anyone wants to start out. So, use these 11 steps wisely and succeed.