28 Dec The Ultimate Website Checklist: What You Need Before Getting a Website
Never before in the short history of the internet, the website has been this easy and feasible. Though, making a good website that can still trip you up. The first thing you need to do is to establish the core values your website, and business, if you have one with it, are to be based on. Once you know what message you’ll be sending to site visitors, you can start to work on what your site should include.
What you need to keep in mind when getting a website designed is the essential and optional. Essentials are required for the website to be actually operational at all. Although your website will be able to run with or without the optional items, it is important to remember they’re necessary if one wishes to drive lots of traffic to their site.
Let’s have a look at the essential and optional components a website could have.
- Domain: The domain name is the address. In order for someone to see your website, they have to put this address into their search engine, and your site will show up.
- Hosting: Hosting refers to the physical location of a website – a set of files on a server that are transmitted to user computers when they search for you.
- Your business logo and source files: Your logo is the icon you use to represent your company. Even if you just use text, the text is often in a specific font, with certain attributes that may be hard to reproduce exactly without a digital copy of your logo.Source files refer to the original and editable files that make up what you see on the website.
- Create business social media accounts and put them up on your website. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are absolutely essential and depending on your industry, you might want to get YouTube, Pinterest, BlogSpot or Digg accounts too.
- Content: You don’t have a website without content. Sure, you have the bare bones of the site up, but there’s no reason for people to visit it without content. So, give some time to putting together and gathering content for your site. Certain written content is a must-have. This includes:
- The About page which summarizes what the site is all about;
- A title and short description for every service you offer;
- Contact information;
- Testimonials from customers, while not absolutely necessary, build up the credibility of the website;
- Employee or board member bios aren’t obligatory either, but they also make the website appear more trustworthy;
- Photos are a necessity. Remember that original photos are always better than stock images. However, some images are better than no images. So if you have to get stock photos, so be it.
Before we get into the optional components, it’s important to note that checklists for different websites differ depending on what kind of site you’re getting developed and what features you would like to have for the site. So what’s optional for one site might actually be necessary for another.
- SSL certificate: This provides secure, encrypted communications between a website and an internet browser. If your website needs to collect visitors’ info or has to process payments, this is a must-have. SSL certificates keep your visitors’ information safe.
- If your website is an e-commerce site, you’ll need the following:
- Payment gateway like PayPal to make the purchase process a simplified and secure one
- Images and descriptions of all the products you sell
- The prices for each product and service
- SEO: Set aside a budget for SEO. Search engine optimization is the process of getting traffic from the “free” and “organic” search results on search engines. All major search engines like Google and Bing have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. The use of SEO allows a website to place higher on these listings.
- Blog content: Blog content keeps visitors interested in your website so that they keep coming back for more.
- Digital advertising: Have a budget set aside for this as well. Digital advertising increases the flow of visitors and potential customers to your site.