Before we even begin building a website we create a resource folder where we begin collecting information, bits of content, pamphlets, documents and pictures. We need you to provide whatever things you think may be relevant. We also need to know a few things from you, and we need to be able to crystalise your thoughts and ideas about your web strategy.
You may already own a domain name, you may own a dozen, or you may require a new one. In any case we need access to the settings that control your DNS. If you prefer, we can register, configure and manage your domain names long term on your behalf if you so wish. We currently manage thousands of domain names for our clients.
We need what we call a site map. This is basically a description of which pages you are going to display, and what sort of menu navigation system to employ.
For example, this site features:
- A top right navigation which navigate you to the main functional pages of our site such as Contact form and Login screens.
- A left hand side menu takes you to pages about our various products and services.
- A footer menu allows us to add links to less critical areas of our site, but also serves as a sitemap - not only can you get anywhere on our site via a single menu, but more importantly Googlebot can too. If we forget to drop a page into a main menu, or dont feel the content is important enough to promote higher up, it will still appear here and be indexed by Google.
Whilst we can help with sitemap creation, nobody knows more about your business and how it fits into your industry than you, therefore you are the best placed to give this consideration. You need to consider how many pages you are going to add to your site in addition to the inital few that we create for you, and decide how many navigation menus to use.
If you plan to use the built-in product manager, this creates a menu of its own, so we need to figure out where this will go in the overall scheme too.
Note: Ecommerce websites require a different train of thought to content based sites in order to maximise the returns. Contact us about this.
Content is the writing and photography that will appear throughout your website. Again, we can help, but you will have to have the final word. Content writing can be extremely difficult, and writing content for the web (as opposed to writing content for literature) requires a different skill set. We have an article about this in our blog.
Photography is yet another skill. If you have any photography that relates to your business, great. We can source some from web repositories such as iStockPhoto, or we can call in our resident photographer Pip to get some great shots that will show off what you do.
Design and Layout ideas
We need your likes and dislikes about what you think makes a good website layout. Look at your competitors websites, tell us which websites you like and which websites you dont. This will allow us to make sure we come up with a design that suits you. We have a demonstration system where you can see different website layouts in action.
You company logo and existing literature gives us a great start on devising a shceme for your website, if you have a high resolution digital versions such as images, PDFs or MS Word documents, all the better.
Keywords and Keyphrases
We will look at your business and industry and see what your competitors are doing to acheive good Search Engine results. This is just the start and we need you to think of 10 or so key words and key phrases that YOUR customers might enter into search engines. Theres lots more to this, so we will guide you through it when the time comes.