Website Design Checklist & Layout Plan
Reduce the need for costly revisions by planning well before starting any development. Get this typical site layout & checklist list covered and it will help ensure a smoother delivery for you and your developer. It is very common for developers to fall out with their clients or vice versa, because this list is not covered properly. Scope creep is usually down to a delay in delivering content or realising that certain further functionalities are required.
Brief – Write up a Brief for yourself, your team and your developers, including the Designer, Developer and Marketer. If you do not write up a brief, then there is no point of reference for you or your designer, developer or digital marketer.
Domain name – What is it, do you own it, who has control of it ? Have access available with your username & password
Hosting – Where will you host and can they manage your new solution, which should be in your own name. Have access available with username & password. We recommend Siteground – click here
Project manager – Who will oversee the new site development for you ? Some one person has to be responsible for keeping on top of things, making decisions and communicating between all parties involved.
Lead time – When are you going live and what are the Milestones between now and then ? Brief, Design, Development and initial SEO.
Budget – How much will it cost to plan, build, optimise, market and maintain this new website? And what are the payment terms. Be realistic, but be very clear, as you will have to fit this project in to your cash flow.
Goals & Objectives — What results do you want – set measurable targets, install metrics. Ensure you get a measurable return on your investment and have the web design agency partners commit to making this happen, or as best they can do. If they do not believe in the viability of your project, this is where they should walk away. Ideally, they should have skin in the game, such as a bonus or incentive for achieving certain results for you.
Problem – What problem will you solve ? For you or your customer – why would anybody buy what you are about to offer online? Does anybody buy it offline? Make sure there really is a market for your product or service and at the price you charge.
Target Audience — Who is it you want to service? Talk to that persona or so called avatar, get some feedback. You cannot afford to spray promotion, so try to niche down as much as possible, then start engaging with that audience. Look at retargeting as an approach to stay front of mind. But avoid spamming the wrong people.
Look — How do you want to be seen as a brand? Big, Corporate, Eco, Local, Arty? Make sure the look or brand you use across your Social channels, is in sync with the look in your website.
Design — Get a custom design Mockup done after the designer reads your Brief and sees your planned Layout. Let them know which sites you like or do not like. Much like using an architects drawings. This is the best way to stay on budget, because tweaking at the design stage might cost hundreds, but tweaking at the development stage will cost thousands.
Content — Plan a Menu structure, list the pages and then prepare good content for each one and work with the Designer on look and user interface, the Developer on navigation and layout, as well as the Marketer on flow. But do have the content all ready before the developer starts building. You will want written, maybe videographic and definitely original photographic content. Write a page about each area of your business and another page for each and every individual service you offer. On top of that you will want to use your Blog to write posts that help support each of your services pages.
Functionality — What smart stuff do you want in your website? Tie this down as this is where a lot of the expense comes in. especially if you need to integrate third party apps.
CMS ? – Content Management System – Can you edit the website or who will do that for you. This has to be a given, that you can add, edit and delete content without needing to get the developer back in to make changes.
eCommerce – How will you take money securely? Have you got your payment gateway sorted out? Ensure it will work with the web platform you want to use, whether it is Magento, WordPress with WooCommerce, Joomla, .Net etc
Booking – How will you handle bookings or enquiries? Is it a simple email or a plugin for booking?
Digital Marketing — Who will look after this to get traffic to the site and convert visitors to buyers. The website is just a tool, so someone needs to make sure that it gets found and make sure visitors convert to customers. There is no point building a dam in a desert.
Measuring – Once targets are set, check the metrics regularly, so that you have a plan and can see how you are doing. If you use a Digital Marketer, get a summary report weekly and a progress meeting monthly..
Our Business website comes with unlimited pages, but here is a typical navigation layout:
Sample website Structure
– Service 1
– Service 2
- Projects or Case Studies
– Project 1
– Project 2
- About Us
– Mission Statement
- Clients or Testimonials
- Contact Us
Note: The navigation above is for demonstration purposes only and website pages can be titled at the client’s request. You have the ability to add sub-sections to your navigations. Like using Microsoft Word it is a simple ‘wysiwyg’ interface, simply meaning that you can see exactly which pages and posts you have and where they are to be found. It should be easy to find and easy to edit or delete your own content.
Help: Yes there is quite a bit to this and it is all relevant. So if you need assistance, just call us or email us and let us help get it right first time.