Checklist for planning your website

Enthusiasm does not replace a lack of preparation. The purpose, business model, target market and competitive strategies should be determined even before you draw the blueprint of your website.

Purpose: what is the site for?

What are your business and personal objectives?

What type of business model should you choose?

  • Transactions
    • sell your own products
    • sell other business products (reseller)
  • Information publishing
    • offer information to share knowledge
    • provide information to attract traffic and generate income through sponsorship, advertising, subscriptions, memberships, affiliates
  • Directory, index
  • Vanity site: online presence only
  • Any combination of above models.

Target market: who is it for?

  • Who will be your visitors? Draw a profile (eg age, gender, lifestyle, culture).
  • Will you attract new visitors or existing customers
  • Will your audience be local or global?
  • How competent are your potential visitors with online technology (ability to navigate)?
  • Are you looking for qualified leads or the greatest number of visitors?

Competition: how do you compare?

  • What differentiates you from the other million websites: originality, customer service, price, product?
  • What does your competitor’s website look like?
  • Why would people buy from you? What’s your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
  • What are your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)?

Content: how will you communicate your message?

  • What information and how much should you provide? How much does your audience knows about your business?
  • How many sections? On what basis (eg type of audience, product) will you categorise your information?
  • How will your audience take action (eg enrolment, feedback, contact or order form)?
  • Do you need visuals?

Other planning considerations

  • Your budget
  • Your type of products and services.
  • Your human resources
  • Traffic size expected
  • Administrative implications.

Marketing Cues tip

It is much better to create a small, concise and focused site than a large one where web users can lose interest and purpose.

Posted in website design, website marketing