Launching Your Website On Time: A Checklist
A typical question during an initial consultation always seems to come up: “Everything sounds good, but how fast can you get this new site up? We need it up yesterday.” The answer usually goes along the lines of “very quickly, assuming timely approvals and all content and items we need are ready to go”. What, more specifically, does that mean? Too often a good website is delayed due to a lack of knowledge and planning of what exactly will be involved to launch on time. We want to help you launch the best site possible, so here is a list of what to prepare in advance of getting started:
Site Purpose and Marketing Plan – Your web professional can help guide if you have not given a great amount of thought toward this subject. Here are some questions to below to consider:
- What is the purpose of the new site? To sell products? To promote specials? To feature your impressive professional staff?
- What type of return would be considered successful for your investment? More leads? Product sales? More speaking engagements now that your image is updated?
- Who are your competitors? What do you think they’re doing really well online? What makes you different?
- How will people find your site? What is your marketing plan? How does the website fit into your overall marketing strategy?
- What is the tone of the site? Simple? Professional? Edgy? What types of adjectives and feelings do you want to evoke?
There are many more types of exploratory questions to help guide this process. Hopefully, the sample above will get the wheels turning and ideas flowing.
Visual Assets – Is your branding current and complete? Do you have a logo, color scheme or company style guide? If you are selling products, do you have professional photography of each item from multiple angles? Do you have high quality photos of your staff and office you would like to showcase? Any previous video or media presentations? Having these files readily accessible is a great first step.
Content – This can often be the most challenging piece of the puzzle to complete for good reason – it is time consuming and difficult to do well. Quality content can be vital to the success of your website and the portrayal of your image. Every page of your site will need quality copy: staff biographies, company history, latest news, service or product descriptions and more. Our advice is to be realistic with your timeline. If you cannot anticipate being able to produce this content within the desired launch time of your website, there are many great copywriters for the web (Windfarm even provides this service to our clients). Another advantage of using an online copywriter is that your content is written with search engine optimization in mind – a smart investment.
The above are all important ingredients in finalizing a great website. Often, the quality of the website can be directly proportional to the quality of the above items mentioned, so invest in as high quality assets as you can. And if you need to launch a website quickly, find a committed web team, and be as prepared as possible to provide the key items to help everyone meet that goal.