You’re about to hire a web designer for your new website and you’re seriously wondering within yourself, what do I really need to consider when creating a new website?
You are not too sure if there are any web design checklist out there. Or if they really matter if at all they exist. But, yes these checklist do exist and YES, they are very important too.
Of course having to look up a checklist before creating your website might cliché but, building a website without fixing the basic functionalities that are fundamental to your website might lead you to consciously making regrettable mistakes that will affect your website later on.
So, you want to avoid this by all means. And I’m here to help you do just that, by walking you through a checklist of important items to look out for while creating your new website.
I know you might still be wondering, is it really important I get a website for my business? Of course, the short answer is YES! But, let’s clear the air.
Why you need a website?
Besides getting visibility, traffic and clients for your business, one of the main reasons you need a website is to create online presence and gain instant credibility as a brand.
There are many other reasons your business needs a website as listed out here.
But beyond these, you also have your own personal reasons for needing a website. And no matter what they are, before you embark on creating that world class website for your business, below are the important details you should look out for…
Your domain Name
Table of Contents
Your domain name is by far one of the first things you need to look out for while creating a website.
So before you get started, you want to ask yourself, what is the best domain name for my website and how do I go about getting this?
Reason behind this question is very simple. For a business website you’ll definitely need a domain name that captures your business name.
Where your preferred domain name is already taken by another entity, you have to come up with an alternate name that still captures your brand.
This is very important.
Same thing applies with a personal or corporate website. You need to decide on a domain name before getting it over to your web designer.
Where you don’t have an idea on a domain name that can work, you can the decide to get some expert opinion from your web designer.
Together with your designer you can choose the most suitable domain name and the perfect top level domain that will work for you, based on your goals.
The web Hosting
Web Hosting is a service that provides a platform where you can host your website and its content online so the website can be accessible to users.
Your web hosting plan is one of the important things to look out for while building a website.
And this is because there are different kind of web hosting companies and web hosting plans. And some of these web hosting companies are very reliable while some are not.
Also, there are different web hosting plan for different purposes. Based on this, while some web hosting plans can get you great results for your website some will not provide same result.
For instance, if you’re planning to build a website that’s as large as Facebook, you can’t use the same hosting plan you’d use to run a small news blog that updates content on week days.
To figure out a plan that really works for you, explain your goals to your web designer and work with them to evolve a hosting plan that will deliver on your expected goals.
Web Hosting Duration and Renewal
The next thing to look out for while creating a website is to consider the duration of your web hosting plan.
Usually for most websites, there are web hosting plans that run for 1 month, 6months, 12 months up to multiple years.
By default most web developers go for the one year web hosting plan.
Regardless, you can still ask your web designer the plan they intend to use for your website and the duration it’ll last. Also, ask for renewal option and timeline.
If you’re too unfamiliar, you can still go ahead to request to be guided on how to make renewals on your own if you plan to manage the website yourself.
With advances in web development, there are so many platforms you can use to power the back end of your website.
But, before deciding on choosing a platform, your decision should be based on what you want to achieve with the website.
So, if you want to build a personal or corporate website for instance, you can easily settle for a CMS platform like WordPress.
If you’re going for a small or medium sized ecommerce store on the other hand, you can consider a Magento or WooCommerce.
But where you’re considering a more robust website like Jumia, a large social media platform like Facebook or forum like Nairaland, you will need to consider writing the code.
As someone that’s not exactly experienced in the field, this is a very important item to look out for before creating your website hence you will need some advice here, based on your goals.
Front end Design and Branding
Do you have special features you need for your website’s front end, including special colors and branding?
This is the next item you need to watch out for in your web design project.
Find out, do you have an existing brand? If yes, do you want the website to have same colors as your brand?
Usually in most cases, brands prefer their websites should have same colors with their brands. But there are always some exceptions where there are slight deviations from brand colors.
Find out if there’ll be anything like this for your business. And if there is, communicate this to your web developer as clearly as possible.
Also, be sure to provide brand color suggestions where necessary.
And even when you don’t need website branding different from your existing brand colors, you still need to explain this to your website designer so you both can come up with an acceptable branding that will work for your website.
Who manages, updates and takes charge of your website after it is all set up? You need to figure this while setting up your website.
Because in some cases, even if you’re tech savvy enough to manage your website yourself, you may not have enough time to do it if you run a solo business.
On the other hand, based on the features on the website, if you have an in house team in place, you may still need the team to be trained on how to manage the website after it’s all set up.
Luckily, a handful of web design companies have a plan that includes website management services just like we do over here at victorwinners.com.
Find out if your website designer has such services in place. Where they don’t have it, consider coming up with a plan alongside your designer on how the website will be managed.
Remember, this is a very important item on your list of things to check out on your website. You don’t want to have your website set up and abandoned.
SEO & Content
Does your website design plan include a full SEO and content development in the plan or that will be coming up differently?
This is an important item you need to sort in your checklist while setting up your website.
Usually, most website design comes with a basic SEO plan that keeps your website visible on the search engine.
And you can always upgrade or ask for a more advanced SEO that can get you more visibility and traffic from the search engine.
So, you need to find out clearly about what’s involved when it comes to search engine optimization and how it’s going to help your website.
Again, you need to consider the content. Find out, who’s providing a bulk of the content. This includes your logo, pictures or images, videos etc.
Usually the client provides content that’s needed at least in the development of the website.
But there are exceptions where client provides a few content or just the idea and the web development team provides the rest of the content.
You need to understand the arrangement and how it’ll work before you embark on creating your website.
If your web developer is providing the content, find out the extent of content they will provide. And afterwards, always make sure to review the content to be sure it matches what your brand or your business represents.
Your website loading speed is a very important factor that can make or break your website.
And there are two reasons for this viz:
a.) People scroll away from your website if it takes too long to load.
b.) The longer it takes to load your website pages, the lower your rankings on Google.
As much as possible you need to test your website loading speed to be sure it’s loading within average limits.
You can ask your web designer to run this test for you. You can also run a test using after the website is completed, using this guide here.
On the other hand you can also run this test yourself by actually loading the website online via the URL, to find out the duration it takes to load.
Although you may not always get the best results doing it this way, you can have some idea on what’s going on.
One other top item you need to tick on this checklist while designing a website is the website back up.
Find out, is there an existing back up for your new website, just in case something goes off? If yes, where is get to find the location?
Why you need this back up is to be sure you have something to hold back on just in case something happens to your website.
Usually for most web hosting companies, your website will be backed up on your web hosting account.
But beyond that, you also need an external back up where you can still have access to it at some point.
Find out if your web designer provides a back up with your website development plan. If not, ensure this is added to your plan.
Designing a website is a very important step you can take to get more visibility, traffic and success for your brand.
But, you might make a lot of mistakes if you don’t take some steps to ensure that certain things are put in place before you begin to create your website. That’s why using this check list as your guide will save you a lot of stress while building your website.
But beyond what we already have on this list, you can also add some other important items that matter to you, based on your goals.
PS: Review your website after it’s all set up, just to be sure everything is all working out, exactly the way you want.
Now, there you have the top web design check list to check out for while creating a website
So, do you need a website design firm that can give you all of this and so much more for your website? Contact our team now.
Right now, it’s over to you! Are you currently experiencing any challenge with your business website? Drop a comment below, let me see how I can help you.