Needed to Start your Custom webSite
and Other Things you Should Know
Target Completion Date
To ensure we reach your target date of completion please submit all the pieces for your web site up front. Development will commence on the site once ALL the essential elements are received. Please note that this is necessary in order to cut down on time, costs and confusion in building your site. If you are organized, and ready to go, your site could be up and running quickly.
Due to the fact that I am an individual freelance website designer the time required to complete your site is based upon my workload at the time.
Domain Name & Website Hosting
If you do not already have a domain name and/or hosting I can assist you with choosing and ordering the ordering process and assist you in choosing the best domain name for your business.
In most cases there is no reason to purchase more than one domain name. The only reason I could think of you needing multiple domains would be if you plan on having a separate site in the future for one of the brands or you are trying to capture “Type-In Traffic”. Type-in traffic is when someone goes to the address bar of their web browser and types in keywords.com instead of performing a keyword search on a search engine. Then you would set up a permanent 301 redirect that tells the search engines that the url has been permanently moved to the new location, your main website.
I would not use any of the domain names for anything else, as they can actually dilute your SEO ranking because they count as the person going to different sites.
Provide the text for your site in an MS Word document with all of the major categories and subjects that you wish to include on your site. Organize and group what is most important and what is related together. Be creative, unique and to the point in your verbiage.
When you write your text think from the perspective of the customer, and not from your viewpoint. What do THEY want to know? How detailed do you need to be? Do they really care that your dog's name is Spot? Remember, you have a very limited amount of time in front of some of your most perfect prospects, so present yourself accordingly.
If you need some ideas and tips on how to write your content please read my "How To Tips"
Collect all the graphics, photos and your company logo. Digital images are best but I can scan them for you if necessary. If you do not have a logo, I may be able to create one. If you have any promotional material, business cards or letterhead please supply me with a sample so I can ensure that the website compliments your existing branding.
Music/Video - Top Reasons not to Auto play
Stop and think twice if you are considering the addition of background auto play "mood music" or auto play video with sound on your site. Most users find these annoying for one or more of the following reasons.
The only people who should have sound on their website are those in the entertainment industry and even then the user should have total control over when they would like to listen. It is the polite thing to do.
Never risk annoying your visitors, you do enough work trying to get them.
Research the competition and provide links to the top 3 - 5 companies that you view as your top competitors. Provide me with the Competitive website address and describe what you like and dislike the most about their site. Type in the search terms you would use if you were trying to find your company. Who comes up in the top 3-5 and why? What can you do to get there?
Provide the goal(s) of your web site. What do you want your site to "do." Is it simply an online brochure or more elaborate with interactive forms and online ordering, etc. If you don't know what you want the site to do then figure it out before proceeding or you will be wasting your time and money.