Part 1: The Plan
The first thing to do is to begin with a clearly focused plan. Understand that the more time and effort you spend planning your site, the more likely you are to succeed. The most effective websites are developed with clients that are involved with their project. Nobody knows your business better than you.
Ask yourself, "what do I want my site to accomplish?" This is very important because it will determine everything that happens afterward. Are you selling merchandise? Is this website for profit? Are you promoting a business? Will this be a community site? These are just a sampling of questions that will help you determine your site’s purpose.
After determining you purpose you must also target your audience. It is important to know who your primary audience will be, understand what they want, how they will find you, and convey relevant information effectively. This information will also help you develop a plan for promoting your website post-launch.
Part 2: Take Action
After determining your audience and what you want them to do on your website, you need to determine and purchase a domain name. This can be done through many domain registrars like GoDaddy, Yahoo, and Network Solutions. We recommend holding off on hosting until a plan has been developed to program the site.
Once you have your plan and domain name, you should start building a rough site outline that will detail how your pages should work together. This does not have to be a final site map, but more like a visualization of your plan. A good outline will have sections and page names clearly defined as well as descriptions and any special features within them.
The next thing that should be done is to determine who will be in charge of creation of the website’s content. Most clients write content themselves, but FDC can provide content writers upon request. After determining who will write the content, this person should begin creating the content for the website.
While creating the content, you should decide whether you want to edit the content yourself in the future. This will help you determine if a CMS is needed.
Part 3: Design and Implementation
The next thing that needs to be done is developing a design for the site. This might include a logo design as well as layouts that will provide the structure of the site. FDC will provide an agreed upon number of revisions and design choices. The designs will be based upon a site map that we create using the outline that you provide us.
After the design phase FDC will begin creating your website and will periodically schedule revisions and provide milestones for decisions on designs and delivery of content. Ideally, it is during this phase that hosting will be determined and set up to use the domain name that was purchased.
After the website is complete, a full site review will be scheduled in which you will be allowed to see the entire site before launch. If you approve the site will be launched.