A checklist when planning a website

A website is a key part of any business in today’s online society and should form an important part of your marketing strategy.

Consider just a few key points and use this checklist when planning a website to ensure it gets the end result you are aiming for.


Who is the website for?

Who is your chosen audience?  Who do you want to attract?  Don’t fall into the trap of trying to make your website attractive to everyone.  It just won’t work.  Think of your ideal customer and plan everything to attract just them.  They are the ones who are most likely to become your future customers and spend money with you.

Aims and objectives

What is your USP? – Why will people use your site and not that of your competitor?  What is it offering that others don’t?  If there isn’t a clear differential then you really need to narrow down your niche target market and give them exactly what they want.  It could simply come down to the ease of use and navigation or that the checkout process is easier.

Decide on content

What type of information will you be using and how will it be structured in terms of navigating through the site?  Will you be using white papers, videos or infographics?  Think about the different types of content that will be used and how they may link together.

Lead capture

Most small business when planning a website want to create more business and one of the best ways of doing this is to create a database from visitors.  To turn your website visitors into contacts and future clients you need to capture their details by use of a sign up form.  Make it clear and easy for them to sign up and offer an incentive in exchange for their details.

Comply with the law

When you collect information and data from visitors to your website, you need to comply with the law.  Even if you don’t have a sign up form but use Google analytics or any other type of tracking, you need to comply with data protection laws and meet the criteria on the use of cookies.

Email accounts

How many email accounts are you going to need for your site?  You may wish to have a generic info@ along with separate ones for existing clients or order queries.  Check with your hosting company how many your plan includes to ensure you are able to have the ones you want.

Integrate social media

Think of your website and your social media accounts as a spider’s web all linking back to each other.  Make sure people can link to your social media accounts from your website and vice versa.


Make sure your website ties in with the branding on all your other marketing material.  The colouring and logo should be consistent across all your marketing mediums whether printed or online.


Make your site stand out with its own personality.  This will depend upon your business aims and your target market but consider if you want your site to fun and funky or whether it should be more formal and serious.


Taking the time to think about the checklist above when planning a website can make the difference between it achieving what you want it to do or not.

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Do you really know who owns your website?

Why you need to find out now who owns your website

Yet again today I came across a horror story.  I was asked to help out with planning a new website for a company that has been running very successfully for a number of years.  During discussions, the CEO told me that they were not getting any response from their original designer and he wouldn’t even respond to a simple request to add a new email address to the site.

I said I would help where I could and if they could give me the login in information for their hosting provider I would set up the new email address for them.  This is where it all started to go wrong.

They weren’t sure of the hosting provider so I did a check on Who.is.  And to my horror, I saw that the registrant, or owner, of the site was not the CEO as they expected but the web designer himself.

So what does that mean?  Well basically, this company cannot do anything with their site if they wish as they do not own it.  They cannot do the rebrand they have planned, they cannot update the site, add or delete email addresses, move it to a new platform as planned or anything else they wish without the permission of their original designer who has is now refusing to liaise with them.

They are left stunned.  The best case solution is that a dialogue can be opened up with the original designer once again and he agrees to transfer the domain to the company he purchased it for.  Worst case scenario will involve a long drawn out and possibly quite expensive legal case, during which time the original designer can take down the site altogether if he so wishes leaving the company in dire straits as much of their work is done online.

You may be under the impression that this is an isolated incident, but I assure you it is not.  I have lost track of the times I have come across this scenario which in a couple of cases has had an incredibly detrimental effect on the business in question.

So just go do a sanity check and make sure you know who owns your website and hope that it really is you.  And if you don’t, start to resolve the situation now before it gets to a critical stage.