Photo of a book saying Plan and a pen to illustrate a simple website checklist planner

A Simple Website Checklist For Web Design, Build And Content

Thinking of getting a new website? Sorted out a domain name and branding? Great! But hang on – there’s a lot more to having a website designed and built than just thinking about the pages you need and the navigation. Here’s my simple website checklist to help.

Photo of a book saying Plan and a pen to illustrate a simple website checklist planner

This website checklist hopefully covers all the key questions to ask your web provider and points to consider in order to get a detailed and accurate estimate and save time and headaches.

What to consider for your website design

  • Template or bespoke (the latter is very expensive)? Squarespace or WordPress (and what about hosting packages?)
  • Will you see a choice of web designs?
  • Will the initial design and layout proposed for each page be available to view on a live site?
  • How many revisions to the visual design does the estimate include?
  • Can your budget stretch to commissioned photography or do you need a more affordable option with stock imagery? (Squarespace offers a selection of free images to use and Unsplash is a brilliant resource for free photography though not idea for a sizeable website as these tend to be one-off shots so what you gain in freshness and creativity, you lose in consistency of style).
  • Do you require drone footage or a film or carousel for your home page?
  • As well as the usual pages (Home, About, Approach. Services, Contact, Blog), what about the legal ones (Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy, Terms of Use) and the small essentials such as the 404 error page?
  • Will your site be available as a PDF or on via a collaborative online design tool such as Figma?

What to consider for your website build

  • Will your website be both desktop and mobile friendly?
  • Will it be supported across major browsers and platforms?
  • How about integration with your social media accounts?
  • What about integration with an existing email marketing platform?
  • Do you need to have a favicon created and embedded to help with brand recognition? (This is a small icon of your logo that appears before your URL and on your Google listing.)

What to consider for your website SEO

  • Who will sort out your keywords and long tail phrases for SEO? (This may help: How To Choose Keywords Without Head-Scratching.)
  • Who will create the on-page SEO (keywords seamlessly woven into headings and copy)?
  • Who will create the on-site SEO: (keywords for meta titles, meta descriptions and image alt tags?
  • Don’t forget to identify local areas to target for geographically local SEO.

What to consider for your website analytics

  • Who will sort out your Google Search Console integration? (A set of tools and reports used to measure, manage and improve your web presence – and its health.)
  • What about Google Analytics (GA4) integration? (This provides a vivid snapshot of traffic statistics.)
  • You’ll also need to set up and populate your Google Business Profile so that potential clients and customers can find you easily on Google Search and Google Maps.

What to consider for your website copy

  • Do you need existing copy up-dated and brought into line with your new brand identity/tone of voice?
  • Or do you need copy written from scratch? If so, you need to have a copy style created.
  • Will you provide all the background information yourself or ask the copywriter to undertake research?
  • How many sets of copy revisions are included?
  • Do you need a content marketing strategy so that you can plan ahead with blogs on your site (Google loves to see fresh content added) and with posts on socials?

Sorted? Obviously the six million dollar question to ask is how long everything will take from start to finish. (See How Long Does It Take To Create A Website?)

I sometimes receive web content enquiries because the client has a web design in place and wants the site to go live within the next two weeks. Why, oh why? It’s an impossible request, unless a clear and comprehensive brief has been nailed, and there’s just one person to deal with direct and who  can feedback the same day they receive the copy.

Sadly, it rarely happens.

Written by Caroline Gibson, freelance copywriter who can not only create a handy website checklist but also recommend some rather good website designers and web builders.

E: caroline@carolinegibson.co.uk T: +44 (0) 7957 567766

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