With 2017 rapidly approaching (can you believe it?), your company may be considering a re-design for your website or even something brand new. We are big on checklists and to do lists around here, so it seemed appropriate we help you prepare for a new website with our web design checklist. This web design checklist will help you organize, both for your internal team and for your website development partner.
This information will make the process go much more smoothly. Trust us! And if you are unsure whether it is time for a re-design, we created this guide for you! Obviously, if you need help or are looking for a quote, feel free to contact us. For now, here is what you need to get started.
Internal Web Design Checklist
Your internal web design checklist should include anything you and your company will want for your new website. This should be undertaken BEFORE engaging your web design firm. The more detail you have, the more efficient the process.
Note that every conversation related to your website should be married to your marketing goals. Know what your customer wants and find out how the website can help provide that for them. Instead of thinking only about what you need, consider what your customer needs and why. Use that to guide you when preparing your list.
- List of pages you want to keep from your existing website (if this is a re-design).
- List of new pages you want to create.
- Text for each page of the website divided into Word documents – the sooner you get started on this, the better!
- The kind of photos (or video) you want to use on the front page of your website. Here are some rules to help you.
- Refine your message into a short (a few words) and long (a couple paragraphs) format.
- Any corporate or bio images you want incorporated.
- A good quality digital copy of your logo/brand mark. Here are some best practices for using it.
- Any additional PDF or other documents you will want on the website.
- Your domain name registrar information – where you registered and renew your domain name – with login and password information (this can be kept by your IT department or provider as well).
- Your current hosting information including control panel or content management login information if you have it.
Provider Web Design Checklist
The provider web design checklist will help you put together information specifically for the company designing your website. This is the information we request of all our customers and it saves a tremendous amount of time. The more thorough you are in gathering this information, the smoother the process. You’ll note that several of these follow up on the internal web design checklist.
- List of pages/links you want in your main navigation bar.
- Images and graphics you want to use on your website, especially branding and logos.
- Any previously created collateral (brochures, business cards, etc.) that might be useful when creating a design for your company.
- Colors you like and dislike to help give guidance on the overall look and feel of the website – can be culled from your logo.
- Items to highlight on the front page – could be anything from your location to a featured product to company news.
- Company tagline or elevator pitch to use as part of front page message.
- List of your competitor websites. You should keep a list of these for review regularly.
The last item on the list is so critical, in our opinion, we have an entire section just for it:
List of websites you like and why.
You may have never even considered what you like in a website. Many have not. But, knowing what you like and, more importantly, what works when you visit a website is critically important to deciding what you want for your company website. It is unlikely you would redecorate your house or buy a new car without at least looking at a few of them first to decide what you like (and don’t like). The same should apply here. Things to look for include:
- Do you prefer bright primary colors or muted, monochromatic colors, or black and white?
- Color Design
- Do you like lots of white (minimalist) or dark and bold (high contrast)?
- Do you appreciate modern, cutting edge looks or does your business need something more rooted in tradition?
- What kinds of images do you like and how are they used?
- How are the navigation links arranged and the text? How does that apply to your business?
- Mobile Optimization
- How does it look on your phone and how is that different from the desktop?
- Where is the text on the page and the navigation?
- How large/small are the images?
- Where is the contact information, the logo?
You should have a list of between 6 and 10 of these available with descriptions of what you like about them. This is absolutely invaluable information to any designer.
Having good checklists ready before working with a web designer will make the process go much more quickly and, ultimately, result in a great website that works for you and your customers.