New Website Checklist
This resource is a interactive PDF which can either be used on your computer or printed off and kept with you while you start your journey into getting your new website created.
The new website checklist is for somebody who is looking to get a new website created for their business, but don’t want to do the technical bits themselves. It will allow you to remain knowledgeable and in control every step of the way. It will help you make the launch of your new website as smooth as possible.
Use this checklist to guide you through the steps it takes to get your website done. From your initial thoughts, through to launch.
How to use the new website checklist
Go through each point in the checklist and once you feel like that point has been researched enough, or completed, check it off.
If you are using the file on your computer, make sure to save it after ticking it off – this will ensure that when you next check back, you can see your progress.
If you are struggling with the interactive PDF, below is a typed version of every item in the checklist:
Research and initial thoughts:
- Do some initial research, what do you want from your new website? Do you want it modernised, working on tablet and mobile, how do you want it to reflect your business? Write all of this down and take your time – this is a very important step.
- What is your website budget? Although you may have no clue how much websites actually cost, do a little research and set a benchmark – it will help you and the person you find, set a reasonable budget for the work.
- Have you included extras within this budget? Search engine optimisation, logo design, social media images etc. Itemise these within your budget.
- When do you want/need the website done? Your chosen designer/developer will usually take at least a month to complete your website depending on the site. Bear this in mind when setting your rough launch date.
- Start putting together your website design brief. If you need help with this, I have put together a free template that you can use here: website design brief template
- Make sure you have covered everything in this initial stage. Do you feel that you have covered everything you want from your new website?
Finding the right person for the job:
- Your initial thoughts – are you looking for an individual, agency or something else? This will determine what you search for when looking for the right person.
- Do a Google search to find a designer in your area. Your answer to the above point, will determine what you search for, ‘web designer CITY NAME’ usually works well. Change up your search terms, you never know what you might find by taking a little extra time at this stage.
- Can the person you have found do every stage of the job – design, development, any extras you need? Do you need to find an additional person to help with this?
- If you have a few people to choose from, send them all your website design brief in an email with exactly what you are looking for.
- Meet up, or do a Skype call with any that you like the sound of. It’s important that you get along with them and that they understand exactly what you are looking for.
- If they have not offered already, ask them to provide you with a quote and their terms and conditions for the work.
- Check these quotes against each other (if you have more than one), are they covering everything you have asked for? Is it within your budget? Remember, if it’s a little over your budget you can go back and negotiate. Be reasonable with your negotiations, you both want the best out of this project.
- Check the contract/terms and conditions – who will own the website once it has launched? Are you prepared to stick with them for further maintenance and development? What are the terms and conditions? Are you happy with it all?
- Sign the contract and pay any upfront fees.
Getting the project started:
- If not already created, ask your chosen designer/developer to put together a time schedule for the project. This will allow you to keep on top of the project and any tasks you need to complete to help the process run smoothly.
- Your designer/developer will likely send you design mockups, and ask for your opinion at different stages of the project. Give your feedback in as much detail as you can – you want the best out of your website. Make sure to provide your feedback in one email each time if possible – this will help your designer/developer make the changes quicker.
- Schedule in your calendar any of the tasks set to you by your designer/developer.
- Once your designer/developer has given you the okay, test the website thoroughly on your computer, and any other devices you have (mobile, tablet etc). If you find any bugs or something doesn’t look quite right, let them know so that they can fix it before launch.
- Check over all the website wording, are you happy with it? Note that at this stage, if you have any further changes, your designer/developer may charge extra.
- If you have an existing website, make sure to ask your designer/developer what specific date and time they will be going live so that you can make sure you let any clients, users or staff know about it.
- Before this date, save any content from your existing website you want to keep. Take screenshots if you want to keep a record of the old site, and ask your developer if there is any content that you might lose in the transfer.
- Ask your developer if they have not offered already, to send you a message when they are starting the website launch, and when it is finished, so that you are aware of the process.
- Once launched, double check the website and test it again as you did in stage one of this section.
- If you are happy with the launch, thank your designer/developer and inform any clients/customers that you are back online.
- Make sure you have all the website, hosting and domain registration login information saved somewhere to reference at a later date. If you don’t have this, ask your designer/developer so that you can keep a record.
- Pay your designer/developer the final invoice within the time set in the invoice.
Congratulations, your website has now launched!