Clear Purpose - Before you begin thinking about a website, you need to have a clear purpose in mind for the site. You most have a clear purpose and then an efficacy check to determine if websites can actual achieve what you have in mind.
Domain Name - Your domain can be your companies name, and many will argue that it should be. Reasons to alter this may include choosing a name that is easily communicated.
Prioritize - Build your site methodically. Often it is easiest to allow your main menu to guide you through this task. It does not have to be in any order, however, before adding items to the main menu, ensure that you have the pages needed.
Pick Your Team - Will your website be developed in-house or will you contract an agency to complete the task. Item #1 is a clear factor here. Are you comfortable with the team you choose to achieve your "Clear Purpose". Regardless of your choice, choose the best person internally to manage the process.
Hosting - Research where you will host your site carefully. Changing hosts is not terribly difficult, however, it can be time consuming and a resource hog on staff of every level. When choosing where to host your site, realize hosts generally specialize. Not all hosts have 24/7 technical support or have an extremely technical staff.
Planning for Development - The written part of your website should be at least 80% complete before you begin. You should also have 80% of the images and the primary images. The images should be extremely clear. You can always lower than clarity, you can seldom improve it after the photo is taken. Also, bad pics distract from your hard labor.
Promote Your Site - Your site has the potential of being the focal point of your business, especially if your are e-commerce or collecting revenue online. You should list the ways to drive traffic. This will include but not limited to:
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- Industry Periodicals/Directories
- List Websites
- Partners such as adjacent industries
- Every guest speaking event should include your site in intro
Plan Your Project - Plan your project including milestones and dates. This is critical to an on-time delivery. There will always be delays and hurdles, but you have to minimize this as much as possible.
Website Analytics - Collect analytics from the beginning. Analytics include all visitor's actions. If you don't measure it, how can you improve it. You should have plans to quickly implement collecting analytics.
A/B Test - Fine tune your website constantly. Depending on the number of visitors you receive per month, you should identify A/B test winners every month.