List audience demographics – who you want to reach and how this will be accomplished. Be as specific as possible (age range, profession, interests, etc.)
In order for your site to appeal to your primary audience, what style or “voice” will you use (business, conservative, artistic, trendy, playful, humorous, etc.)?
Choose a primary color scheme for the background, text and graphics.
Describe your vision for this site? How will visitors interact with it? Provide sketches or other mockups if possible.
List a series of website URLs with designs or schemes that appeal to you and give reasons why.
List 6 to 8 major topics for your site (i.e. Products, Services, Information, How to Contact us, Galleries, etc.). Base these topics on the visitor’s view of the division of information on your site. Major topics will be broken into sub topics (i.e. Information may be broken down into Links, Frequently Asked Questions, Tips, etc). Too many choices is confusing. 7 or 8 links is the maximum amount a visitor should confront. A site with hundreds of pages can easily be created using 7 or 8 general topics. Adding a few additional general topics will allow room for expansion under those headings.
Choose types of components to include other than still photos and text (shopping carts, image galleries, survey forms, feedback forms, opt-in newsletter management, referral forms, social media links, etc.)
Do you have any custom photography needs (still photography, product shots, stock photography, video…)? Will you supply all of the images required or will we be responsible for creating and acquiring images, graphics, logos, etc. For any images (and other materials) supplied by the client do you own the copyrights? If not do you have the rights to use the materials on the website? Please check with the copyright owners if unsure to avoid any copyright violations.
How often during the year do you anticipate updates to the website? What types of information will be updated? The less frequent a site will be updated, the more general a site should be.
Do you need domain registration and/or an ISP to host the site?
If you do not already have a domain name (i.e. chericalvert.com) choose 5 names. You’re choices may already be taken. You can check www.internic.net for availability. Your domain name should be easily identifiable and easy to explain over the phone and print on a business card. Most short names are usually taken; long names can be good if they click in someone’s mind. Try out your ideas on several people. Then ask them in a few days if they remember how to spell it. Try out the name on the phone to see if it is easily remembered and spelled by others. Resorting to lengthy explanations or spelling means problems.
What process will be used to integrate the website into the business on a daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis. Who will manage each aspect of the website once it is complete (i.e. e-mail management, system maintenance, new content, testing forms and external links periodically, marketing, etc.)?
How does your business and product benefit your target audience? Please specify a clear list of bullet items of benefits. What can your business offer your visitors, what’s in it for them, how can you help them? What problems do your prospects have that your business solves?
What type of e-commerce solution do you require?
1. Flat file page, non-interactive. Visitors must print and fax order or phone order in.
2. Single page secure order form that sends each order as an e-mail.
3. Multi-page secure order form with shopping cart, visitors can pick products while continuing to look at the site, change their order, preview order and submit on-line. Order sent as e-mail or downloaded via FTP from the server.
4. Full e-commerce shopping cart with automated real time credit card processing, integrated with backend database.
5. How will shipping and handling charges be calculated for on-line domestic and international orders?