1. Set your purpose and goals.

What is the purpose of your website? Is it to gain publicity for your business? To sell your inventory? To rally support behind a cause? It’s important to identify your website’s purpose, as well as your target audience. You should also define your goals.

2. Create a budget.

Whether you’re an established, mid-sized organisation or a fledgling start-up, you should always set a budget for your website expenses. This will probably include funds for web design, programming, and web hosting (though other expenses may apply).

3. Create a content strategy.

What kind of content will you be displaying on your website? Content is basically anything that gives your visitors information. It can include, but is not limited to:

  • Blog posts
  • Documents
  • Video
  • Pictures (such as in a gallery)
  • Slideshows
  • Embedded social media feeds (such as your Twitter stream or Facebook page updates)

Your content strategy is the way that you plan to present your content over time. For instance, you may want to publish two blog posts a month, and put out a free quarterly report for your subscribers to download four times a year. Since content is such a vital aspect of a website, bring in help if you need it. Hire a writer who is experienced with writing for the web, and invest in some professional looking pictures of your storefront and employees.

4. Structure your website.

Decide what pages you’ll be using and what features will be on each one. Most websites have an About and Contact page, but the pages you use should meet your business’ needs.