Are you going to hire a team to build your website? The planning stage is the most important part of the entire process. All of the important, global decisions are made at this time.
Before you bring in anybody to help you build your website, make the big decisions about what should or shouldn’t be included in the site. Modifying your concept later could be a relatively expensive proposition. Once the framework of the site is built, it is more difficult to add new features or alter the overall structure.
So first, determine your core goals:
• What do you hope to achieve with this website?
• Who is your target audience?
• How will you know when you have achieved these objectives?
Before you bring this team on board, get a firm understanding of the exact results you want your website to produce. As you move through the website creation process, this vision will remind you of what you wanted to accomplish in the first place.
Although there will be many things that will change during the creation process (e.g., specific design features, different applications, your unique content), your core goals will remain constant.
Building Your Team
You are going to make the global decisions and direct your team managers. As the head of your business, you will have a lot of issues that you need to resolve.
Usually, you won’t have time to deal with the minutia; you are going to need help.
When you settle on your website’s global core goals, it’s time to find somebody to manage your website creation. The team project manager will regularly report back to you with developments. You can then make the biggest decisions.
It’s best to find somebody with a lot of technical experience. They should easily communicate your vision to the web designers, developers, and programmers.
Following Your Lead
The team project manager will use the core goals you identified to create the project charter. This is a concise and nontechnical document that will guide the creative process.
The project charter will include critical information about:
- target audience,
- feature requests, and
- other important information to develop your site.
This is different than your core goals, in that the project charter is a constantly changing document. Experienced collaborators will offer their suggestions and ideas about how to effectively turn your ideas into reality.
Other Important Blueprint Documents
Once you approve the project charter, your project manager can meet with the web designers and developers to produce blueprints for each page.
In website creation, these blueprints are known as “wireframes.” They include such things as diagrams of complex web applications (workflows), and technical specifications to guide your web development team.
The next document to consider is the site map. This defines how users will navigate your website. It includes such things as a list of pages, links, and a hierarchy of page organization.
When these blueprint documents are completed, the project manager can then work with the technicians to build the first prototype of your website for your approval.
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