Developing a website requires considerable preparation. If you’re thinking about developing a new website or upgrading your current website to WordPress CMS, we’ve come up with a 12-point web process checklist that will help you get it started and get it done.
1) Make contact
Please notify the IMC web team before you start planning by using the Web Project Request Form.
2) Appoint leadership
Determine who will serve as your organization’s project manager for the creation (or redesign) of your website, and also who in your organization will “own it” for the long-term.
3) Define target audiences
First who, then what. Articulate the main target audiences your website should serve and prioritize them in rank order.
4) Understand your needs
Determine your high-level web goals and measurements (your key measures will allow you to know if your new site is successful and also help you keep it that way).
5) Do some research
Engage in competitive benchmarking. How are the websites of your competitors structured? See if that helps you generate ideas for your own website (ideas for what not to do as well as ideas you like).
6) Build your information architecture (IA)
Also known as the “navigation” for your website, determine how you want your web users to interact with your site. Expect the IMC team to provide expert guidance in creating and testing your IA.
Your JCU website will be expected to use the University WordPress header and footer. Based on your audiences and goals (Step 4) and your IA (Step 6), the IMC team will help you pick the right WordPress template and tailor it to suit your specific web needs.
8) Writing for the web
Good quality web content takes serious time, and writing for the web is very different than writing for other media. Less is definitely more. First, evaluate your current site for content that is outdated, trivial, or redundant. When writing new content (or updating current content) for your new site, you will want to make sure you have good keywords and keyword phrases (so your target audiences can find your site easily using a search engine like Google).
9) Training (and “the build”)
Flow your copy, images, and other web assets into the IA and the page layouts. For this step, your key team member(s) will be trained on how to use WordPress CMS to manage your web content.
10) The “walk-through”
The IMC team will work with you to check your new website from top to bottom to make sure the structure, content, images, and links are ready to go. In most cases, a final face-to-face meeting will be the forum to make decisions on any content or pages where questions remain.
Any issues identified in the walk-through will be fixed, your Google Analytics account will be created so your website statistics can be measured, and IMC will post your site live to your designated URL.
12) Website maintenance (and continuous improvement)
WordPress will help you manage and stay on top of your web content much more quickly and easily than ever. If you want help using Google Analytics to assess site performance, to make strategic marketing-related changes to your website, to add new features, etc., IMC is here to help!