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Logo So You Want a Website?

by C. Scott Bragg


So you want a web site?

Before investing a considerable amount of time and money in a web site, you should first ask yourself these six questions. The answers will determine the specifics of the site that will fulfill your needs. There is no right or wrong answer to these questions. But please, be honest with yourself.

  1. WHAT do you want your website to do?
    Do you want it to boost your sales, your exposure, your ego? Or do you want it to simply spark conversation, cause someone to stop and think?

  3. WHY do you want a website?
    This ties closely to WHAT, but is less specific. Why choose this medium to convey your message? Why would people come to your site? Why would they return?

  5. WHO is your target audience?
    Are you aiming your site at a specific demographic group? At fans of a tv show, at your current and future customers? By knowing your audience, you can tailor the site to better communicate in language and symbolism that is familiar to them.

  7. WHERE do you want to host your website?
    Do you want it to be at a large national provider that will offer more stable and faster connections, but at a cost of personal attention? Or would you rather sacrifice speed for a place where they know you by name, and can give that special, personal touch? What is more important to you?

  9. WHEN do you want your site up?
    Many times, the best ideas are the ones that take the longest or are the more expensive to develop and deliver. Is there some event that you wish to coincide with the launch or your site? The opening of a movie, the publishing of a book, the phase of the moon? When is not necessarily always an important question, but it must always be answered. If there is no deadline, then the site is never completed.

  11. HOW do you want to convey your message?
    Do you want content over flash? Or is it more important that the viewer be wowed by technological marvels? This goes back to WHO your target audience is, their expected technological expertise and what they expect from a web site. Don't just copy the form and functionality of another site. Make it your own.

There are many ways to ask these same questions, and there are other questions that remain. However, by truthfully answering and exploring these six questions, you will go far towards an outstanding and successful web site. I'd like to hear from you about these questions. Do you think they make sense? Am I overlooking something obvious? Did they change your life and make you want to sell all your worldly posessions, wear nothing but saffron robes and live in a temple in Tibet? Let me know. I look forward to hearing from you. You can e-mail me through the form at MAILME.html.

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