There aren’t too many businesses these days that don’t have a website and the ones that don’t are usually new businesses and start-ups. So what are the steps involved if this is your first trip into the online world?

Unfortunately setting about getting a website can be a daunting task especially when you are trying to cover all the bases with one hand while getting a new business off the ground with the other.

What do I need to do?

This is something that your web developer can help you with. Most developers will have a design brief they can supply you with that will cover key areas of content, what material is required and who will need to supply/source that information and the corresponding resources.

What will the web developer do?

Like the question above there is no definitive answer to this question. The important thing is that you and your web developer agree at an early stage as to where the boundaries are situated between your tasks and theirs and the timeframe for the delivery of each.

Importantly, take the advice of you web developer, they will have the knowledge and experience to steer you in the right direction.

How long will it take?

Again, this will vary with the project. The functionality required for your website, the ability for you to be able to supply material required by the developer and the volume of work the developer has, will all have a bearing on the timeframe from design to launch.

How much will it cost?

It’s a bit like buying a car – there are numerous models each appealing to a specific use and buyer. You can’t compare the price of a top-of-the-range off-roader to the latest economy size fuel miser because they provide different functionality and therefore have different price points. Unfortunately one of the biggest traps you can fall into is comparing prices from different developers who aren’t quoting to provide the same functionality in a website.

Once it’s up, is that it?

Unfortunately not. In the early days of ecommerce a lot of companies, big ones included, assumed they could make a modest investment in an online presence and sit back waiting for the phone to start ringing and the cash to pour in. A lot of those shortsighted bandwagon passengers are still smarting from the hip-pocket pain.

With more and more focus on content management marketing and social media marketing you can’t just launch a website in isolation. A strategy for managing content, attracting traffic and engaging with your target market will be integral to your online success and give you a guide as to where effort will need to be directed, not only in the first months following launch but going forward for the life of the business.

Of course neglecting this aspect may mean the life of your business is short, the upside being it will save you a lot of work.

It all sounds over-whelming!

There is no doubt it does take some effort, forward planning and thought to build and launch a successful website, but by being aware of the process and taking one step at a time you can work through the steps at a pace that will allow you to give each phase the attention it needs.

For more information read our “Getting Started” checklist for details of each step in the development process.