Plan 2 Dot Com

Step 1. Create A Winning Website Plan

A successful website needs strong foundations, and that means

planning is critical.

Plan2dotcom is a planning guide for businesses that are just venturing out on the web for the first time.

Answering the questions below will help you develop a plan that will meet your marketing objectives and provide a clear logical brief for the design team.

Marketing Focus

Nobody knows your business better than you do.


What is the purpose / objectives of your website?

-----Here are some examples:

  • Provide customer support for our Offline business

  • Raise revenue through eCommerce

  • To build credibility through a web presence

  • Provide information to members or customers

What are your Marketing goals?

-----By having clearly defines goals for your website's performance,

-----you can measure the return on investment for your website.

-----Here are some examples:

  • Reduce the cost of servicing customers by 20% by {date}

  • Get 2500 unique website visitors to the site by {date}

  • Sell 350 packs via the website by {date}

  • Sign up 80 new subscribers to the eNewsletter each month

Who are you targeting?

-----To design a website you need to know who you are designing

-----the site for.  A clear target market and an understanding of

-----that group will influence every decision that you make about

-----your web development.


What value and benefits can a visitor to your website expect?

  • Why will visitor’s book mark your website?

  • What is your unique value proposition?

Step 2. Structure and Content

Site Map

On a separate piece of paper develop a hand drawing of the site map.
(This is the structure of your website at a glance)

  • Include all the pages that you want in the initial design.

  • Include the structure showing sub pages.


Below is a list of generic Web Page to give you some ideas

for your own business.

  • Business Information

    About Us
    Business Background
    The Vision
    Mission Statement
    Management / Key Personnel
    Meet the Team (Staff)
    Awards / Profession Affiliations
    Contact Details
    Street Map / Directions
    Employment Opportunities

  • Marketing and Sales

    Online Catalog / Brochure / Shop
    Product / Service descriptions (Pictures & Videos)
    Pricing & Packages
    Special Offers / Events
    Benefits & Outcomes
    Schedule / Calender of events
    Testimonials (Customer letters or quotes)
    Photo Gallery
    Promotional Images (Downloadable high & Low res. images)
    Lists of Re-sellers / Distributors
    Press Releases
    Free Stuff
    Forms (Feedback, Orders, Surveys, Information requests)
    Advertising Banners (Advertising space can be sold)

  • Customer Service

    Members Section (Registration required)
    Account Details
    Product or Service Updates
    Training Materials / Manuals
    Forms (Information requests)
    Support Contact Details
    FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • Other information

    Useful Links
    Articles (Relevant information)
    Help Section / Search
    Recommended resources (Books, Tapes/CDs, Videos, Assoc.)
    Research Findings
    Glossary Of Terms
    Site Map

    • What other pages (specific to your business) do you want-to include in your website?

    • Have a look at other websites of businesses in your industry-for ideas and reference.

    Navigation System

    Navigation must be clear and logical.

    Apply the “three clicks rule”. Make sure your visitor can find whatever they're looking for within three clicks. If not, you run the risk of them becoming frustrated and leaving.

    How do you want the Navigation to work?

    If sub navigation is necessary, how do you want it to work?
    Is there a website that you like that demonstrates what you have in mind?

    Will there be different navigation areas?
    If YES, How will they be grouped?
    ( E.g. Services together, Business information together)

    Will more pages be added to the site over time?

    If YES, approximately how many extra pages (links or buttons) to the main navigation?


    -Web Page Content

    Type the copy (text) for each web page into a word document.
    ( Presenting your brief digitally will reduce the cost of design )

    • At the top of each page, put the page heading.

    • If necessary write a brief description / the purpose of each page or any special comments.

    • The important part is the copy (text) for that page.

    • Underline any text that should be a hyper link.

    • Remember to fill each web page with key words and phrases to improve your ranking in search engine listings.


    Collect all images to be used on the site, including company logo.
    Images for the web should be 72 dpi (resolution)

    Is photography required?

    Is scanning required?



    • Request for information or quote

    • Research & Questionnaires

    • Bookings

    Hyper links throughout the text body

    Email links (What addresses (e.g. sales@ info@ peter@ )



    Step 3. Briefing The Design Team

    It is critical that the design team clearly understand your business, your image and web design objectives. So answer all of the Step 3. questions below.

    Come up with a short list of web sites that you like the visual design of;
    ( E.g. Image portrayed, Colour scheme, Page layout)

    Design Brief

    Look at your existing Corporate ID.

    Collate and Present all of your current advertising and marketing materials to the designers for reference.

    Home Page

    The Home Page is Critical, it's the page that most of your website visitors will enter your site through.  So it needs to be inviting and interesting.

    The design of the Home Page is critical because it sets up the entire website development process. If you have a good idea of how you want the home page to look then draw it on a piece of paper.  Alternatively there might be other websites that you like which you could show your web designer.

    Choosing The Right Design Team

    Here are some essential questions that you need to ask when selecting a design studio to develop your website.

    • Find out who is responsible for project management. The Project manager is your point of contact.

    • Find out who is designing the site (graphics and code) and make sure they are present at the initial briefing stage so they can get a thorough understanding of your vision and the task at hand.

    • It is my suggestion that in the quote you get the design team to state that you will own the copyright on the website. This allows you to do whatever you like with the website, including updating it yourself or with another designer.

    • The quote should include uploading the site to your web host space and be thoroughly tested on a variety of platforms and browsers. It is important to know which Internet browsers display your site effectively. Older browsers struggle with new design processes.

    • Ask how their web design system works. (from initial designs through to uploading the site)

    • What is their policy if you do not like the initial design that they create.

    • How many hours of client initiated changes are included, when the website is complete?

    • Ask the project manager. “If you have supplied everything that the design team requires and answered all of their questions, How long will it take until the website is completed and uploaded to your server on the Internet?”

    • What, if anything will they do to get your site listed with the major search engines?

    • Which web hosting Co. do they recommend?

    • What images do they have that you can use? Are they free or what is the cost per image?

    A Final Note

    I hope that you find this basic questionaire a helpful guide as you take your first steps towards Web Site Marketing.

    If you require more specific support to devlop your online presence, Future Success provides consultancy and training.