This is first article from the series How to plan and manage your website. Its purpose is to warm you up and start thinking about your web project.
How much human resources do I have?
Website Development includes different types of skills and usually at least three people: Web Designer, Copywriter and Developer / Programmer. In case you are on your own, you will need to gain knowledge for all three areas. Many webmasters specialize in just one of them and outsource the rest of the work. When working for a client, you will also need to know how many people will be editing and publishing content.
What is my budget?
Try to estimate your costs with the project. Here goes everything from hiring people, buying photos, applications, web hosting fees, etc,…
How much time do I have?
It could be quite a challenge to build a site in planned time line so I recommend you to set realistic time goals, especially with larger projects. That way your motivation level will stay high.
What technology am I going to use?
Depending on your needs, you will have to decide what technology you will be using. This is vastly influenced by human resources and purpose of your website.
Static Vs. Dynamic Sites
Use of Databases
Wherever there is some input that needs to be stored, you will need a database.
What are my Technical Resources ?
By this I mean Web Hosting and managing of domain name or several names. Hosting type should be chosen based on your website needs. Some websites for instance, can live on shared hosting, while others need a dedicated, and more expensive environment.
What is going to be your domain name? If you have several domain names it is wise to create redirects that point to your primary domain name.
According to your answers you can now define what kind of project you are going to work on. This will help you later on when you will be setting goals and making decisions about your website.
by Sue Conger and Richard Mason. Planning and Designing Effective Websites is a very useful text for beginners who try to plan website for the first time. Although written in 1998 things have not changed much regarding planning a website. Technologies have changed, but planning process stays the same. Book offers lots of examples and successfully introduces newbie to the world of creating websites.