Getting started with your WordPress project can seem a daunting task. There are simple steps you can take to make it easy for you and your service provider.
Trying to get everyone on a team working together needs organization, and for communication to flow the right way. Often, your ideas of your needs change as the project goes forward, and it is necessary to outline the plan in order to keep a project within scope.
How can you get your ideas clear in your own mind – and communicate them to others? Here are some ideas for better understanding just what you’re trying to accomplish:
- Decide on your audience. Often, we tend to design blogs we like – and developers, friends and others give their own opinion, based on what they like. Think, instead, about your target audience. Who are they? What other sites do they go to? (You can design in a similar style to these sites – or deliberately contrast with them.) What might your audience want? Make a decision if you want a full custom design, a customization of a pre-made Theme, or simply a header and opt-in update.
- Decide what look you want. You might want the look of your site to be calm and restful, for people to spend a lot of time – to comment, or read other articles on your blog. Or, you might expect them to come to your site for a quick hit of information, so the look of the site could be more exciting and vibrant. Find a few existing sites that model the kind of look you want; examples are great for keeping a team on track.
- What do you want people to do? WordPress is sometimes criticized for encouraging very, well, wordy blogs. Think about what you want people to do after reading your blog – go to related sites? If it’s about movies, include links to movie sites, in your blogroll as well as in articles. If it’s about open source programming, name-check some top sources. Integrate multimedia, audio, writing, photography, or a forum. Provide information and enrich the experience of the user. Start your own U-Stream channel and create an audience for your materials.
- Consider your call to action. If you have a business site, you probably want people to contact you for help with suitable problems. e-mail is great, so provide e-mail access or an opt-in box. Include an e-book or a free video offer. Most people, though, like to call if they will turn into a final sale. Think about how to include your contact information in such a way that it’s very handy for people; one click away might be one click too many.
- Set up your sitemap. Very simply list the areas of your website, something as easy as identifying where you would like to channel your audience.
- Specify a budget. Decide on a budget. This is often a missed part. You will often get what you pay for. So do not skimp, the lowest price is not always the best. Online marketing websites usually have a lower price than in the real world, but be careful – with low prices, you will get low quality. Often times those same sites will become compromised and you will need to pay someone else to clean them up and re-upload them to a new location. We have fixed many sites done at a very low price that became infected with trojans and malicious scripts. So find a reputable company with a long track record.
Standard Market rates:
$500 – $1K : Simple landing pages, website concepts
$1K – $3K: Basic corporate website with basic features and functionality .
$3K – $7K: More advanced functionality, CMS, CSS, magazine based, e-commerce.
$10K – $30K: Custom applications and Social Media Networks.
Again, get examples of sites you like. Your favorite sites of a similar kind to your own are often the best source.
There’s nothing that improves your ideas more than looking at how others have taken on similar challenges, and succeeded – or failed. In fact, you might find your own ideas changing as you look at how others handle things. All the better; the more thought you put in up front, the quicker you can drive to a successful conclusion at the end. Which leads us to Part II: 5 Ways to Get What You Want.