Site Planning Checklist

The items on this checklist outline the basic tasks you should perform while planning your Web site. Address each listed task and issue, and sketch your site's framework:

checkbox Visit similar sites to see what you like and don't like, and figure out how you can make your site unique.
checkbox Be sure that your site specifies who you are and (if appropriate) your organization's identity.
checkbox Pick colors that evoke an appropriate emotion for your site. Also ensure that your color scheme presents a clear contrast for easy reading, analyze whether the colors work to further your site's goals, and try to use colors from the 216-color Web-safe palette.
checkbox Verify that the main point of your site is clearly identified up front, not buried a page or two deep into your site or missing altogether, and that each page clearly identifies its purpose.
checkbox Classify your site to yourself so that you don't lose your focus. For design purposes, label your site as commercial, informative, educational, entertainment, navigation, community, artistic, or personal or as some other type of site.
checkbox Design the site to reflect how users will most likely navigate through your pages.
checkbox Ensure that your site offers viewers a few ways in which they can contact you—physical address, e-mail address, phone number, carrier pigeon, and so forth.
checkbox Name your files appropriately.
checkbox Create easy-to-understand button names that clearly reflect your site's structure.
checkbox Divide your content into logical units. Don't divide one page into two just because it seems like the page is getting too long. On the other hand, if you see a logical break in a long page, by all means, divide the page.
checkbox Analyze your information, and make your most important information the most accessible.
checkbox Determine ways in which you can create a unifying look or theme throughout your site. Don't forget to include a logo and use consistent navigation links on every page.
checkbox Include at least one element that will encourage users to return, such as a daily or weekly updated element or a chat room.