Building a new website can be a big step for a business. There are so many things to consider before you even call someone to help you. I find that most of my clients haven't really thought about their website (present or future). They come to me and say they know they need an updated website (which is an excellent first step!) but have no idea where to go from there. I am more then eager and willing to help, but here are some things you can consider on your own to help you prepare the best for a website that is going to make you, and your customers, happy.

1- Know Your Aims
Before you start on a web project, take some time to think about the purpose behind it. Consider whether you want to build awareness of your business in the local area, if you're looking to sell online, or if/how you want to distinguish yourself from your competition.

2- Your Audience
Make sure you know what people will be looking for when they visit your website. Think about who you want your site to appeal to.

3- Website Creation
Once you know what you want your website to achieve, and who it will be aimed at, you can start the creation.

4- Look and Feel
The point of your website isn't just to look nice. It must also send the right message about your business and what you're offering. 

5- Website Usability
The organization of the information on your website makes a big difference to the visitor experience. Think again about your audience and why they will be visiting your website. This will help you plan your website layout to make the user journey as easy and enjoyable as possible.

6- Website Accessibility
Make sure the web company you use builds your site to W3C accessibility standards. This ensures: 
       - people can access your site from different browsers
       - people with visual and physical impairments can access your content

7- eCommerce
Would you like to use your website to sell directly to the public? If so, you will need to build in eCommerce functionality.

8- Content
Content is one of the most important aspects of any website. This includes text and images, as well as rich media content (ex. video). Content is how your site communicates with visitors and will affect your position on search engines. 

9- Search Engine Optimisation
It's important to include the right keywords at strategic points in your section titles and content to achieve good positions in search engine results. Incoming links from other websites will also boost your ranking.

Having a clear understanding of the processes involved in creating a successful website will maximize your chances of achieving your goals. But don't let this article overwhelm you. If some of the talk is to "techy" or something you don't even know where to begin with, that's ok. We are here to help you. We would love to walk you through each of these steps. But even if you have a beginning understanding to some of these points, it can help us work better together to create a website you are going to love.