Everything I know about websites I’ve taught myself. Mind you, this is over the course of some 15 years. So let’s say you want to do it yourself without the help of others.
What do you need to know?
- What technical skills do I need? What is FTP, DNS, compressed files, MySQL, and php? Can you do basic computer functions as creating, editing, and saving a file? Can you upload or download a file to a remote location? Can you zip and unzip an archive? Can you connect to a remote server and change file-folder permissions?
- What business skills do I need? What do I need to think about regarding management, marketing, human resources, and risk management?
- What are my customers expectations? What are my competitors doing? What are my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?
- Who is going to build and maintain my online presence? Will I do it myself, or is there someone else on staff? How much of a time commitment will it require?
- Do I need to be on and actively use social media? What services (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Yelp)? How will I manage all those different services?
- What platform should power my online presence? Can I use a do-it-yourself host like 1and1? Or do I need something more powerful like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal? What is self-hosting versus hosting in the cloud?
- Who should I use for hosting?
- Do I have a domain name?
- What should I be thinking about regarding branding?
- What kind of advertising should I consider?
- What am I doing about email?
- What should my site look like regarding themes, color, layout?
- What sorts of plugins and additional features should I be using?
- What is my content strategy? What are permalinks, webmaster tools, and content indexes? What is my search engine optimization strategy?
- How will I maintain my site? How do I keep from getting hacked? How do I recover from a hacking? How do I deal with spam?
- Is the navigation on my site simple and intuitive? How will my customers reach me?
- How will I determine if my site is working for my customers?