New or Revamped Website Checklist

Today I was reminded that I’m hired by clients to make the decisions for them, and tell them what they need. I usually do that and don’t waiver unless a client argues or fights me on it. Today, one of those arguments came back to roost, “What do you mean we don’t have analytics?” I had suggested them; to the client 3 years ago, 2 years ago, 5 months ago. They didn’t need them, didn’t want all of the information. Lesson learned: it takes so little time to set them up that I’m just doing it, whether the client wants them or not. They will at some point and you can’t go backward to collect the data.

These are what I think are the DON’T MISS ANY OF THESE items when you are setting up your online presence, a new website or just cleaning up your existing situation. Your web developer should be able to do all of these for you, including the graphics for each. If you don’t have this information or these items already, GET THEM, ask for help if you need it. If your existing web solutions provider or graphics person cannot do it, let me know, I’ll help you check these items off your list.

1. Domain Registration: Where is your domain registered? Where is your site hosted? Can you get in to both accounts? Do YOU own them – are you the REGISTRATANT?

2. Email Location: Where is your mail  hosted? Is that working for you? Is it efficient, reliable and are you able to add more accounts if you want – without asking for help?

3. FTP Information: FTP means File Transfer Protocol. This is how your files are uploaded from your side or your developer’s side to be LIVE on your actual website. Do you have this information? Can you get to your own “stuff?” Is there an admin panel for your site instead – in the case of a hosted CMS? Even then, you should have a way to upload files.

4. Colors and Fonts: Do you know which fonts and colors are used throughout your website and in your logo? You need the colors for PRINT (CMYK/PMS) and WEB (RBG/HEXDEC). Your designer can provide this information for you. A screenshot with notes is most helpful so you know what matches with what part of your site.

5. Google Analytics: Do you have Analytics set up under YOUR account with Google? If you don’t have an account with Google – doesn’t have to be Gmail – get one so you can have access and ownership to all of YOUR site data. Never fun to have to track it down when you move on from one supplier to another. It’s free and will give you more information that you will most likely every analyze, but you’ll have it. Code has to be added to your site, too.

6. Google Webmasters Tools: also free and can be set up through the same account you use for Analytics.

7. LinkedIn Company page: This is not your PROFILE – this is a company PAGE that you can list your services, post to regularly, engage followers. You need some graphics for this, too.

8. Facebook PAGE: This is also not your PROFILE – this is a company PAGE or GROUP that you set up to keep personal posts of your puppies and latest food creations private and post your company info here. You’ll need graphics, milestone images that are splashy and regular posts.

9. Google+ PAGE: This is also not your PROFILE, this is your company PAGE where you can post news, announce events and more. You’ll need graphics for this page.

10. YouTube Channel: You’ll need an introductory video, playlists based on business related topics. The more useful and entertaining you make it, the more channel subscribers you will have.

11. Twitter: You’ll need your icon and background image that looks good on all devices and monitor sizes.

12. A list of all of these items, access and information to be kept on your desk top and/or on a secure drive in the cloud.

I have a simple text file for every client with this information. More complex clients, I have a spreadsheet that we all maintain and have access to. What do you have? What do you know? Find out! If you can’t do this, you can sign up for one of my packages that start at $300 to set these up, make your list, create some graphics.