Planning your website
When planning your web site project, keep the Five Big W's in mind: Who, What, When,
Where and Why.
Who is your target audience?
Who will the typical visitors to your web site be? List any information you think may be relevant, such as age,
gender, income, political affiliation, education level, ethnicity, primary language, religion, location, etc. Study
your target audience. Try to picture yourself in your audience's shoes. What do they like? Not sure? Look at some
of your competitors! Check out their sites to see how they appeal to their target audiences. What are they doing
right? What needs improvement?
What's the purpose of your site?
What do you hope to accomplish with your web site? Is your hope to educate, sell, entertain, survey, generate
data bases, provide a forum for discussion, answer frequently asked questions, provide unique help or information
to others, or a combination of all of these? As you plan your web site, remember each web page should have an
objective, but within the constraints of the web site's purpose. If you aren't sure how to proceed look at other
web sites on the Internet for ideas. Look at the categories in different search engines for examples of audience
interests and follow some of these links to actual web sites.
Where will you market your site?
Getting your business website up and running on the Internet is one thing, but getting it noticed is another.
Based on your target audience, where can you promote your site? The most obvious and important answer is to print
your website address on your business cards, stationary, memos and even billboards.
When is your target deadline?
What is your target deadline for having the site available publicly? How frequently will your site need to have
information updated: Daily, weekly, twice a month or monthly? Who will be responsible for updates and for checking
the site periodically to make sure it is still working properly?
Why do you need a web site?
What is your Company’s Objective or Mission Statement? (If you do not have one, what is the nature of your
business?) How do you envision this project supporting your company’s missions and objectives? How will you judge
the success of your project?