Do some competitor research.
Create user personas.
Decide on a SEO strategy.
Consider your Call-To-Action.
Create a landscape.
- Use a piece of paper to map out your site. At the top, you'll have your homepage or top page of your site. This is the page that your domain URL (www.yourbusiness.com) will direct to.
- List pages you know you need such as "About" and "Contact" just below your Homepage. If you will have a checkout or shopping cart that feature will also go on this level.
- List main categories of your site, just below your Home Page—on the same level as "About" and "Contact." For example, if you have a cooking store, your main categories might be, "Utensils," "Pots & Pans," "Kitchen Tools," and "Recipes."
- Under your main categories, list subcategories.
Once you know all the pages you'll need, decide how you'll make these pages easy to find. Most sites have a top and/or a side menu that appears on every page. Top menus tend to have more limited space than side menus, so usually, you want only your main pages (Home, About, Contact) and possibly your top category page links at the top. But again, you want to make it easy for people to find what they're looking for.
With your site plan complete along with your research on your target audience and a clarified purpose and message for your website, you will have nearly everything necessary to hand your project to someone else to build.