Should I build this website? Write a Website Manifesto.

I love helping just people build their website. Sometimes I get paid for it but several times I am helping someone pro bono.

Recently, I was thinking about an answer to this question

“What is something that you think people skip or don’t focus enough on when building sites that would make them better?”

I thought about this a bit. The obvious answer would be accessibility.

But after thinking about this question a bit more, especially for people new to building websites, I think creating a website manifesto is a good idea.

Ask questions to create a website manifesto

  1. Write down what you want your website to do?
  2. What will be the content going on your website? Eg: photos, blog posts, videos, online store
  3. How do you want to organize the content? Is there a page structure?
  4. What are the categories you will use (avoid using more than 8)
  5. What are the tags you will be using? Write down a tagging policy.
  6. Who will be your audience and how are you reaching them? (Newsletters, social media, SEO)
  7. What will be the permalink structure of those pages? Is there a logic to it that can be written down?
  8. What is the amount I am ready to spend on this website over the next 12 months. (this can be, hosting,  Ads, development, design, SEO)
  9. What is the minimum amount of time I can dedicate to this website and for how long? (eg: 2 hrs a week for the next 12 months)

By no means everything is covered in answers to these 9 questions. There are several more technical questions like figuring out strategies, writing voice, optimization, hosting and more.

But writing down a purpose and what you envision into a document helps clarify your ideas and also will help you understand realistically what sort of commitment this would take.