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.

Image of a person writing down on paper

The manifesto is a simple document. It should ideally cover answers to some of these questions.

Questions

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

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