Wednesday, November 12, 2014

FREE Checklist to Create Your New Website

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Checklist for Your New Website:
Before you (or your web designer) start creating your website, make a plan that should cover at least these points:
  • Domain Name
  • Web hosting
  • Programming language **
  • Font type*
  • Page layout
  • Website Title and Meta title
  • Meta description and Keywords
  • Text preparation and editing
  • Image preparation for web
  • Customer tracking system
  • Email opt-in buttons
  • Follow Social Media buttons
  • Sharing buttons / plug-ins
  • Event calendar
  • About us
  • Privacy page
  • Payment systems
  • Site map and search function
  • Usability tests
  • Website marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
* Arial or Verdana are available on all computers
** HTML or XHTML & CSS, if you sell your book(s) from your website: shopping cart PHP embedded.
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There are also very inexpensive shopping systems available that you can use right away from your website. See our former blog post:
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/why-sell-your-books-from-your-own-website/

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Planning is the most important step
Programmer, designer and SEO people can only work with the material you provide them. Planning a website is just as important as creating one. The website should work in concert with your overall marketing plan. It might need a series of one-on-one meetings between you and an experienced designer in order to create a successful website.

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Multi-Media Elements
Create a quality website, interesting content, be genuine and give your customers value. The following multimedia elements, will greatly enhance the appeal and usefulness of the website:
  • Images, illustrations - in high-quality
  • Documents (usually PDFs)
  • Audio
  • Video (i.e., embedded from YouTube or Vimeo, or self-hosted)
  • Content feeds (from other websites, or blogs)
  • Twitter stream
  • RSS feeds
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How to Write Internet Content
Eye-tracking studies have shown that readers SCAN text (in an F-shaped pattern), rather than READ it. And: website visitors read more slowly on the screen than in print.  Reading on a screen is fatiguing.  A screen, whether a massive 26-inch monitor or a tiny smartphone, projects very small points of light at your eyes.  Reading long stretches of text can be very tiring.  Users will scan for key points in the text, which is the reason to write short blocks of text and bulleted or numbered lists to make it easy to scan your text.


Online content is not just about words.  When you write for the Internet, think “presentation”. Print content is formally written and a passively read. Online content is informally written, interactive and dynamic:
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Use Bullet Lists, such as this one
  • Create lots of short paragraphs, and give them all a headline
  • Keep sentences short, they should never be longer than one line
  • Use spell check and a beta reader / software
  • Readers like to interact on the Web, so give them lots of links
  • Illustrate your text, use lots of images
  • Don’t let your readers scroll on the screen, keep it to one page
  • Except prepositions and the words “and” and “the”, all major words in a headline should be capitalized
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Read these Helpful Books Before you Start Your Website:
Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition, by Steve Krug http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000SEGQNS
Another great resource for planning a website is a comprehensive article: Web Planning Guide by Ben Seigle.
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