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Here are some items to consider before consulting with a web developer. Having a better understanding of what you want versus what you actually need can save you time, energy and money!

Once you have read through this checklist, take a moment to look at our developer's price guide. This will give you some insight into how much you should be spending for the website you've envisioned.

Web developers generally are not in the business of overpricing products or services, but the more educated the customer is, the better the decision he or she can make.

Steps
Further explanation
Actions

Plan an outline for what you want your site to accomplish

Do you wish to sell products or communicate information?

Sketch out an example. It will help you visualize your site better. This may not necessarily be how the site will look in the end, but you know best how you’d like your content to be displayed

If you plan on selling products on the internet, have you…

• established an e-commerce account?

• developed an inventorywith prices/pictures to place on your site to include pictures and prices of your products?

An e-commerce account is an account between you and a designated financial institution that will accept ad process credit card or other forms of payment for your products or services

Inventory of products and services - self-explanatory

Contact a financial institution for more details

Using your sketch, will your site be textually or graphically represented?

Textually oriented don't require optimization of images or graphics.

If graphic-oriented you might consider special graphics and elements to express your intent, i.e. animation, still or video placement

refer back to your sketch and if necessary re-adjust for new additions

List topics, links and any other pertinent data to include in your site Topics would include who you are, where you're located, times of business, employee contacts etc

- Links to affiliate companies or other associated pages for clarification or endorsement
refer back to your sketch and if necessary re-adjust for new additions

Choose a domain name

Something imaginative and alluring to attract customers or audiences

confer with colleagues or friends

 
Second Review
 
Have someone review your outline
A second pair of eyes may spot potential problems or contribute great new ideas
 
Consult with a web developer for pricing, options and availability Pricing and options differ with each developer. Availability of their services as well as when the site will be completed also varies with each designer  
After receiving quotes on pricing and availability, check with other developers or colleagues for comparisons Again, pricing varies with developers. Your colleagues may have found good deals with other developers  
 
Final Steps
 
choose an Internet Service Provider (ISP) Some ISP's provide webspace with your basic internet service. Even 10MB of webspace suffices for websites that don't contain a lot of graphics  
register your domain name You can register your domain name with many services. Domain registration can be as little as $5.

A good tip is to register your domain with the same company as the provider of your webspace. It makes web resolution a bit easier.
browse online for domain registration services or contact your ISP
submit your details to your web developer for production You can submit your applicable text and graphics to your developer by e-mail, (if the images aren't too large), or by cd-rom go to step 2 (website questionnaire)