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When you begin to preparing your web site, keep in mind that most people will come to your site for information. For this reason, it's very important that you provide interesting and well thought out content. Visitors to your web site will be more inclined to do business with you, if you have provided them with the information they came for.

To assist you with your web site preparation, we have come up with some things for you to consider:

Pre-Planning:
· Spend a little time "surfing" the web and see what your competition is doing.
· While you are on the web, make notes of what you do and do not like.
· Bookmark sites that have styles that appeal to you.
· Bookmark any web sites that may have related information. You may want to have a page on your site that has a list of links to other interesting/relevant web sites. This is a great way to get people to bookmark your site and return at a later time.

Planning, 10 Questions to ask yourself:

1. Why do you want a website? Major purposes (main goals/objectives)?
____ Sales
____ Service
____ Information/Education
____ offer company information
____ increase public awareness of your company's name, brand or identity
____ increase sales
____ sell products directly over the Internet taking credit cards and checks
____ make product or service information available to current customers
____ make product or service information available to distributors
____ serve the needs of current and future clients
____ explain your products and services
____ encourage potential customers to contact you by phone, mail or e-mail
____ bring in new clients or customers to your location
____ compete in the global marketplace
____ offer links to other relevant sites

2. List target audience demographics - who do you want to reach? (age range, profession, interests, etc.)

3. How does your business and products benefit your target audience? What can your business offer your visitors, what's in it for them, how can you help them? What problems do your prospects have that your business solves? List features of your products and/or services

4. List some of competitor website URLs - what you like/dislike. How can you present your information, products, service in a different or better manner?

5. What are the reasons why your business clearly beats the competition?

6. What is your USP (unique selling proposition)?

7. Customers tend to look for information as a priority over shopping on-line. They may surf at other sites, but they will continually return to the sites they trust intuitively and can solve their problems. A visitor may need to return many times before making a purchase (studies suggest as many as 5 times). What can you do to encourage customers to purchase now and abandon the need to continue to search?

8. Web surfers have short attention spans, may not remember your site and will probably not return unless you give them a compelling reason to do so. How can you encourage repeat visitors and referrals?

9. Every measure should be taken to encourage visitors to voluntarily submit their e-mail address. Free offers, contests, referral forms, surveys and requests for information forms can be useful tools to encourage e-mail signups. What can you offer that can be digitally delivered on site (computer wallpaper, screensavers, special reports, on-line coupons, affiliate programs, etc.) and is free?

10. Website design specifics. What are your:
· Preferred colors Click here to view web-safe colours
· Basic color scheme
· Background color or texture
· fonts to be used. It is unwise to use more than 2-3 major fonts Click here to view available fonts

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