Site Design

Designer or Consultant? looks at the difference between these two roles and the nature of the support you need when designing your new site. The rest of this sequence walks you through the process of setting up a new website, focusing on the issues you need to discuss with your designer or consultant.

The first thing you need is a domain name and On the Naming of Sites discusses some of the when choosing one.

Next you need to choose and Set Up Your Content Management System (cms). This series uses and this post explains why, after raising some issues you should consider when making your choice.

Your next task will be to Choose Your Site’s Theme. This is true for any cms. The theme governs how the content on your site appears to the visitor. This post suggests a few things you need to consider.

The next post considers What to Put in Your Header. This post illustrates some of the constraints themes can impose.

If you are working with a designer they are likely to want to set up some pages so they can prepare the navigation. This may not be a problem if the site is not accessible yet. But you will want to be clear about the pages you need and start to fill them before the site goes live. This is why you need to start Planning Your Pages early.

This post describes several ways of Adding Navigation to Your Site with some hints about which to choose according to purpose.

Don’t leap to conclusions about blogs. They are very versatile tools and most websites benefit from having them. This post about Using Your Blog suggests a few starter ideas.

You may think you don’t need worry about Using Email with Your Website but this may be an opportunity to ask whether your site would benefit from having its own email address. After all no-one is around forever.

Another issue to consider is Linking Your Website to Social Media. There are disadvantages as well as advantages to using Social Media. Find out why it is always worth using social media with your own website.

But social media is not the most powerful tool you can use to stay in touch with your followers. In Managing Your Email Lists, I explain why email is better than social media as your main contact medium for your followers.

The next step is how to Set Up Your Email List. In this post I explain about email services and look in-depth at a free service. Rather than duplicate the guidelines the email service provides, in Setting Up Your Pre-Sign-Up Email System I cover a couple of issues, Confirmed Opt-in and your sign-up form. Setting Up Your Post-Sign-Up Email System covers the confirmation page, email and final confirmation page. It also covers connecting your blog to your email system.

In Preparing Your Blog Posts I write about how I set about the task of writing blog posts. It does involve work but it need not be onerous. Blog Post Content covers how I find content for my blog posts and how I organise them for navigation.