These questions will help you plan your website and form the basis of a web design brief used to estimate how much you can expect to pay for your site.
1. How many main pages do you need on your site? Main pages are pages that will appear on the main menu of your site.
Your book (s)
News and Events
2. In outline, what text and images do you want to display on each page of your site? It is best to describe in terms of the amount of text (eg pages of A4) and number of images and links to other websites. Do you want to include a photograph of yourself?
3. If you have published a lot of books, do you want to display a cover for each book? Adding a lot of book cover images to your site will add to the overall cost. It may be better to consider a text list only for some of your older publications, reserving book cover images for your most recent publications only.
4. What information do you want to display for each book?
Cover (if budget allows)
A synopsis of your book
Further background information about your book (why you wrote it, historical/social background)
Links to the Amazon book page or to your author page if you have one
Links to any other online sellers
5. How many images/book covers do you want to feature on your website in total? On what pages will they appear?
6. Do you need to be able to edit the words and images yourself or would you prefer that your site is edited using a paid-for maintenance service?
7. Do you need any special features on your site such as music players, image galleries, videos etc?
8. Do you want your site to have a totally unique look and feel or would you be happy with something more standard (header, menu, content area, footer) if it helps keep the costs down?
9. Do you need a contact form on your contact page, or are you happy just to have an email link?
10. Do you want a blog on your site?
11. Do you want links to your Facebook page, Twitter and other social media sites?
12. Will you be selling anything on your site? If so, do you need to receive and process payments, or are you happy to have links to online retailers such as Amazon instead if it helps keep costs down?
13. If you plan to receive payments on your site, how many items will you be selling? What payment gateway will you use? Eg PayPal. How will you manage postage and packing, deliveries and returns?
14. Will you be able to write all the content for your site, or will you need help?
15. Will you be able to provide all the graphics and images for your site (including book covers)?
16. Do you need an email address that matches the name of your site?
17. Do you need a newsletter sign up form on your site?
18. What style of website do you like? What colours do you like? Do some research and identify some websites that you like.
19. Do you have a budget in mind? Your budget will affect how many pages you can have on your site, how your site looks (the graphic design) and the functionality (what it does).
20. When do you need to launch your website? It usually takes about four or five weeks to create a bespoke website.
21. What domain name do you want to use for your website?