To guide a strategic thinking I thought on 3 main dimensions one has to consider before creating a business website, if one of these fails the whole project may do too:
- Business - How the website will contribute to business' success? Will it support other marketing actions (both off or online)? Which are your Key Performance Indicators, a.k.a. based on what metrics are you going to say you succeeded? Is it just an online catalog of your offer? Or do you want people to interact with you? (you better)
- Technical - Which is the platform your site will be built on? Don't be afraid of technical geekery, just tell your web designer your objectives (you have them, right?) and how people you want to use your site, sure she will come up with the appropriate solution.
- Visual - Finally now you can think about site's look & feel, including your corporate visual elements. Just remember not everything that looks good on printed catalogs will be the same online, think you will be creating content to be seen over a screen, sometimes smaller than a normal A4 sheet.
Now the thing doesn't look as simple as you thought? It is indeed. If you just think about what you really need (not what you want) and which business objectives are you pursuing. Think slow and think it before you even contact any supplier.
More insights? From this presentation maybe you can get a broader vision on how to plan your Digital Marketing Strategy