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Website build checklist: Designing and building a new website (part 2 of 3)

So, you’re in a good place to start building your new website. You’ve decided what your objectives are, what functionality you want your new website to have, and chosen the CMS you’ll be using. If you haven’t, save yourself a headache and check out our previous blog to make sure you haven’t missed any important steps.

Stage One: Analysis and planning

If you’re following on our website build checklist, we’ve reached step 10 – now it’s time to start designing and building a new website for your business.

This blog is the first of a three-part series to help you plan and build a website that works hard for your business. We’re kicking off with the first stage, which involves planning and mapping out your objectives for your new website.

Stage Two: Design and build

10. Create a website design

If you’ve gone with a templated site such as Squarespace, you’ll have an array of designs to choose from, with the ability to customise things like colours and fonts to match your brand. If you’re looking for a redesign or you’ve opted for a bespoke site, the designer or agency who’s building your site can create this as part of the project.

11 – 13. Plan content, write copy and source images

Now that your design is in place and you’ve planned your site structure, it’s time to think about what’s going to be on those pages. Write up the copy for each page and decide what accompanying images, video, and graphics you’ll need.

14. Install plugins or integrations

If you’re working with WordPress, you might want to take advantage of some of the great plugins available to enhance your site, like an SEO plugin to help you optimise your pages. If you use any email marketing or CMS platforms such as MailChimp or Hubspot, take a look at what features you can integrate into your site, such as email sign-ups or lead generation forms.

15. Test on various devices

By now, your site should be taking shape. Before you go any further, be sure to test your site on various devices. It’s great if your site is looking good on your work laptop, but how will it look for a customer scrolling on their phone?

16. Set up cookie compliance and get your legal team to review

Before you go live, you need to make sure your website is compliant. Make sure to set up cookie consent on your site, and ask your legal team to advise on any other information you need to display, such as terms of service.

17. Add tracking codes

We’ve mentioned MailChimp and Hubspot, and to use some of these third-party integrations you’ll often need to install a global site tag, which installs a piece of code on every page of your website. You’ll also need to do this for any Google products such as Google Analytics and Google Ads. All these should be installed and ready to go before launch, so you can track your new site’s activity from day one.

18 – 19. Review technical SEO and generate sitemap

After putting in all the hard work to build your new site, you want to make it easy for your customers to find and optimised for search engines. To avoid any errors being flagged and affecting your website’s SEO, make sure every page has a unique:

• URL
• Meta title
• Meta description
• H1

Once you’ve audited your site, use a plugin or your CMS to generate an XML sitemap so search engines can crawl all your pages – you’ll need this later.

Now, you’re almost reach to launch! Which brings us to the final stage of building a new website – making sure you have everything set up and ready to go.

Stage Three: Going live with your new website

If you’ve come across any stumbling blocks so far, get in touch with the Whitewall team for a chat. And keep an eye on our website build checklist so you don’t miss any important bits!

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