Building a website has become an easy thing to do, or so we are led to believe.
In truth, it has, there are tools, content management systems, themes and guides everywhere that allow us to produce websites and content faster and with better quality that ever before.
Not all websites turn out to be the Business Asset they were intended to be, though.
Why is that?
My view has always been that it's because of a lack of quality planning.
Most people approach their new web project like they do with getting fit.
They head to the gym or out the door for a run to 'make a start'.
As long as that's followed up with sensible planning followed by consistent action, then they have a pretty good chance of achieving their goals.
With your website a 'good start' could mean grabbing a $50 theme, installing it and then looking for content to fit. It might mean choosing a web developer with a $500 set price because that's the spare cash you have that day. It could mean many things.
Unless your 'good start' is opening up your Website Plan Guide and beginning your complete plan then you are more likely to be stuck on the sofa with a bag full of chips than running a half marathon.
Your website will probably be a sluggish performer you aren't proud of our a source of frustration.
Where would you get such a Website Planning template?
Up until now that's been a difficult question to answer. For the general person who owns a small to medium business, their marketing team or staff there hasn't been an easy-to-understand, easy to follow guide to build a site plan that works.
I have learned the hard way in my agency the domino effect bad scopes or briefs have on projects. Clients get frustrated when messages are misinterpreted, goals not aligned and budgets not relevant to the work needed.
We fixed that internally over the years but until now I didn't have something that helped others create something for their project.
I am happy to launch the 'Complete Guide to Website Planning' which is our gift to you if you are serious about creating great websites. If you want your next website to be better, if you want to be able to take back some of the control of your project and make sure you get it built right I hope you get something from this guide.
It has been a while in the making, and there is never a point where you can say "I have nothing more to add here" but it's live now, and I can always continue to add information based on what helps you with your projects.
I have deliberately held back some of the later chapters so we can get the core of the guide published. The later chapters are all about helping you work with developers. This guide isn't about you choosing us to do your work, we have a limit to how much work we can do well, it's designed to help everyone on both sides of web design and development projects create better sites.
I hope it provides you with the stepping stones to improving your next web project.
If you have any feedback, you can find me on twitter @ireckon.