How to Create a Website Blueprint

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  • 1 HOW TO CREATE A WEBSITE BLUEPRINT IN ORDER TO MANAGE A SUCCESSFUL WEBSITE (RE)BUILD

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    A WEBSITE BLUEPRINT

    HOW TO CREATE

    IN ORDER TO MANAGE A SUCCESSFUL WEBSITE (RE) BUILD

    www.sol8.com

  • 2 HOW TO CREATE A WEBSITE BLUEPRINT IN ORDER TO MANAGE A SUCCESSFUL WEBSITE (RE)BUILD

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    How to create a website

    blueprint in order to manage a

    successful website (re)build

    BY KASIM ASLAM

    Kasim Aslam the Digital Ninja knows how to put awesome sauce on everything he touches.

    The brains and technical knowledge behind Solutions 8, Kasim is proud to co-own the fastest

    growing digital media company in Arizona. Even as a kid, Kasim knew he wanted to be an

    entrepreneur and own his own business one day, having watched his father run multiple

    businesses of his own. He grew up playing center and power forward in high school for the

    basketball team and his goal in the next 5 years is to be retired, hopefully. Kasim loves his

    chosen field because it is always an adventure, no day is the same, and because the

    technological landscape is always changing. He can connect and proficiently explain even very

    difficult, technical procedures to anyone and this makes him an amazing person to have on any

    team. Kasims advice to other entrepreneurs is: "Spend less time worrying and more time doing

    - a great plan is worthless without execution".

    Kasim and his wife, who is currently Miss Arab USA 2012, love to travel and two of the places

    they have enjoyed are Egypt and Honduras. When he isnt working, which rarely happens,

    Kasim enjoys writing and acting in local films. He and his wife met on the set of a GoDaddy

    commercial and Kasim has also shared a screen with Sarah Chuck, David Della Rocco (Boondock

    Saints) and Sayed Badreya (a popular Egyptian filmmaker and actor). Kasim is inspired mostly by

    the strong men in his family and by his wife Suzanne. If Kasim was an animal he would be a

    Chimpanzee. Digital Media and strategy planning is a wild jungle, but Kasim maneuvers and

    swings through it all with ease.

    @kasimaslam

  • 3 HOW TO CREATE A WEBSITE BLUEPRINT IN ORDER TO MANAGE A SUCCESSFUL WEBSITE (RE)BUILD

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    Table of Contents

    Introduction ............................................................................................ 4

    Your Website: A Fifty Thousand Foot View ............................................. 6

    Your Website: The Open Source Content Management System ........... 14

    Your Website: Best Practices for a successful Build .............................. 19

  • 4 HOW TO CREATE A WEBSITE BLUEPRINT IN ORDER TO MANAGE A SUCCESSFUL WEBSITE (RE)BUILD

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    Introduction

    INTRODUCTION

  • 5 HOW TO CREATE A WEBSITE BLUEPRINT IN ORDER TO MANAGE A SUCCESSFUL WEBSITE (RE)BUILD

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    Your website is the foundation of

    your digital strategy

    Your website should be the epicenter of everything your

    organization does online. Where your Digital presence is a

    solar system your website is the Sun. When building a new

    website (whether this is your first step in the digital world or

    youre a seasoned business rebuilding your site) its important

    to heed the carpenters motto: Measure twice, cut once.

    Having a well thought out blue print for your web

    application will save you countless hours of time, innumerable amounts of money and a stress level that

    could make a bomb defusing expert weep like a spice girl at a where are they now? convention.

    If you have already found the right vendor to build your site (or are building it in-house) then providing

    your team with a well-defined blue print will set them up for success.

    If youre still looking for the perfect development team, knowing exactly what you want will put you in a

    position of being able to adequately vet potential vendors and ensure quite a few essentials including:

    You and the development team are on the same page in terms of scope

    Your specific needs are clearly outlined ensuring the development team has an opportunity to

    speak to them directly

    Every bid you receive is based upon the same criteria so that you are comparing apples to

    apples

    Your website blueprint will ensure that your needs are clearly outlined; continue to refer back to it

    throughout the process in order to maintain the level of consistency required for the development of

    such an important component of your business. When managing a web development process having a

    blueprint is absolutely essential to your success.

    Let us begin.

  • 6 HOW TO CREATE A WEBSITE BLUEPRINT IN ORDER TO MANAGE A SUCCESSFUL WEBSITE (RE)BUILD

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    Your Website: A Fifty Thousand Foot View

    YOUR WEBSITE A FIFTY THOUSAND FOOT VIEW

  • 7 HOW TO CREATE A WEBSITE BLUEPRINT IN ORDER TO MANAGE A SUCCESSFUL WEBSITE (RE)BUILD

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    General theory of an effective website and its uses

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    While there are many reasons to have a strong presence on a multitude of online properties, the only

    digital tool that you have complete and total control over is your own website; your ability to engage

    and convert users is exponentially more potent when theyre on your home court. Where online profiles

    like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (in order to protect the integrity of their communitys aggregate

    experience) have very specific guidelines and functions, your website can and should be custom tailored

    to engage your users on your terms allowing you to capitalize on your viewership and ensure the highest

    possible conversion rate.

    For this reason it's crucial to make sure that, regardless of how active you are online, ultimately all roads

    lead back to your website. Secondary properties like those mentioned above are extremely important

    but they are still secondary and should be run with the aim of driving all possible and relevant traffic

    back to your website if and when appropriate.

    To this end your website needs to accomplish the following overarching goals:

    o Attract

    o Engage

    o Convert

    o Nurture

  • 8 HOW TO CREATE A WEBSITE BLUEPRINT IN ORDER TO MANAGE A SUCCESSFUL WEBSITE (RE)BUILD

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    1. ATTRACT

    Im assuming youve heard the term SEO (search engine

    optimization) - this is a process geared toward making your

    website the most relevant result for a specific key phrase (or

    phrases) in the eyes of major search engines (i.e. the almighty

    Google). Well dive more deeply into the intricacies of SEO in

    later chapters. Its important to touch upon here because

    before we can begin this all important and exceptionally tedious process, you have to ensure

    that your website is actually optimizable. This means your site must be well built with clean,

    transparent code, quick to load and best practice compliant.

    2. ENGAGE

    You have seven seconds. Statistically a user will decide whether

    or not to stay on your website within seven seconds. While this

    is yet another great reason to optimize your sites load speed

    (something we discuss in greater detail in the on-site

    optimization punch list) what it really means is you need to build

    your website with immediate engagement in mind. Your website needs to clearly and succinctly

    deliver your target message in a way that allows users to immediately qualify your web

    application as pertinent to their search.

    This means ensuring that your highest value information is delivered above the fold (meaning

    they dont have to scroll down to see it), is easily identifiable and displayed in ways that help

    capture your users attention and illustrate your main points. Images, videos, bullet points and

    infographics are extremely valuable tools to this end and should be built with the idea that they

    must capture a users attention before earning the right to educate the user any further than

    the initial seven seconds.

    A mistake many digital marketers continue to make is focusing primarily (and often solely) on

    the homepage of their site while leaving internal pages sparse and void of engagement.

    Remember that the great and mighty Google has made it its mission to get its users to the end

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    result as fast as possible meaning that, very often, theyll be linked to an internal page or blog

    post on your site and bypass the homepage entirely. Every page on your website (and especially

    your blog) needs to be built with targeted engagement in mind.

    3. CONVERT

    User conversion is absolutely key to an effective digital

    marketing strategy. Conversion and engagement go hand in

    hand; if a user is engaged the logical next st