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Worksheet: Website Features

There are an almost limitless number of features available for modern websites — but few websites have an unlimited budget. Putting your budget to best use should be your guide as we develop a plan for your site.

Early in our process, we’ll work together using a worksheet like this one to help you decide what features you’ll need to incorporate into your website. As a planning tool, this can help you to imagine how your visitors will be using your site, and give you a more accurate picture of what kind of site you’ll need as well as the costs of building and maintaining it.

Understanding the value of various features, as well as their sometimes-hidden costs, will help your site take shape.

Our worksheet is packed full of information. Please view this page on a larger device for access to this tool.

  1. Worksheet
  2. Clickable Worksheet Form
  3. Printable Worksheet
Every feature of a website has costs and benefits. Working together we’ll plan which features you’ll need. The list below contains some of the most common features of modern websites; many more are available.

Necessary

Important

Possible

Dispensable

Unwanted

What’s this / Don’t know / Let’s talk

Editable content / CMS (Content Management System)            
A must for many sites, an advantage for others, but an unnecessary expense for some; a CMS allows integration of many other features, but can have disadvantages as well. (Webmaster services can sometimes substitute for this feature.) ALWAYS talk to your designer about this.
Mobile friendly/mobile first (design works well on phones and tablets)            
A must for most new sites today; many old sites are now getting re-designs to integrate this feature. (The mobile web has increased the cost of many website projects.) The buzzword here is “responsive” web design: don’t ham-string computer users’ experiences by limiting options to only those that work on a phone.
Portfolio / image gallery            
Choosing the right type and making it user-friendly is critical. A bad one is a turn-off.
Blog / articles            
Content is king on the web, and some sort of blog or article system makes it manageable — great if you’ll keep it updated. Requires a CMS.
Media            
Integrated video or audio.
Calendar / Events
Many options are available.
Store / shopping feature / ecommerce
Often indispensible for an online business, this can be a sizeable expense. You’ll need enough sales to cover the expense. We’ll help you explore all of the options and weigh costs vs. benefits.
Newsletter
A great way to keep in touch with your visitors. Many options available.
Homepage animation / slideshow
The fashion of the day – can be a great way to draw people into your site.
Search Engine Optimization (extensive)
Very important and often — but not always — critical, you’ll want to discuss this with your web developer in detail, including link building campaigns.
Fast page loading
An important option to consider for high-volume websites.
Analytics / web stats
Tools for understanding visitor usage of your site.
Social Media Integration
How will you use social media? Always couple this with a discussion about privacy.
Privacy-Conscious Website
How important is it to protect your visitors’ online privacy in a world of data mining? You play a role in protecting your visitors’ personal information from data miners. It is cheapest and easiest to ignore the question when developing a website — as most web designers will. Please take the time to discuss this!

Fill out and submit this worksheet form. This will help us to work with you to develop a website that meets your needs and matches your budget. If you're not sure about any items, just select "not sure" as your answer and we'll explain more about it to you; this is just the start of our collaboration.

For each feature, indicate whether you think it is:

  • 5 - Necessary
  • 4 - Important
  • 3 - Desirable
  • 2 - Possible
  • 1 - Dispensable
  • 0 - Unwanted
  • ? - Not Sure
Editable content / CMS (Content Management System)
A must for many sites, an advantage for others, but an unnecessary expense for some; a CMS allows integration of many other features, but can have disadvantages as well. (Webmaster services can sometimes substitute for this feature.) ALWAYS talk to your designer about this.
Mobile friendly/mobile first (design works well on phones and tablets)
A must for most new sites today; many old sites are now getting re-designs to integrate this feature. (The mobile web has increased the cost of many website projects.) The buzzword here is “responsive” web design: don’t ham-string computer users’ experiences by limiting options to only those that work on a phone.
Portfolio / image gallery
Choosing the right type and making it user-friendly is critical. A bad one is a turn-off.
Blog / articles
Content is king on the web, and some sort of blog or article system makes it manageable — great if you’ll keep it updated. Requires a CMS.
Media
Integrated video or audio.
Calendar / Events
Many options are available.
Store / shopping feature / ecommerce
Often indispensible for an online business, this can be a sizeable expense. You’ll need enough sales to cover the expense. We’ll help you explore all of the options and weigh costs vs. benefits.
Newsletter
A great way to keep in touch with your visitors. Many options available.
Homepage animation / slideshow
The fashion of the day – can be a great way to draw people into your site.
Search Engine Optimization (extensive)
Very important and often — but not always — critical, you’ll want to discuss this with your web developer in detail, including link building campaigns.
Fast page loading
An important option to consider for high-volume websites.
Analytics / web stats
Tools for understanding visitor usage of your site.
Social Media Integration
How will you use social media? Always couple this with a discussion about privacy.
Privacy-Conscious Website
How important is it to protect your visitors’ online privacy in a world of data mining? You play a role in protecting your visitors’ personal information from data miners. It is cheapest and easiest to ignore the question when developing a website — as most web designers will. Please take the time to discuss this!

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