By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur magazine|December 1, 2010
Before you hire a web programmer, graphic designer or agency to build your website, assume the persona of an investigative journalist and gather information critical to the success of your project. The best reporters know that the most important building block of any factual news story is the use of the five Ws. Taking time to uncover the who, what, when, where and why of your web project saves you and your company time, money and, perhaps, even unnecessary heartache.
Start by identifying who is involved in the website’s development and to what extent each person’s participation is required. Typical website projects rarely involve just one or two people. From writing copy, snapping photos, configuring servers, securing domain names and communicating the site’s launch plan, plenty of people in your organization play a role in the project’s success. Identify everyone beforehand, clearly communicate expectations and get the support you need early and often.
Determine what is being done. A clearly written request for proposal that outlines all areas of the site, how they work and to what end they serve provides focus and gets everyone involved on the same page before…
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