Creating Your New Website or Redesign On Paper First

Bruce Aristeo Website Design

Creating your website on paper first will help reduce design time, wasted resources, ensure necessary items can easily be found and uploaded, and provide you the opportunity to define, redefine and structure your website elements.


Here’s how it’s done: Create a Word document for each page you plan to include containing the following:

  • Page name, title (less than 60 characters), and location within the site, such as a sub-menu item
  • Meta Description (use no more than 7 keywords, preferably within long-tail keyword phrases; less than 150 characters total)
  • URL
  • Alt text to accompany each image or graphic to be included on the page
  • Main headline
  • Sub-headline
  • Body content (including text and associated images and/or media file names)
  • Links for content to referenced/related pages

Designing for a company consisting of multiple departments each with needs to consider. Bring all stakeholders into the process early and ask each the following questions:

  • Who are the buyers each department encounters most frequently?
  • What specific keywords or long-tail keyword phrases are commonly used or searched for?
  • What are their needs and objectives? Ex: Product specs and descriptions, lead generation, thought leadership, closing tools.
  • Which department requires more dedicated space for copy (text), forms or graphics?
  • What is the company/department perception: business development, high tech, entertainment?
  • What call to action (CTA) will support each stakeholder’s needs (subscriptions, trial offers, buy now campaigns)?
  • What features would best serve their customers (i.e., blogs, user forum, live chat), and who will be responsible for oversight of those features, if implemented?
  • What navigation elements would better serve their customers, including sub-menus, breadcrumbs and search bar?

If you’re redesigning a current site, ask each stakeholder to also answer the following:

  • What has worked in the past and what changes are necessary?
  • What existing content should be updated and repurposed within the new design?
  • What new content would add to their lead funnel and who will create those assets? Is outsourced talent required, and if so, are resources available (access to both known talent and financial requirements)?