The Letters & Journals magazine is starting to take shape. Kathy at Daisy Mae Design has been busy creating the magazine flag. After 3 weeks of submissions and tweaking, we believe we have found the design of the flag, mistakenly, but commonly, called the masthead. Next is cover and feature design. Can you feel the excitement building?
While Kathy has been designing, I have been in the planning stages of creating the web site for launch in 2010. My plan is to start small with a basic web site and grow as the magazine grows. If there is one piece of advice I have received from the various magazine publishers I spoke with, the common theme has been start small.
Where to Start When Building a Web Site
I'm lucky enough to be employed at iProduction, a company that builds and hosts web sites for mid-size B2B publishers, so I've learned A LOT over the years as to what goes into making a great web site.
My education started in 2006 with the Mequoda Method. Following their own practice of offering lots of free content to registered users, the Mequoda web site is a wealth of knowledge on where to start and what to do when creating or updating your web site. And if you want to follow Amanda MacArthur, Editor and Publisher at Mequoda, on Twitter, she is a hoot and updates a lot (@amaaanda on Twitter and @mequoda on Twitter)
Here is a starting point for building a web site (NOTE: This is just a starting point):
1. Decide the purpose of the web site (How will success be measured)
2. Find web site designs that you like (Design, Function, Artwork, Whatever)
3. Create your taxonomy (Define your departments and how information will be organized)
4. Hire somebody to bring it altogether
There is much more than this, but as I mentioned earlier, this is a starting point. At some point you'll need to consider how to handle site registrations, newsletter frequency, advertising, order placement, fulfillment, etc. But if you think of EVERYTHING that needs to be done, you will get overwhelmed. Much better to break it into chunks and manage them as you go.