Why have you decided to build this site?
Let's not get too abstract with our answers at this stage. Try answering yes or no to these questions, and come up with similar ones that are related to your particular needs.
- Are you trying to make money from the site?
If so, do you know what your costs will be?
- Is this a part time or full time venture?
- Do you have (or need) a business plan?
- Do you know who your target market is? (More on that in Step Two)
- Is the site for self-promotion? (This can be in addition to its main purpose, but you might want to figure out the best weight to give the self-promotional aspect).
- After answering these questions, have you done the necessary research?
Why are these questions important?
Because they will help you decide what belongs on the site, and what doesn't!
Your answers here will help you decide what the most important design considerations are, as well as give you an idea of who you want to attract to your site. It will help you avoid over-building the site and overwhelming the user, while also helping you find the best way to achieve the final goal you've set!