When you decide you want a new site, the first thing to do is plan the site. A site plan will help you create a site that meets your needs and the needs of your visitors. By taking the time at the beginning to draft a plan, you can avoid pitfalls and make sure you have the content needed to get your site off the ground.  Your site plan should include:

Project Summary: State general project information, goals, and relevant background information. This paragraph should be an overview of the project as a whole. Here are some questions to ask:

  1. What is the single purpose of the site?
  2. What organizational units will be promoted by this site? (List all that apply)
  3. Who will be the primary contact for site administration?
Audience Profile: Profile the target audience. Provide enough detail to enhance everyone’s understanding of who the audience is. Include some audience demographic information. Use these questions as a guide. Add some of your own. It is typical for UAB sites to have multiple target audiences. Answer the questions below for each recognized target audience.
  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. What are the secondary goals of the site?
  3. What is a typical task the visitor might perform on the site? (For example: apply, register, log on, search for information, send their e-mail address, call for more information.) 
  4. What do these people care about? Why are they interested in visiting the site? What trigger would prompt them to visit the site, and why would they be enticed to return?
The Timeline: Once you have the pieces of the plan together, you should decide on a schedule. Don't forget to include time for testing, revision, and user feedback.

Write Down Your Plan
When you start planning a project, it can get very messy very quickly, so if you have lots of ways to capture your ideas, you'll be in better shape. Planning sessions can quickly become brainstorming sessions as well. This is good, but don't let the brainstorming get in the way of getting a solid plan in place for the site. If you find you still want to brainstorm more, then put that into the plan.

What Does a Site Plan Look Like?
A site plan can be as simple as a sketch on a piece of paper or a plan that resembles a table of contents or a paper.

Example 1:
Example 2: