Website requirements document best practices

Building a website or selecting a content management system (CMS) requires a clear idea of what features and functionality the site will need. How you define and implement those features will go a long way in determining the success of the site. That’s why a comprehensive requirements document, which gives your site developers a clear description of site functionality and workflow and the objectives behind that functionality is critical.

What should a requirements document include?   Alas, there is no magic fill-in-the-blanks template you can finish in an hour.  You need to do some research and thinking.  However, carefully answering these 6 questions will serve as a pretty good website requirements template:



Marketing authenticity and art

I’ve been reading another great Seth Godin book–Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?  Seth has some powerful ideas about the changing nature of work and what will command value (and what won’t) for pretty much everyone in the near future.  A core idea in the book is that value is be created by artists, not clock-punchers.  An artist is not just someone with a paintbrush, it’s someone who does what he does out of love, not just a paycheck.  The result is exceptional…exceptional ad copy, teaching, bricklaying, whatever.  Art is almost never captured in a job description, because it involves things that can’t be categorized, systematized or legislated.  Because art, in the form of exceptional work, is scarce, it tends to command higher prices and sincere admiration.


SEO Basics for publishers

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a complex art, but by applying a few simple ideas to all website content, publishers can grow their traffic dramatically. Search engines rank sites on their results pages based on how useful and relevant the sites are to people searching for information. They take into account the words you use, your site’s reputation, and how many people find your content valuable. SEO is aimed at influencing the search engines to rank your site higher. But since the search engines, and Google in particular, want their rankings to be completely organic, they are constantly changing how their search algorithms rank pages to make them less susceptible to manipulation.


Which mobile platform should you focus on?

With five major mobile platforms in the US market, where should publishers place their bets? Here is some data to help you make the right decision.  Of course, before you invest in building mobile apps, you should ensure your website is optimized for mobile browsers. If users have a good experience using your site from their phone, they are more likely to consider downloading your smartphone app.


Choose the best microphone for your video

How important is quality sound to your video?  If you’re recording a webinar and charging a sponsor $40,000, it had better be perfect, but “man on the street” interviews won’t suffer from a little background noise.  Just about any microphone can get the job done, but there are real advantages to having the right microphone for a particular situation. Here’s how to choose: (more…)