Make sure you open an external link and PDFs in a new tab/window. It's good website usability.
We develop most of our websites using a 5 phase system. In the 2nd phase, information development, we sketch out, on paper, a mockup website wireframe. A wireframe is simply a page showing where content will go, without any design elements.
Before we even open up our software, we sketch out, by hand, how the site will function. Old school, yeah?
I just completed the final design sketch for a client of ours.
The primary goal of my client’s website is to provide resources of information. The secondary goal is to market the business. So I’ve sketched out a two column layout with a few Questions on the left above a list of FAQ categories. And on the right column I have their services listed with a staff photo beneath.
Making your website successful takes planning and preparation even it means pen to paper before hand to mouse.
Update: The website is complete. Learn how we got from a wireframe sketch to a working website.