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      What is the goal of the site you are making. What are you trying to achieve with your site. An important question, but one that can be easily overlooked. You might be amazed by the number of people who do not know what they want. The consequence being the are just doing something. Resulting in much unnecessary work. Think about what you want with your site. Specify a goal, preferably in one short sentence. Put this in writing.
    Ask yourself what means you need to achieve that goal the fastest way possible. Determine which means you can afford. Which means you can master or control. But especially also which you don't. Only after that you can determine if your goal is achievable. If that is not the case, any effort to the cause is senseless and superfluous.
    The good thing of a goal is that you can work to something. And not only you, but also anyone working with you on the project. You can determine if certain tasks are meaningful or unnecessary.
    On the basis of the objective and available means you can plan your work. What needs to be done first an what at a later stage. How much time you need to complete the job. You can settle arguments about the design easily. Just by trying the subject of the argument to the goal.
    Regularly wonder if you site meets your goal, during and after making the site. During the making of the site your goal may be set to wide or to narrow. Or in the worst case just plain wrong. Do not hesitate to reset your goals. I sometimes find myself keeping a set goal in mind to long, without wondering if it would be better to just let go of that idea.
    How does one determine the objective of a site? Wonder what you are trying to achieve. If you are making the site for someone else, ask him what he wants to achieve with it. Keep on asking until it is crystal clear what he wants. Also what he absolutely does does not want. Your goals may be clear to yourself. But if you are working for someone else, this may be less evident. Do not fall for the trap thinking to know what someone wants. While it is really just what YOU want. Let me give you an example.
    You are about to visit an acquaintance who you know wants to have a dog. You want to surprise him. You are a dog lover as well. You have happy memories of a doberman pincher you once had when you were younger. You are lucky: the pet shop has lots of them. You pick the most beautifully one you can find, and take of to your friend. You ring the doorbell and the door opens. What a nice dog you have there, it is really beautiful. But I would never take such a big animal into my house. I am more a chihuahua kind of person.
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