This article was originally published on Bundlify.

I was talking to an old client last week and she said, “Nick, I know I need help with the site, but I’m not sure what I need.”

So I asked around. Friends, family, other non-internet-y business folk. They all said the same thing:

“I need a checklist. I don’t know how to build a website. That’s why I need to hire someone. But I still want to know what’s involved.”

So I started making a list of everything we’ve done at AwesomeWeb (and some things we haven’t).

Here’s my promise…

…If you fix everything on this list, you’ll have…

A year ago today I wrote the perfect email to launch AwesomeWeb. It was smart, well-written, talked about benefits before features, and nobody ever read it.

6am rolled around on launch day and I jumped on a call with our team. It was set to go out at 7am.

“This doesn’t make sense.”

“What do you mean it doesn’t make sense?”

“It’s too complicated. Needs to be re-written.”

Rather than arguing, we scratched my email, re-wrote line-by-line, edited, edited, and edited again until we were happy.

Because of that email, we sold out the first 100 spots in 99 minutes.

Typography is a big deal. Unless your users are flipping through images or watching videos, they’re looking at the letters.

If a website looks template-y or amateurish, it’s almost always because of bad typography. Few themes, frameworks, and freelancers focus on or understand the basics. But it makes all the difference.

When we started redesigning AwesomeWeb, I wanted the typography to be aesthetically and mathematically perfect. We had been relying on the default sizes, margins, and line-heights from Bootstrap.

But that wasn’t awesome.

The goal was to create a beautiful typographical system that makes the reading experience effortless while maintaining…

Building our vision for AwesomeWeb hasn’t been easy. We’ve had to overcome obstacles and setbacks since the start and throughout.

In 2011, we hired an agency to build AwesomeWeb in PHP. At the time, it was good. Two years later, we outgrew the programming language after it could no longer support what we wanted to create.

So we threw away every line of code, deleted every design asset, and started from scratch.

Everything was gone.

Rebuilding the first time

Nicholas Tart

Co-founder of and

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