The first thing to do with any website is to get a client and find out what they want!
The client may be a friend, family, yourself, a business or whoever, but try to treat your client like a client and try to keep business and personal separate if you can to save a falling out later.
First, organise a client meeting and spend an hour with your client. Talk about what they want, usually they want everything so you may want to pull them back a bit. Talk budget if you can as they may think you are doing some or all for free or "I'll get you a drink for all your hard work". If you are happy doing it for free, fine, but it's best to find out at the beginning so no-one gets embarrassed and/or annoyed. Take basic notes as they talk, this will help later when you get round to sorting everything out (and makes you look smart).
Once you have a client and have had the first meeting you need to price up everything and give out a quote telling the client exactly what you will offer and exactly what they have to pay (don't forget things like SSL, hosting, emails or domain). If you have a business make sure to add your branding to the quote who-ever your client is, this puts worth to the quote and makes it serious even if they are friends or family.
Add contact details to the quote! Even if the client has your card or 'knows you' they may have misplaced your details and the last thing you want is potential clients having a hard time contacting you (this can cost you work). Keep a copy of the quote to refer to later as this will save you when you client says "Oh, I thought we agreed you would do that too"!
When the client has the quote you may have to barter over the price and agree everything again, make notes and re-do the quote if need be. Be careful here as a smart client will get you to agree to do things you've not quoted for.
At this point its your job to be project manager (as well as everything else) and to write up everything as agreed and get the client to 'sign it off'. Tell the client to read the quote and agree to everything before you start because the last thing you want is to be half way through a project and have to argue with a client who says "I didn't agree to that"
You will probably want to get a deposit here before you start to pay for domain, hosting, etc. This adds worth to a project, gets a client used to paying you and keeps everyone happy (it also ensures you get something if the client "disappears" half way through).
Now you have a happy client, you're happy and everyone knows what they are doing and have signed off, its time to start.
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Copyright David Slack - Web developer