Major factor in starting from ground zero is client education Most do think that a brochure and a few press releases will do it. Then since content is "King" the second step in education is to find a company responsible for developing new content.
Here are some guidelines for those in search of some guidance and administrative "solution":
Project scope: Main site and umbrella sites
Metrics: Measure user's site perception and incorporate user's perception with press and trend to define a general "feeling"
Performance: This regards the tech aspect and challenges.
User experience: Define primary and secondary users
Value proposition: in term of strategic and tactical
Scenarios: Competition analysis (Features, personalization and tech issues)
Content acquisition method
Documenting via content inventory organized by: Source and audience type Then by:
Ambiguous, topical audience oriented, metaphor driven or hybrid
And finally ranking content
Conceptuality and usability.
Navigation system: Hierarchical, global and local
Labeling pages links and defining if links will be textual or iconic
Blue print to include relationship between entry, label, content and functions
Grids to depict elements' placement
Mockup: With content linkage
Review alignment, contrast and find repetition if any.
Web prototype to review functionality, appearance and errors