Once upon a time, I wrote a short article for my web development business discussing the ins and outs of getting started planning your website. It’s not an extensive article, and doesn’t go into great depth on any particular points.
I’m considering just forwarding all my new clients on to Create Small Business Website On a Small Budget from Improve the Web instead, now. Yuri’s written an excellent and comprehensive beginner’s guide to pre-development web preparations.
There can be no question that the first steps on a website should be done long before anybody does anything so rash as to register a domain name. Yuri’s done a great job of touching on a lot of these bases.
Oh, and he also recommended me as a web designer with accessibility in mind, which I very much appreciate – although it just might bias me in favor of his article.