Hey! I’m Marissa, a freelance web designer and digital marketer. I love working with clients to take the overwhelm out of getting their business online. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my blog!
7 Essentials To Discuss Before Your Website Build
Getting a website built can feel a bit daunting at the beginning, especially if you don’t know much about what the process with entail. Who do you hire to build your website? How much will it cost? What will you need to provide, and will it be a lot of work for you? Having a clear expectation from the beginning about exactly what is required from both web designer and client can make or break your experience during your website build.
If clients don’t really know what to expect during a website build, it can result in a lot of stalling, builds never really getting off the ground and projects taking ages to complete. Frustrating for both client and designer, to say the least!
After all this, the client is most likely left with a website that isn’t a true representation of them or their brand, and one that won’t be very effective for them. If it is really clear from the outset what is required, you’ll enjoy the process of your website build much more, and end up with a website that is going to work for you, make a difference to your brand and help convert your users into paying customers and raving fans.
Here are the top items you would ideally have (or at least know you’ll need to look work on) before starting your website build or redesign:
1) Website domain name
Your domain name is the URL of your website (i.e. marissawaitecreative.com). You can purchase this with companies such as 123 Reg, Go Daddy or Namecheap. You simply enter the domain name you’d like to buy and you can see different options of prices depending on the suffix (i.e. .com, .co.uk, .org etc). All you need to do is purchase your domain name here and keep a note of your login details with whichever company you’ve bought the domain with.
2) Website hosting
This is where your website and its content lives online. Every website needs to be hosted somewhere! There are several different types of hosting, which you can learn more about here. If you decide to try and build your own site with a sitebuilder such as Wix or Squarespace, your hosting will be included in your monthly plan with them. There are many good hosting providers I’ve used, and would be happy to recommend some for you to investigate. Many web designers also have their own hosting packages where you can also host your site.
If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll hopefully have a logo! Some businesses may be more likely not to have a logo, such as freelancers or musicians operating under their own name. However, having a good logo and branding to use no matter what industry you work in is really important; strong and consistent branding will help you stand out as well as convey familiarity and consistency to your consumers. You’ll be more recognisable and they’ll know what to expect from you. It will help you stand out! Your branding includes different aspects such as your logo, colour palette, personality, tone of voice, style and typography. When working on your branding, it’s also helpful for your website design to discuss some of your unique selling points so that you can make sure these are highlighted for your consumers. If you want to learn a bit more about branding and why it’s so important, you should check out this great article.
4) High quality images
The images you use can make or break your website. Poorly lit, blurry images taken on a mobile phone aren’t going to cut it for your website, or be anywhere near the resolution and size they need to be. Using stock photos is a good alternative, and there are plenty of different sites where you can find lots of great photos, such as Unsplash or Adobe Stock. The best thing you can do though, is to have professionally taken photos ready for your site build. Having photos taken specifically to portray your own work, product or service will make a huge difference in properly portraying your business, and this is also another strong aspect of your branding. People can usually tell if your site is built solely with stock images, or if you have your own photos that show exactly what you do.
5) Written content
Written content is a huge part of your website that will take a lot of thought and probably be the most time consuming. You can do this yourself or hire a copywriter to do it for you. There will be pros and cons to each! If you have the time and are comfortable, you are the best person for the job. No one will know your ideal consumer as well as you do, so you will know more than others exactly what to say to them and how to speak to them. When writing, it’s important to keep in mind some SEO optimisation points as well as who your ideal consumer is. This can feel like a really daunting task! A copywriter will be more of an investment, but can also be really worth it. With a copywriter, you’ll pay them a fee to take care of all of your written content for you. If you look around, you’ll be able to find someone who is well-experienced in your industry which will go a long way in making your copy perfect for your website.
6) Your goals
Knowing your goals for your website is really important. Do you want people to sign up to your mailing list? Book you to play a gig? Buy a service or product you offer? Choosing one main goal for your site is most effective, and this will help dictate what your calls to action, user experience, and website design should portray. If your email list is most important to you, you’ll want to have this on every page and also look at some different sing-up options across your site. When you know what your goals for your website are, it becomes a lot easier to create a website that will help you reach them.
There is a wide array of different analytics you can plug into the back end of your website so you can measure and track your consumers and see how effective your site is. Analytics are really important so that you can see what does and doesn’t work on your site, and use this to continuously improve your online presence. Google Analytics is usually the first tool people start with. It’s easy to set up and plug into your site, and in your dashboard you’ll be able to see tons of useful stats such as how many visitors are on your site, bounce rate, which pages are most popular, what percentage of your visitors are on mobile or desktop, etc. You can check out another great article here about some different analytical tools available that you can use for your site.
Sometimes people don’t realise that even if you hire a web designer/developer to build your site for you, the best sites will be made when you take the time and effort to be involved in (and enjoy!) the whole process. Knowing ahead of time what you’ll need to have ready for your build will help give you a head start on the process and set you up for a more enjoyable experience.
Get in touch with me if you’d like to talk about working on your website together!