21 Oct 7 Essentials To Discuss For Your Website Build
What do I need to get a website built?
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 make 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 website, and the whole process during which it is built.
Too many times I’ve been involved in projects where a client has been sold a product and made to believe that their site could be built with hardly any involvement from them, to then have them shocked to find out they need to contribute to the build process in some way, and usually way more than they realised. This usually results in a lot of stalling, builds never really getting off the ground and projects taking ages to complete. In the end, if the website does eventually get finished, 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, we’ll be able to build a website that is going to work for you, make a difference to your brand and help convert your consumers into paying customers and raving fans.
Of course, depending on where you’re at with your work or your business, you may have all of these items or none of them. I can certainly help you with all of these items and even do most of them for you, but if you have an idea of what is ideally required from me at the start of your build we’ll be more organised from the get go!
Here are the top items you would ideally have (or at least know we’ll need to look at together) before we start 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. Alternatively, if you’re getting your site built with me, I would be happy to add your website to my own hosting.
What will be a little different here is whether your website is being built for the first time or you’re getting a redesign done. If your site is being built from scratch, it is probably easiest to let me take care of your hosting for you and simply add you to my hosting where I keep the majority of my client sites. If you already have a site live that you’d like redesigned, you’ll already have hosting in place. If this is the case, I’ll simply need login details to access your hosting as well as login details to access your site. It is possible to move your website from one hosting provider to another, however if you’re happy with your hosting provider I usually recommend staying put.
If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll hopefully have a logo! Some businesses are 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 if we discuss some of your unique selling points so that we 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
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: images 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. You can read here about when I took all of the photos before I built the website for S’mug coffee bar; taking all of their photos helped give their website such a lovely, consistent look. 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. Using some stock images is absolutely fine, but ideally the majority of the photos used for your website build will be professionally taken photos of your own business in high resolution.
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. There are several different ways this can be done; by yourself, by me, or by a copywriter. 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! I am always happy to edit/proofread your written content, or help write it for you. If I am writing your content, I do ask for at least a few bullet points for each page so I can understand more about who you ideal consumer is, what your goals are, and what style you would like your content written in. 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. Depending who you get, they may have years of work behind them with with lots of experience in your industry.
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 show me what your calls to action, user experience, and website design should portray. If your email list is most important to you, we’ll want to have this on every page and look at some different singup options across your site. When I know what your goals for your website are, it becomes a lot easier for me to 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. It’s easy to sign up for and add to the back end of your site, and this is something I can do for you during your site build. You can check out another great article here about some different analytical tools available that you can use for your site.
Now you’re ready to get started.
And there you have it; my list of essentials items we should discuss and work on before your website build. Discussing what is required from both of us will get us off to a great start for your project. Depending on what is needed and how comfortable you are with completing some of these items yourself, I can help you with or complete all of these for you if required. Depending on what needs done, this can affect both the cost of your site and how long it will take. I have a pricing guide here, and I always love to have a chat and hear about potential new projects too. Get in touch with me here or drop me an email at email@example.com to discuss your project and I can give you a free quote depending entirely on exactly what you need for your project.
What do you think? Is it helpful to understand more about these points from the outset? Did I miss anything? Leave me a comment below and let me know if these points were helpful for you, or especially if you think I missed anything!