How to Design a Website Before Appointing a Web Dev
Most people freak out when they realise they need a website for their business, as they don’t know where to start. I know myself – I had no idea. So this is what I did to design my website (and that of Stay at Home Mum.com.au). You see, I’m no website developer, I have no idea when it comes to that sort of thing. But I know my business, I know what colours I like, and I know what I wanted my website to do.
You too know all this (even if you think you don’t!). So to get the website of your absolute dreams, it is really important to start researching the following areas before going to have a website made and spending money on something that may not be just how you wanted it to be.
Take Note of Web Designs You Like
Have a look at the internet and start noticing the layout of different websites. See one you like? Grab the URL (the www. bit) and post it into a spreadsheet (so you remember which one it is). Then note next to it what you liked about it. If you see things on websites that you detest, also note these down, and note why.
Sometimes you don’t know what you want and what you don’t until you see it. See keep this list going.
The more information you can give to the people designing your website, the better your new website will be!
It is Good to be Unique
When I started my Stay at Home Mum website seven years ago, I wanted to make it really girly. I wanted it that way as I only live with boys, and this was my ‘girly outlet’. So it was important to me that there were loads of pastel colours, girly fonts and bright colourful images. Now I’m known for this style! Don’t follow the trend of very sterile websites, choose the colours and styles YOU love, and make a note of them. In business, it is good to stand out from the crowd!
Stick to WordPress Unless You are Creating a Really Tricky Website
Trust me when I say, WordPress is easy to learn for beginners, has so many ‘Plugins’ (Plugins for the uninitiated are little add-ons that allow your website to do other things like adding a shop etc). There are literally thousands of WordPress templates which make constructing your website a lot cheaper.
WordPress has so many advantages, and it can grow with you. Plus hiring a web developer to code a website from scratch can be incredibly expensive (like from $10,000 expensive).
Also stay clear of the free websites such as Wix. Sure, they are free, that’s great – but because of this, you can’t add advertising or e-commerce. You are very limited in what you can actually do, and then if you need to scale up your business, you need to start again on a different platform.
I’m all about business start-ups starting very small (with limited funds) until they prove themselves, but in this case, please – I implore you, start with a WordPress site and spend that $1000 – $2000 getting it done right!
Invest in a Roll of Butcher Paper and Sharpies
Roll out the butcher paper on a huge dining room table or similar – and start ‘charting’ your website. What will your website have to do? Planning a website on paper like this makes you think through all the steps you require and it really helps the web dev see exactly what they have to do – how many pages to create etc.
Even the most basic of websites will have the following:
- Main Page (with a few categories)
- About Us Page (about you, your business, who you are)
- Contact Us Page (phone number, address and how to get a hold of you)
- Blog (this isn’t essential, but a great idea for all websites)
Every ‘category’ on the main page will then need its own section, so think about what your website needs to do.
For example. A Real Estate business will need something like:
- Home Page
- About Us Page
- Contact Us Page
- Homes for Sale
- Land for Sale
- Rental List
- Open House List
The blog contains information that is commonly asked. For example, again using the Real Estate example, ‘Documents You will Need to Apply for a Rental Property’ could be a great blog – it answers a question that someone might ask, and helps them out!
Where can I get a quote for someone to do a website for me?
Great question! We can help you! We have helped clients from every corner of Australia, in every industry. Please drop us a line so we can give you a firm quote on making an amazing website that suits your brand and business! Call Tenacious Digital on (07) 5482 8260.