April 2020

Getting Started

Are you struggling to get your website launched or redone? Trying to balance the desire to hire a professional to do your website, but worried about how long it will take or how much it will cost? There are things you can do before you get started with the professionals to help manage those factors, and here are some tips for you. By having these items prepared and ready to go, a developer or designer should be able to start working on your site as soon as their availability is open, instead of delaying with a bunch of emails going back and forth to gather the information they need to build a successful site for you. Even if you decide to build your website yourself, having all of this work done ahead of time will make the process easier and quicker once you start developing the site.

Check Box

Here are the basic steps to follow to get started:

Establish Your Branding

Get a logo, pick a color scheme, select fonts, and write these things down somewhere so you can use them consistently across all platforms, including your printed materials, social media, and website. Consistency is key to brand recognition. If a designer or developer doesn’t ask what branding you already have established (even if the answer is none), move on to someone else.

Find Examples

Take a look at your competitors’ websites. Make notes of what you like and don’t like about their sites. Find an example of a website that you really like, even if it’s outside your industry. Focus on the layout of pages and organization of content more than the colors or the quality of the content. Save the URL to show your web developer. This helps them understand what you want your site to look like when it’s done. It saves time if they can get it right the first time, instead of needing to make a lot of revisions if isn’t what you wanted.

Make Lists

Make a list of everything you must have on your site. Think about things like links to social media, a signup form for your emails or newsletters, what sections you want (home, about, testimonials, services, etc.), a contact form, portfolio of past work, and the list goes on. Make another list of the things that would be nice to have, but your business can live without. Once you are ready to get quotes, you can re-evaluate the “wants” list and decide what is within your budget and best accomplishes your goals.

Prepare Content

Once you know what sections or pages you want on your site, start preparing your content. Unless you are hiring someone who also prepares content, the website developer can only get so much done without having the content. Content includes written text, images, graphics or charts, and a logo or other branded visual elements. Think about if your site will need a terms and conditions or privacy policy. For certain industries or target markets, you may need other legal disclaimers on your site to protect your business. For most businesses, this is much simpler than it sounds, but it’s worth the time to look into it.

Get a quote

Many new businesses hold off on getting a professional website due to budget restrictions. Get quotes from at least 3 businesses you’d like to work with based on their style, reviews, communication, and/or reputation. Find out what is their typical timeframe for completion, and if they will charge by the hour or by the project. Learn more about how to pick a website designer or developer HERE.

Of course, if budget is not a concern, you can hire professionals that specialize in each of these things. A graphic designer can make a great logo for you. A lawyer can figure out what legal disclaimers you may need. For most businesses, hiring out everything is not an affordable option. Find the balance between time and money that works for your business, but don’t delay getting your site up and running by trying to do it all yourself when time is limited.

An honest company should give you a rate that reflects that you have already prepared for your site to be built. The preparation can eliminate many emails or phone calls to establish what you want, what your brand is, and what you want your site to accomplish. It allows for your site to be built quickly and efficiently, while keeping costs low. Here at Virtability, we offer a FREE consultation call to discuss your business and provide a quote. Reach out to us today to start checking off one of these five steps!

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