There's a lot of things to prepare before making a website or redesigning your website. Contacting your web designer for a meeting is a good start, but there are also some things you can think about and do that will make sure your new website launches as soon as possible.
What to Prepare Before Making a Website
What are your goals, and what do you want your website to be able to do? Is it to sell products online? An informational website about your business? Create an interesting blog? All of the above? Knowing your goals can help you decide what kind of web design company to use and how much money it may cost to create your website. If you want a very simple and basic structured website, smaller web design companies servicing small businesses are the best and cheapest option, usually around $450-1,500 to design. If you require a multi-layered, multi-purpose website with particular design elements, a larger web design company will best serve your business' needs and cost around $2,000 upwards. Larger companies will also have different staff for different parts of the website, ensuring a very smooth and sleek web design.
2. Web Design Research
There are many options when deciding on what kind of web design will suit your business. Before you meet with your web designer start by thinking what kind of a homepage you would like and what kind of information you’d like on it. Research similar businesses and see what kind of website seems to work (and take note of what doesn’t work!) Find a couple of websites you really love to show your web designer.
3. Website CMS
There are different types of CMS, or Content Management System you can use to set up your website. At the most basic level, a CMS lets you upload and manage the content for your website.
The most popular are WordPress. WordPress has the widest range of themes you can use as templates for your website that can make it much cheaper to design your website. At Retro Events & Marketing, we base our Wordpress web designs on pre-made themes so your website is cheaper and quicker to build.
WordPress doesn't usually include hosting of your website, so you can buy your web-hosting plan through Bluehost or Hostgator which is around $5-15 per month.
Another popular and simple CMS we also use is Squarespace. Squarespace is great for a simpler experience, perfect for small businesses that want a simple design. Squarespace offers a more limited range of templates, but packages together with CMS, web hosting and your domain name, making it a more convenient experience for many small business owners.
Your website name is usually the same as your business name, but it’s not always practical or may not even be available to register for your domain name. At this stage, it’s best to contact your web designer (like us!) and work together to see what website names will work for you. Once decided, you can register your domain name.
4. Logo & Business Details
Having all your business's details ready in one folder read to give your web designer will speed up the process to no end. Include in it:
- Business name, tagline (if applicable)
- Business logo - include different sized logos
- All social media accounts
- Current email for general inquiries
- Full business name and ABN
- Phone number and business address
- Logins to your website and hosting company (only if you already have a website)
5. Web Copy & Content
The most important thing to prepare before creating a website is the web copy. Web copy or text is what you write for your website’s blog posts, about page, etc. Writing content for your website is time-consuming so it’s a good idea to start as early as possible so you can have everything ready for your website.
A good place to start is your about page. Get some inspiration from some similar businesses' about page. Include a little about your business and make it snappy and interesting, maybe even funny. Make sure to
If you have a team working for your business it can be a nice touch to have a team page or section on your website and a short bio and photo so potential clients know who they will be working with. You can ask your employees to provide a couple of nice photos of themselves, but if this doesn’t cut it you can always get a photographer in to capture some nice photos of your team. This can be a good investment in the long run as the photographer can also get some professional photos of your business in action to add to many other sections of your website.
Adding eCommerce, or a way to sell products on your website adds quite a lot of cost to your website so think about if you need it and what kind of products you will sell.
It’s a good idea to prepare each product description in one document, including cost, postage cost, tax, photos etc. That way when the web designer uploads your products there is no confusion as to which details belong to which product. Product photographs should be crystal clear, with a white background so there’s nothing distracting. It’s best to have a few photographs of the products – close-up, side view, wide view and perhaps a model wearing the product or using the product to show to your customer how it will look, demonstrating how it will improve their life.
Nice photos of your team, business, services and or products make all the difference to creating a nice website. If you don’t have any photos you can always buy some through stock photo websites, or better yet, hire a photographer to come to your business and take some.
If you are stuck for photos for your website some web designers offer a stock photo services, like we do. Alternatively, you can ask your web designer or graphic designer to create some unique graphics and title pages like we use for our posts.
Following these steps will definitely speed up the process of getting your website complete. It will also give your web designer a better idea of what kind of website you want so the end result is just what you needed.