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8 Key Tips Before You Design Your Website

Designing a new website, whether you are doing it yourself or hiring a professional, can be an overwhelming task. Domains, hosting, writing your content, choosing a designer and images are just some of the things you have to think about. Most small businesses underestimate the work required to create a strategic website leading to overwhelm and stress.

What you should consider before when designing a website

It can be tempting to just jump right into the fun part of layouts and designing, but we encourage you to hold off and do some solid preparation first. This will not only save you headaches later on, but it will also streamline the whole process and get you online more efficiently.

Here are 8 key steps we recommend you take the time to think through:

1. What do you need your website to DO?

This probably sounds like a silly question but ‘I just need a website’ isn’t going to cut it. Your website must have a purpose. It has to be designed to encourage visitors to use your website, not leave because it’s confusing or difficult to use.
A website can benefit your business in a number of ways including:

  • Increasing your brand awareness
  • Selling online to a bigger audience
  • Increasing engagement from potential and current clients
  • Informing potential customers of who you are and what you do

2. Who is your customer

You might already know your ideal customer well. However, whether you do or you don’t, take the time to write a detailed description of who your ideal customer is and also the type of person that has already bought from you. If you don’t know who that is, use social media, incentives and other strategies to find out. Make sure you can quickly and simply define your target to your marketing team, writers and designers.

3. Find out what your competitors are doing right and wrong

Check out the top companies in your industry and find out where they shine and how you can get there. Why are they on their first pages? What is good about their site? Is their marketing better? Are their products or services better? If so, how?

4. Plan out your pages & navigation

After working out why you need a new website, you should look at what pages you need to include.

For most small businesses a homepage, about, services, testimonials, location/contact are all that is necessary. Others may need more in-depth information on individual services, case studies, and product features. There is no one size fits all regarding the number of pages, you have to figure out what your individual needs are.

5. Build your content

Content is one of the most dreaded parts of designing your website but it’s also one of the most important. Having the text content ready before the design stage is essential for most website designers. Not only because it’s extremely difficult to design properly without the content but also because it streamlines the whole website build. Add fresh content or change your website content at least 2-4 times a year, and along with trends in your industry. And don’t forget the power of call-to-actions as a way to make it easier for people to follow through and get you the results you want.

6. Organize your photos

An important aspect of your website’s overall appeal and effectiveness is good images. High-quality photography makes the world of difference to your website. No one wants to see messy, dark and blurry photos on your website – it just doesn’t sell your products and services well. Having professional photos taken of you and/or your premises gives your website a more authentic and personal feel.

7. Buy your domain name

If you haven’t already purchased your domain name, you should get that as soon as possible. It’s common for businesses to find that their desired domain name has already been snapped up. If your business is new, it’s best to check right at the beginning to avoid costly renaming and rebranding.

8. Buy hosting

Website hosting is required to get your website online, it’s essentially where all your pages, files, and images are stored and accessed when someone types in your domain. Choosing the right hosting is vital, and we cannot stress enough just how important it is. Not all hosting companies are equal, with some being downright awful.

The good news is Charley Grey is a one-stop-shop for all of the above steps. Whether you need help with all of them, just a few, or simply recommendations on where to turn — we are your team! Call us for more information when you’re ready!