OK, so you’ve decided it’s GO TIME and you want a website. Now what?
Start thinking about what domain you want. Thinking. Give yourself a few days. Shorter is better and so is easy to remember. I suggest no more than 3 consecutive words. A made up word is better if that’s your best option. The reality is that if your site’s purpose isn’t super obvious from your domain, like time.gov, you’ll have to have a brief description on the site or in the logo anyways.
When I was deciding on my domain name for my meal planning site, I knew there were a LOT of other sites out there using the words “plate,” “food,” and/or “meal.” The crux of the site is that the entire year is planned and balanced for taste, cost, time, effort, and season, but you can customize it or just use the system and features and make your own plan however you want. After soliciting a lot of advice and getting even more answers (yearlongmealplan.com, plannedplate.com, crowdedplate.com, etc), it seemed obvious to me that a made-up word was the way to go: Disheroo.com. It was fun, different, and with a quick search, I knew I could have the domain and @DisherooMeals as my Twitter handle. These things matter.
It makes it easier if your business name is already established because you’ll want it to be related if possible. Important: it’s cheap and easy to add related domain names and have them redirect to your real site. I have Disharoo.com that redirects to Disheroo. You SHOULD search variations of names you’re interested in to make sure a big player in the industry doesn’t already exist and it shouldn’t be so similar that people will get it confused.
As you think of domains you like, search to see if they’re available here: https://in.godaddy.com/domains/domain-name-search
Start gathering images, videos, links to YouTube, favorite links within the industry.
Start thinking and writing about the information you give to prospective clients/customers. And the info you give when they call with a problem after they’ve purchased. Any chunk of information that you give to people on a habitual basis should be on your site and ready for you to at least link to it.
You don’t have to have it all typed up, but at least start writing it down, so you can type it up quickly. Your site will come together in a snap and it will be much CHEAPER the more content you can give me at once to build your site. And yes, it must be all digital so I can copy and paste. If you want, I can set you up with a Virtual Admin (VA) you can mail it to and she’ll type it in a format I can use for $10/hour.
You will NOT knock this out of the park right away. If you are committed to your business and are thus learning about making it better and marketing it better, you will be constantly evolving your home page. It should definitely accomplish 1, possibly 2, and no more than 3 MAIN goals with your customers. You are probably not CNN or Amazon and thus, should not have a home page crammed with content.
Organizing your content well is important mostly because of smart phones. No one wants to scroll forever on a phone unless they’re being constantly entertained. And the percent of mobile traffic is crazy high for some industries. If you have very little content, that’s delightful to design: go for minimalism and some beautiful stock images. If you have a ton of content, you need to make it easy as cake for your users to find what they’re looking for (and have it load) in 5 seconds or less. This was a hard lesson for me to learn when I transitioned from working in a company setting where my users were FORCED to use the tools I made because it was their job to working on public internet user sites where I was persuading users that my site would make their lives better and I wanted them to stay as long as possible. If it’s slow or something is hard to find or figure out, they will leave and go to your competition.
REALLY GOOD ARTICLE => https://www.thesaleslion.com/website-homepage-design-mistakes/
About (This can take a number of forms)
Contact (yes, you must have a contact page with a form. You must.)
Events (only if you have frequent events)
Products (you must have at least 2 to have this page)
Testimonials (you should have at least 3 before having this page)
News (only if you have somewhat frequent news, we’re talking at LEAST twice a year)
Start browsing themes
If you don’t want to do this, I can do it for you.
If we’re utilizing WordPress, start Googling and browsing WordPress themes (I can give you guidance on this). Themes provide both style and some functionality. They range from free to a few hundred dollars. So far, I’ve never paid for one.
Since you’ve been thinking about your content, you know what you need. And this is what you need to know about themes.
Here’s my metaphor:
WordPress themes are like if you were going to cook in someone else’s kitchen and you had to go pick a bundle of cooking tools/instruments. There are basic bundles that include just the basics like a knife, cutting board, skillet, bowl, and spatula. There are specialty bundles (themes) that include the basics plus a food processor, stand mixer, a full set of prep tools, measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, spatulas, and all kinds of crazy knives. My guess is you’ll need something somewhere in between.
So the point is that most have great basics. Some have terrific specialty tools. The most important thing is that you like the general style structure of the theme because that can be really difficult to change. Whether or not it let’s you customize the background, add a logo, easily change the color scheme (if you don’t like it).
Make a list of like 10 links to themes you like and I’ll help you narrow down what I think will be best for your needs. The great thing is that you can change it pretty easily later if you decide to.
Pull the Trigger
Create your account with your hosting company
I’ll need access to it so 1) make your password something you don’t mind sharing, 2) when you’ve created your account and they’ve sent you the confirmation email, forward it to me with your login information.
I’ll start working
If we’re utilizing WordPress, I’ll install it and your chosen theme. Then I’ll start building. Feel free to check things out, but remember–it’s a process and may look goofy until I finalize the configuration. I’ll keep you updated.
If you’re going to be building most of the pages yourself in WordPress after I configure it, here are some formatting articles that I’ve found helpful: