My husband and I have been thinking about our next house. We’ve been trying to figure out where we want it to be, how much we are willing to spend and at what point we will be ready to make that step. We’ve been thinking a lot about this and it’s amazing the amount of planning that goes into just getting to the point where you are ready to start looking at a house.
Building a website is a lot like this process. You must do a lot of initial planning before it is even possible to start talking to someone about a website. Just like a house, you really need a blueprint of what you are thinking before you are able to pick someone to build your website. Below are five decisions you need to at least start considering before you start to build a website.
What is the Purpose?
Do you have a product or service people are wanting to buy? Do you want your site to sell something? To be informational? You need to know what you want to accomplish with your website. You need to know who you want visiting your site and what you want them to do while they are there.
It’s really important you come up with how much you want to spend on your website. You need to consider your website as an investment in your business, not just another expense. Your customers are more likely to trust you and purchase from you if your website looks professional and well put together.
Think about what content you want on your website. Have an idea for who will be creating the content and providing the images. Your designer can often do that for you, it’s just good to know ahead of time how you plan on obtaining it. If you intend to provide your own content it might be a good idea to start creating it immediately. Often, content is what holds up a website being launched as it takes a long time to get everything put together.
Know what you like
Have examples of websites/features you like and ones you hate. This gives your designer a good idea of which direction to head with your website and will speed up the design process.
Do you know what url you want your website to live at? If you already know exactly what you want, it’s a good idea to go ahead and buy it so someone else doesn’t purchase it while you are waiting. I recommend Hover (affiliate link) to buy domain names. They are who I use for my domains because they have very reasonable prices, they don’t try to upsell you, and if you ever need their help the support is fantastic.
If the domain you already want is taken or you just aren’t sure, your designer can often help you come up with ideas of what would work best.
Your designer can help you with many of these questions but realize you are going to have to consider them all before you start on your website. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.