Congratulations! You have made a decision to invest in your business and yourself. You are ready to put up your website. What next? What do you need to do? It is so great to be able to outsource projects like your website. But there are a few things you need to know before you do that satisfying scratch to cross it off your list.
The first thing you need to think about and provide the your website designer with is your domain name. This will be the address for your site. You can check the availability of a domain name you want at whois.net. Try to think of something easy to remember. Lean more toward real words than concise acronyms that are confusing to your target market who is not yet familiar with your business. The name of your business works best.
Next you will need to provide details about your company identity. This includes your logo and business name, and business email address. Many companies just starting out have a free mailbox email address (gmail/hotmail) but those don’t look as professional as the ones tied to your domain name. If you do not have a logo, you can expect this to be a project in itself. Take your time with this and get it right the first time. Even if it takes months.
Next is high quality images. Every website needs high quality images. Low quality images or scanned images really aren’t going to work if you want your website to look professional. There are a lot of websites out there where you can browse stock images (shutterstock, istock, 123rf) and it really makes sense to purchase a few of them. Or save the links and send them to your designer to process. When you are willing to spend a little on stock images, your website conveys the message that your business is modern and professional. Visitors spend more time on websites with images that are pleasing to the eye.
Last and most important is content. Try to have a main idea of what you want to communicate with your website. And then make an outline of categories. And then write up an explanation of those categories in detail. What is it that you do? If writing is not your forte, it is so important to get some help. Your published content is how customers find you, so you’ve got to place the right words, and the right phrases, articles, descriptions on your website so that you will be found when a customer is searching. This is also an area where you establish credibility. Get help to get the content written well so that people can trust that you are capable and professional.
Now comes the part where you get to relax and let someone else do the work for you. Your designer should take care of actual work of building the site, including setting up hosting, domain registration, store setup, etc. Your designer should be able to work with your images to edit them and showcase them (as long as they are quality high resolution images). When the project is done you should also have a plan for the analytics of the site. Ask your designer to give you periodical reports, or have them give you login information and directions on how to view and read this yourself. Also sort out who will be making changes and updates over a period of time so that you do not incur unexpected charges with the fine tuning that often happens during the first year. Ready to begin? Exciting times! Message your favorite designer here to get started.