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6 Minute Read

10 Things To Get Clear On Before Starting Your New Website

Posted on
March 22, 2023
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A website can be a valuable asset for any business. Still, ensuring that it accurately represents your brand and meets your unique needs is crucial. Therefore, having a clear vision before working with a web designer is vital.

Congratulations on taking the first step towards building a new website! With careful planning and collaboration with the right designer, you can create a site that is invaluable for reaching out to potential customers and keeping existing ones updated.

Here are ten areas of your website every good webs designer will ask you about:

Define your goals

To create a website that meets your unique needs, it's crucial to have a clear idea of what you want it to achieve. For example, do you want to sell products, generate leads, or drive traffic to your physical store? 

Your goals will determine your site's design, functionality, and overall feel. Therefore, before starting work with a designer, communicate your goals clearly and be as specific as possible. Show examples of websites you like and explain why they appeal to you.

By communicating your expectations upfront and providing specific examples, you can ensure your designer creates a website that accurately represents your business and meets your unique needs. A collaborative approach between you and the designer can lead to an effective website that achieves your goals.

Know your audience

To create a website that resonates with your ideal customer, it's crucial to understand their needs and preferences. First, consider who your target audience is and what motivates them. What problems do they need to solve, and how can your website help meet them? Answering these questions will help determine your site's tone, content, and messaging.

When working with a designer, communicate who your target audience is so that every site element is designed with them in mind. From colour schemes to font choices, images to copywriting, every aspect should be tailored to appeal to your ideal customer. 

By keeping your target audience in mind throughout the design process, you can create a website that effectively reaches and engages your desired demographic.

Research your competition

To create a website that stands out from the competition, it's essential to research what other businesses in your industry are doing with their websites. Analyse their design, functionality, and messaging to understand what works and what doesn't.

Identify elements you like and want to incorporate into your site, but also look for areas where you can differentiate yourself. What unique value proposition can you offer your customers? How can you provide a better user experience than your competitors? Consider incorporating innovative features or creative design elements that set you apart.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a visually appealing and functional website while effectively representing your brand. By understanding what's already out there and finding ways to stand out, you can create a website that leaves a lasting impression on visitors and helps drive business growth.

Understand your budget

Determining a realistic budget for your website is an essential step in the planning process. Consider what you can afford to spend and how that will impact the project's scope.

A smaller budget may mean prioritising certain features or limiting the amount of custom design work. On the other hand, a larger budget may allow for more extensive customisation and advanced functionality.

It's also important to consider any ongoing maintenance costs, such as hosting and updates, when calculating your overall website budget.

By setting clear expectations for your website project's scope and budget upfront, you can avoid surprises down the road and ensure that you're investing in a website that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

Have an open mind

It's important to remember that your web designer is an expert in their field and has the knowledge and experience to guide the direction of your website project. While you may have initial ideas about what you want your website to look like and how it should function, respecting your designer's expertise and being open to their suggestions is essential.

Your designer may challenge some of your initial ideas, but this is often a good thing. They can provide valuable insights into what will work best for your business and help you create a website that looks great and functions well.

By trusting your designer's expertise, you likely end up with a better website than if you were to micromanage every aspect of the project. Remember that they are there to help you create a beautiful and functional website that meets the needs of your business and customers.

Set realistic expectations

Designing a website is a collaborative process that takes time and effort from you and your web designer. Therefore, it's essential to be available to provide input and feedback on the design and step back when appropriate, and allow your designer the freedom to do their job without constant supervision.

Keep in mind that there will likely be several rounds of revisions before the final product is complete. Be patient throughout this process, as it's essential to ensure that your website meets your needs and those of your customers.

In addition, it's crucial to provide your web designer with content such as text, images, videos, and other media to populate your site. If you don't have any existing content, be prepared to invest in creating some before launch day.

Remember that website design is a team effort between you and your web designer. By being available when needed, providing content, and allowing your designer the freedom to do their job, you can create a beautiful and functional website that meets the needs of your business.

Set a timeline—and stick to it!

While delays can happen during the website design process, it's essential to stick as closely as possible to the timeline you set with your web designer from the beginning. The longer it takes to launch your site, the more it will cost you money and opportunity costs.

Delays can occur due to various reasons, such as changes in design direction, content creation taking longer than expected, or technical issues that need to be resolved. However, communicating regularly with your web designer and staying on top of deadlines can help minimise delays and keep the project on track.

Remember that every day your website is not live is a missed opportunity for potential customers to find and engage with your business. By sticking to your timeline as closely as possible, you can ensure that your website is launched on time and start reaping the benefits of having an online presence sooner rather than later.

Save on hosting and maintenance costs

Your website hosting is critical to your online presence, and cutting corners in this area can have significant consequences. For example, you opt for a cheap or unreliable hosting provider. In that case, it will show in the speed and reliability of your site.

Investing in quality website hosting is essential to ensure your site loads quickly and is available to visitors whenever needed. A reliable web host will also provide you with the support you need to address any technical issues that may arise.

Once your site runs, remember ongoing maintenance costs like security updates and backups. These are essential to keeping your site running smoothly and protecting it from threats like hacking attempts or data breaches.

Regularly updating your website's software and plugins can help ensure it remains secure and free of vulnerabilities that cybercriminals could exploit. Backing up your site regularly can also help protect against data loss due to technical issues or malicious attacks.

Remember, your website is an investment in the success of your business. By investing in quality hosting and ongoing maintenance, you can ensure that it continues to deliver value for years to come.

The Message You Want To Communicate

Keeping your brand message front and centre is essential when creating a new website. What do you want people to think of when they think of your brand? Every element of your site should reinforce that message, from the colours and fonts you use to the images and copy you include.

Take some time to consider what message you want to communicate through your website. What sets your brand apart from others in your industry? What values do you want to convey? Once you have a clear idea of what you want to communicate, communicate it to your web designer so they can help ensure that everything on the site reinforces that message loud and clear.

Your website is often the first impression people will have of your business, so ensuring it accurately reflects who you are and what you stand for is essential. By keeping your brand message at the forefront of every design decision, you can create a website that looks great and communicates what makes your business unique.

The Purpose of Each Page

Ensuring every page on your website has a specific purpose is essential. For example, your home page might be designed to give visitors an overview of what your business does. In contrast, your product pages are designed to showcase individual products and get people to add them to their cart.

When planning your website with your designer, ensure you have a clear idea of the purpose of each page. This will allow them to design each page in a way that achieves that purpose effectively. It's also important to consider the user experience when designing each page. Is it easy for visitors to find what they're looking for? Is the layout intuitive and visually appealing?

By keeping the purpose of each page in mind and designing with the user experience in focus, you can create a website that looks great, functions effectively, and helps drive conversions. Remember, every website element should work together seamlessly to achieve your business goals.

In Conclusion

Creating a new website for your business can be an exciting undertaking! However, it's crucial to keep in mind certain factors that can make or break the success of your website.

It's always beneficial to have a clear understanding of what success means to you in terms of the finished website before starting the project, but don’t worry too much as a good designer will guide you through each area of the project prior to building your new site.

It's also important to consider what kind of investment you're willing to make in your website. A well-designed site can be a valuable asset for any business, but balancing cost and quality is essential.

By being clear about your goals and understanding the process from start to finish, you can ensure that your new website is everything you want it to be—and more! With a well-designed site that accurately represents your brand and appeals to your target audience, you'll have a valuable tool for growing your business like never before.

Ellie Hill
Director at South Digital

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