So, it’s happened. You’re ready for a new website. Whether you’re looking at a template or a custom website design, the idea of creating something entirely new can feel a little daunting.
Well my friends, hopefully today’s post and free Website Checklist (CLICK HERE to snag it in the free Brand Resource Library) will help put your mind at ease. We’re diving into all the basics of what you need to check off the list prior to jumping into the website design process.
Preparing for Your Website Design – The Tech
The domain is the URL. Prior to getting started with your project, you’ll need to purchase your domain.
- Go Daddy
The website host is where your website actually will live. The domain is like the house and the host is the plot of land.
Email Service Provider
The email service provider is where you’ll send one-on-one emails. This is NOT for mass marketing purposes. It’s the tool that you use to send and receive regular emails.
Email marketing platform
Your email marketing platform is where you send mass-emails. It’s the tool used to collect email addresses from interested visitors.
Preparing for Your Website Design – The Design
Brand Style Guide
Your brand style guide is a document outlining the standards for your visual brand. At a minimum, it needs to include:
- Logo + variations
- Color palette
- Font recommendations
If you’ve worked with a brand photographer, this step is easy! If not, no worries. My pro-tip is to make sure your photos have a similar editing style so that the look stays consistent and cohesive.
Gather your thoughts and ideas on what type of websites you’re drawn to AND WHY. Being able to articulate what specifically you like about a certain page will help once you start the design process. And, don’t just stick to websites within your industry – see what else is out there because you never know when inspiration might strike!
Preparing for Your Website Design – The Brand
Your brand strategy is the plan for communicating your brand in a consistent and cohesive way. By understanding your brand, I can ensure we’re staying consistent and cohesive across the board. We’ll walk through these items together, but it’s important to start thinking about them before we begin.
- Ideal client
- Brand values
- Unique solution
- Brand positioning
- Brand voice + personality
Have clarity around the specifics of your services so we can structure your website appropriately. This can include:
- Clear-cut packages
- A la carte offerings
Preparing for Your Website Design – The Content
Before getting started, it’s ideal to have an idea of what pages you want on your new site along with the structure – this is the sitemap. It’s the layout of your website; more specifically, what pages will go where.
Gathering your thoughts to write your website copy is no easy task Once we lock in your project, I’ll send over a content guide that walks you through even more questions to help you get clear on what to write. In the meantime, think about your answers for these questions for each of the pages on your sitemap:
- What’s the purpose of the page?
- What’s the main call-to-action (CTA)?
- What services/packages would you like to highlight on your home page?
- What contact information do you want listed?
- What’s your ideal client-focused about section?
- What credentials or accomplishments help tell your brand story?
- Do you have any testimonials to share?
- What are the key features, benefits and deliverables of your services?
- What does the booking process look like?
Email Subscriber Opt-in + Welcome email
In order to incentivize someone to sign up for your email list, I recommend offering something of value, like a free checklist, ebook or workbook. It’s important to have that opt-in created and ready to go, along with the welcome email someone will receive as soon as they opt into your list.
Yes, it’s kind of a long list. But, that’s also kind of the point. There are a lot of moving pieces that go into making your website something you’re proud and excited to share – now and for years to come.
Don’t forget to grab the checklist here in the free Brand Resource Library! And, when you’re ready to jump into the design, I’d love to chat!
All my best,
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