Are you in need of a new website and not sure how to start? Here’s a primer to get you started the right way and avoid problems down the road.
Before you jump on the Squarespace platform because of an ad you saw on YouTube, or use a cheap logo “service”, or decide to hire your neighbor’s daughter’s girlfriend… here are some sound steps to get your brand and new website started on the best foot forward.
Although the basics to create a web page are fairly simple… creating a functional new website with purpose is more than just a bunch of pages, posts, and links to your social.
At the start, you will need to know your business or product name.
This is extremely important at the start. In order to keep your branding consistent, make sure you get all of your accounts set up with the same name. A new website with the same domain name as your social media accounts will solidify your brand.
Domain Name – This is the websitename.com and is part of your URL.
@WebsiteName – Make sure you can get the SAME name for all of your social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, etc) It does not matter if you don’t want these now. It WILL matter once your business is built and you are successful. Do this correctly now so you won’t have the headache of paying huge cyber-squatter fees to give up your name.
Trademarks – This goes without saying, so sure you know if your name or logo might violate a trademark. This will take tie, research, and will save you money and more in the long run.
GoDaddy is great for buying domain names. I do NOT recommend that you use them for hosting. In fact, I no longer take on any client website that is hosted on GoDaddy. Yes, they are that difficult to work with as a host.
Logo & Tagline
Although it’s “simple” and not “rocket science” to create an icon… developing your iconic logo correctly requires experience.
After designing and developing dozens of brands for clients in all types of industries, I can sincerely say that it’s not as easy as it looks in those tailer brand ads on TikTok. One needs to factor in uniqueness, memorability, colors, font, spacing, balance, icons, symbols, trademark violations, monochrome and multicolor solutions.
Hiring a professional designer will ensure you are doing this properly. If you choose to do this yourself or on the cheap, be prepared to have limitations or issues with it later down the road.
Before you establish your goals, you will need to know who your audience is. Who is your ideal customer/audience? Who are they? Your new website needs to address and attract your target audience.
- How old are they?
- What gender are they?
- Where do they hang out online?
- What are their interests?
- What are the Top 5 Reasons your ideal customer will visit your website?
How do you learn about your target audience?
- Interview your customers.
- Interview your ideal buyers.
- Send out surveys.
- See what customers are saying online.
- See what your business data says.
- Research trending terms through SEO tools.
A Customer Profile is a semi-fictional character you create to represent your ideal customer. It is a description of an imaginary customer who meets the criteria of your target audience. To create your customer persona, fill in the following information that describes them. We will make sure that your new website and messaging talk to your customer.
- Family situation
- Annual income
- Job title
- Company size
- What are their professional goals?
- Personality traits
- Subconscious and conscious beliefs
- Favorite blogs/websites
- Favorite magazines/books
- Favorite thought leaders
Beliefs / Goals
- What do they believe strongly in?
- What are the characteristics of their personality?
- What are their personal goals?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What are their pain points?
- What challenges are they facing?
- What is their role in the purchase process?
- How do they regularly buy?
- What are their objections to purchasing?
Unique Selling Proposition
Keep your plugins and core updated. This is kind of a no-brainer, yet still a good reminder. Your WordPress website is like software on a server. There are frequent updates, and not just to WordPress; there are updates to your plugins as well.
Everything needs to have a purpose. If you want a website because your competitors have a website is NOT a good enough reason.
First, define your goals. Is the goal of your new website to build your customer base, to establish your brand in the market, or to sell services and products directly to the buyer?
Knowing what your goals are will pave the direction in which your developer and designer take, leading to a measurable understanding of success.
Your messaging and communication flow will be established through careful examination of your content.
If you need help with your content development, that should be done at the beginning before your new website development can be estimated. Your site might be just 1 page or dozens with a diverse set of features and functions. We won’t know until we see what the content is.
Content includes the messaging, wording, text, as well as the visual media like images, videos, charts, diagrams.
Links to websites and documents are also needed in order to best understand how to link (in text, as a button, in a library, hidden behind membership access, etc)
We can not know how to estimate the work until we get your content written organized, and proofread.
Your new website content will need to be organized, comprehensive, and have been properly written for SEO purposes. No tall writers will know how to craft your text content with SEO in mind. Your developer should know how to build your site with SEO best practices.
Minimize the number of users. There should be only one admin on your site. Any others you can create roles and capabilities for your editors. Your users need to have secure passwords (see above) and the admin can NOT be named admin. That’s a given, right?
Have a maintenance service plan to keep your site running smoothly. Clean up any unused plugins and themes. We all have them. Those plugins that we tried and then deactivated. If they are not in use, deactivate and toss them out of your site.
Backups are very important as well. Be sure that you have a system in place for daily backups on sites you make daily updates to such s blogging, or weekly or monthly depending on the frequency of content updates.