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Everything You Need to Know Before Building Your Business Website

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When I built my first business website, there were so many details I wished I had known about earlier. I’m here to pass those insights on to you, covering what you need before you start, what to keep in mind as you go, and what to do after your website is live. This is also the process I go through when designing websites for my clients.

Before You Start:

1. Pick Your Business Name AKA Your Domain Name

Choosing your business name is the first step, and this will usually be your domain name as well. Your domain name is like your online address (for example: www.businessname.com. Before you get too set on a name, make sure the domain is available, or you might need to brainstorm some alternatives. I like using Namecheap to buy domain names cause it’s so reliable.

2. Choose Your Website Builder (Squarespace, Wix, or Showit, etc)

Picking the right platform to build your website is important. WordPress is great if you need something that can grow with your business, though it might take some time to get used to. If you’re not tech-savvy, Squarespace, Wix, or Showit are great choices. And if you’re looking to sell products, then Shopify is fantastic for setting up an online store.

Tip: If you decide on WordPress, choose wordpress.org over wordpress.com. WordPress.org is more flexible and better for a business site, while WordPress.com is more limited and better suited for personal use.

3. Plan Your Website’s Structure

Think about the pages you need and what each one is for. A good starting point is having a Home, About, Services, and Contact page. Also, think about what you want people to do on each page, whether it’s to book a call, buy a product, or just get in touch. Make it clear what you want visitors to do.

4. Sort Out Your Branding Before You Start

It’s a huge help to decide on your branding elements like your logo, favicon, colors, and fonts (try to stick to about three fonts max to keep things tidy) before diving into the design. Having these ready will save you time and keep your website consistent.

5. Organize Your Images

Plan a brand photoshoot to match your brand colors, or choose stock photos that fit your aesthetic. Having all your images ready before you start designing makes the process much smoother. For high-quality, premium, on-brand images, I recommend checking out Elevae and Pexels for free high-quality images.

6. Write Your Website Copy

Your website’s look draws people in, but your words keep them there. Take the time to think about what your ideal clients need to hear. What are their desires? How can your services meet those needs? Why should they choose you? Write your copy for each website page before you start designing.

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As You Design:

Now that you have everything ready, you can start putting your website together. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Have a clear picture of what you want your site to look like. Draw inspiration from others but personalize it to make it your own. Check out my Pinterest account where I have a board titled ‘Website Design Inspiration’ as a starting point.
  • Keep your contact forms simple. Asking for too much info, like specifically phone numbers, might scare people off.
  • Avoid using Canva graphics with text as they can’t be read by search engines and aren’t accessible to everyone. Plus, they might not display well on different devices.
  • Use colors that are easy to see against each other to make everything readable for everyone, enhancing accessibility.
  • Remember, done is better than perfect. Aim for a website you’d happily share with others, but don’t get caught up in trying to make everything perfect.

Optional Extras:

1. Connect your email marketing platform to your website

Linking your email marketing platform to your website helps make sure everything runs smoothly when people sign up for your email list or download a freebie. My personal favorite is Mailerlite.

2. Make your images smaller so they don’t make your website slower

Before uploading any images to your website, use an external tool to make these images smaller in size. If your images are too big, they will slow down your website. We’ve all been on those super slow websites, right? And hated it. My favorite tool to do this is Shortpixel.

3. Add a privacy policy

By law, websites should have a privacy policy, regardless of where you live in the world, especially if you’re collecting personal information from website visitors, such as names, email addresses, or payment details. Without it, you could get fined. And if you sell stuff on your website, also add a terms and conditions policy. You can either purchase these policies online, ask your lawyer to put it together for you or google a free privacy policy generator or a free terms and conditions policy generator.

4. Add your social media links

Not everyone who visits your website is ready to make a purchase right away. By adding links to your social media, you give them a way to stay connected and learn more about your services at their own pace.

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After You Launch:

  • Make sure all your links and forms work as expected.
  • Test everything thoroughly, from signing up for newsletters to buying products.
  • When you launch your website and share it with your audience, it’s good to remember that naturally, not everyone might visit right away. A fun way to encourage more visitors and share the excitement is by hosting a special event like a giveaway. Offering something like a discount, a free consultation (that is usually a paid consultation), or a special members-only offer can be a great way to welcome visitors and share the excitement you feel about your website.

If you enjoyed this and you’re a female entrepreneur who needs advice on building your website or brand—or maybe you’ve already set these up but now need an expert to review them—I’d love to help. Check out my Design Clarity Hour sessions!

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