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The ONE thing you need to do before building your website

When starting a business it’s incredibly easy to be swept up in the excitement of setting-up.  You’ve got your branding to think about, sourcing or creating the products and services that you want to provide to your customers.  Your to-do list can get incredibly long, especially when on a budget, as well as doing and learning many of the tasks yourself.  I’m betting building a website is up there on the top 10 things you need to get sorted while setting up a business.

As with everything, it’s best to break down the task into manageable chunks.  But, if you don’t know what those chunks, therein lies the problem.  In this case, there are few things you need to take into consideration when you create a business website, from a business owner perspective before you part with your hard-earned cash.

Manage Overwhelm

The first is trying to limit the overwhelm when you type into Google ‘how to build a website’.  There are an array of tools that you need to buy in order to create a business website.  It’s understandable that ‘building a website’ item on your to-do list is suddenly relegated to the near bottom.  It’s natural to feel this way – it’s like learning a different language and it’s understandable that you don’t want to set a foot wrong.

Budget, Time and Skills

Ah, the three things that can bring the existence of a website to a grinding halt.  There are so many elements to consider and it’s at this stage you have to manage your expectations with what you can realistically pay for.

The first is your budget. How much money do you have to invest in creating a website? A few pounds, a few hundred pounds, more?   This will, for the most part, determine how your website is built.  

If you have no budget and no skills, you may want to look at the online website software services such as WIX and MoonFruit. However.   If you’re up to the challenge, have a small budget and feel confident enough to have a go yourself, then the self-hosted, WordPress route is for you.  If you do have a decent budget of a good few hundred pounds, would really prefer some to do the job for you – then it’s time to research into hiring a web designer.

You need to ask yourself, do you really have the time, energy and skills to be able to build a website? Ascertain what you want and then see what solution you pay for at this point.  Remember a website is never a finished product and it is something that will grow with your business.

What to add to a website

It may seem counterintuitive, but to build a website, you need to work backwards.  It’s all too easy to get set up with a domain name, hosting and install WordPress, but if you haven’t decided on the purpose of your website in terms of what it will do for your business, then you more than likely going to end up with a website you’re not happy with.   

The ONE thing you need to do before you build your website

Put simply, you need to Plan Your Website.

I can’t reiterate this enough.

If you want a website that generates business, customers, purchases and gets your message across online, you need to plan your website.  By setting aside time, even a couple of hours can make a huge difference in the success or failure of your website.

But what about the look and feel of the website? What about it needs to match my branding? This is important, and a web designer or a particularly adaptable website theme will take care of that aspect for you.  However, the design of your website should never be at the expense of the substance of your website. It’s no good having an all-singing, all-dancing website if it’s out-of-date or doesn’t really convey what you do.

Planning your website will inform all of your purchasing decisions.

Meaning that you won’t be easily swept away with Bright Shiny Solution Syndrome.  

That your website will align and reflect with where you are in your business today.  It also gives you that breathing space to think about what information you need to provide and what your clients are looking for.  It gives you permission to think about how you are going to manage and maintain your website on an ongoing basis.

Planning your website

  • Saves you spending money on unnecessary tools  – planning helps you make informed buying decisions.
  • Provides you with the peace of mind that you are taking the right steps to get a website solution that works for you now.
  • Saves you time and stress in figuring out the steps you need to take to build a website,
  • Help you feel in control of the process.

So take a deep breath, whip out a piece of paper and have a good old think about what you want your website to achieve.