November 14, 2013

Before you build your website…

I thought about this topic for a while.  I thought about the best tip I could give that would make your website better than any other on the Internet.  My answer is this: preparation.  The best thing that you can do to make your website amazing is to know what you want.  Know what you want before you begin.

Create the pages that you want the content to go on in your mind first.  Some examples of that are About Us, Contact Us, Company History, Services, etc.  After you’ve decided what the pages are going be, start writing your content.  As you are writing your content, be thinking of pictures that would be good to illustrate your points.  Write notes!  You’ll never remember all the stuff if you don’t keep notes.  Again, this all comes back to being prepared.  After you have written all of your content, go about the task of finding or taking the pictures that you thought of while you were writing.

When you are done with all of that you’re still only halfway done.  You still have to think of a budget.  Most people come to me and ask me what their budget should be.  The problem is if you don’t have a budget in mind you are leaving it up to the web designer.  That puts them in a difficult situation; they have to guess how much you’re willing to spend.  If they guess too high, they will not get the job.  If they guess too low, your expectations may not be met.  Make it clear what your budget is and what your expectations are for that budget.  Again, know what you want.

A good way to come up with a budget is this: the life of a website is approximately three years.  Figure out what you would be willing to spend every single month for your website.  Add that up for three years and that’s what you should be spending on your website.  So if your budget is $25.00 a month for three years that would be a $900 website.  You should also be taking this amount and setting it aside for your next redesign, that way in three years you’ll have the budget to do it again and it won’t be a stressful thing for you.

Your website is an important part of your business, one that most business owners don’t prepare for.  The best thing that you can do is be prepared.  Be ready with the budget.  Be ready with content.  Be ready with expectations.  Be ready with some design concepts.  In my next Website Tips blog I’ll be talking about website upkeep.  If you have any questions about website upkeep that I can answer, please send those to Josh@IJWAS.com.

 

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