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Six Things To Do Before You DIY Your Website

Building a new website is really exciting. So it can be tempting to just jump right in and get things going.

However... preparation is key

If you just start on your website without much thought or preparation, it won’t be successful.

Getting specific, essential tasks done first will lay the foundations for a great website, improve your visitors’ experience and save you time and possibly money.

In this video and blog, I take you through the six essential steps you need to take before you start building your website.

1. Be Clear On Your Website's Purpose

Before you even start planning your website, you need to get clear on its purpose. Think about why you need this website and why visitors should come to it.

Is it to inspire or to educate?

Is it to sell stuff or promote your business?

If you start with a clear purpose then you’ll be one step further on the way to creating a successful website.

2. Define Your Ideal Customer

I know you just want to get started with building your website, but you must think about your target audience before you do anything. This is who you are making your website for and your branding, your design, the copy and user experience needs to be tailored to appeal to them.

Your website should totally be centered around your ideal customer, communicating and persuading them that your business is the right one for them at every turn.

3. Plan Your Pages

Thinking about the pages that you need and planning your navigation before you start will ensure that your website is concise and it’ll keep it logical and straightforward.

Usability really matters.

Spend some time thinking about the names of your pages too. Choose standard terms and keep it to one word, if possible. Don’t try to be clever or cute when naming your pages.

Ask yourself, would my visitor understand what this means?

Would a visitor search for this in Google?

And what about if English wasn’t their first language, would they understand what this word means or is it slang or colloquial?

The navigation menu is not the place to be creative. There’s just too much at risk, so avoid confusion by using the accepted standard formats.

For example, use ‘portfolio’ instead of ‘previous work’ or ‘blog’ instead of something random like ‘musings’.

4. Invest In Your Branding

You should invest in your branding and if you can’t afford to invest money right now, then you can invest your time and your energy.

Your visual brand, your colours, your fonts and your imagery, along with your tone of voice for your copy will tell a visitor who you are and your ideal client that they are in the right place.

No one knows your brand like you do and setting the foundations early and doing this work right now will help you understand what’s needed and get you started on the right track for your website and for your business.

5. Invest In Your Logo

I’ve separated the logo out from the branding, as when we talk about websites, the logo is more than just a logo. Visitors expect a logo and they expect it to link to the homepage, so please don’t disappoint them. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to have any images on it, it can just be as simple as your business name in a font that suits your branding. And it’s so easy to change moving forward, as your business grows. Just don’t create your website without one, please.

6. Choose Your Domain Name Wisely

It’s essential to have a domain name to make your business look professional.

It’s good to have a shorter domain name. So kellysparkes.com, rather than kellysparkeswebdesignlimited.com. And obviously it should be either some version of your business name or your own name.

If you can’t find the one you want immediately, then you can try different variants but you should register yours as soon as you can, even if you’re not quite ready to launch your website yet, as it’s so important to save that piece of the internet for yourself.

I hope you feel more prepared to start on your website journey now! For more WordPress tips do subscribe to my YouTube channel for weekly videos.

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