3 Key Steps Before Starting a New Website

Time for a first website, or a redesign?

I hear far too many stories of website projects gone wrong – and even among those that finish, plenty of small business sites are lacking key features, such as good photos of their company.

Sometimes the problem is just poor preparation. Take these three steps before seeking out a web designer to help ensure it turns out well:

1. Do Some Research

Most people don’t think that much about the websites they are visiting. Check out others in your industry, including some in larger cities. Don’t just look at how pretty the sites are, but pretend you are a consumer and think about how you would navigate around the site to learn about the business.

You can create a list of websites you like, and some notes about what you feel is important. This will make it easier to describe what you want, and examples will smooth communication with your designer.

2. Collect Pictures & Media

Real pictures are key to generating trust in your business. But many business websites end up with far too few, simply because it’s easier for a web designer to grab stock photography than it is to get photos sent over from a business owner that doesn’t have any at hand.

Avoid this by having all the images you need ready. The same goes for video, and collecting copies of your logo and marketing materials as well. If you can’t get good photos, or want videos but don’t have them, either get it beforehand, or find a designer that will help you create the media you want.

3. Think About Content

Much like photos, many business websites end up with meaningless filler for text, rather than something that can really sell visitors. This can be symptomatic of a business owner that hasn’t taken the time to consider why a person should choose his company, or just of poor communication with the web designer.

If you don’t know right away what your website should say, and how your company should be described, this is an important marketing exercise for your business both on and off-line. Put some thought into it, and come to your designer with descriptions of your business and products, so that you know they will have something compelling to use.

And Now You’ll Be More Prepared

Follow the above three steps and you’ll make sure your website is the best it can be, while also making the creation process smooth and price quotes more accurate.

Check back over the next few days for some more articles on web design, including features your site should have, and how much it might cost.

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Need help? Small Business Shift provides website and online marketing services.
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About Chris Piepho

Chris is the founder of Small Business Shift. You can learn more about him here. If you would like to work with Chris, please get in touch.

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