Working out the Details

Planning a Website the Organized Way: Working out the Details

Over the last two months, we’ve reviewed many of the content, design, and technical aspects of planning a website.

These considerations are especially important if you’re replacing an existing site. If your current website isn’t working well for you, you need to identify how it may be lacking and make sure that your new site addresses those issues. Otherwise, there’s really not much point, is there?

If you have a small business and it’s your first website, the basic steps outlined in the Planning a Website the Organized Way series may be all you need to get started, but that’s not to imply that there aren’t other options.

The purpose of this series is to help you make some decisions and develop at least a tentative plan before you or your web designer begins working on your new site.

What is your target launch date?

Think realistically about when you need your new website to be up and running.

Do you need to have a web presence before you announce the launch of your new business? Does your website need a major overhaul before an important speaking engagement or media appearance?

Maybe time isn’t of the essence at all, as long as everything in your website plan is addressed.

If you’re planning to build your own website, keep in mind that it may take longer than you think. You may have heard that you can create your own website in only an hour – and you probably can, if you’re willing to work within the confines of a template and aren’t worried about your brand – but if you’ve invested days or even weeks to develop a website plan, it’s not realistic to think you can put it all together so quickly.

I’ve worked with a number of clients who started to develop their own site, only to discover that they didn’t have the technical skills required to complete the project.

Tanya Whitford
I wish I had found Janet before I ever attempted to redo my website in WordPress by myself. I wasted a lot of time and money trying to do something that was supposedly so easy – but wasn’t for me.

Tanya Whitford, CPO®, Organizing Wonders

 

Should you decide to do it yourself, be sure you allow plenty of time and that you have access to someone to help you or take over the project should you run into difficulties.

If you prefer to hire a professional, make sure that they’re aware of your deadlines, and be prepared to provide timely feedback to avoid delays and keep the project on track.

How much can you afford to invest?

Notice I said “invest” and not “spend?” Your website is an investment in your business, and a professional design should not be considered a luxury.

That being said, a quality website doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Our WordPress Packages start at $497.00 and include your first six months of web hosting at no additional charge.

What are your top priorities?

You may find that you simply can’t achieve everything in your website plan within the timelines and budget you’ve set.

When that happens, you need to review your plan and identify which features are essential to have right away. As I’ve mentioned before, a website is always a work-in-progress, and there’s no reason you can’t add the other features later.

Discuss your priorities, budget, and timelines with your web designer. He or she will nearly always be happy to work with you to come up with a plan that works for you. If not, find someone who will.

Janet is a Web Designer and Certified Inbound Marketing Specialist who makes woman solopreneurs shine by creating websites that capture their unique essence. With strong roots in the organizing industry, her specialty is helping professional organizers to maximize their online presence through blogging.

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Comments

  1. I so agree that a website is always a work-in-progress. It is encouraging to know that even if you started out with a basic website, you always have the chance to recast (helpful if startup money is tight!) Hiring a professional is worth every penny!

    • That’s one of the great things about WordPress – it’s easier to switch to a new theme than it is to start over from scratch. And it’s no problem adding new pages as needed either. Oh, I guess that’s two things. 🙂

  2. I also agree a website is a work in progress, I don’t know how many times I have tweaked things here and there. I feel that in the near future I will be getting some expert help on redefining my website, I think most of us who have small business struggle with the cost of everything when we start up, after a few years the funds are available to get what you really want.

    • That’s a very good point, Jill! That’s why I’ve written this series in a way to help both DIYers and those who are hiring a professional web designer – hopefully I’ve met the needs of both!

  3. I like that mindset of investing in your website and not looking at what you spend on it. It helps you change your mindset towards it and makes you want to always improve it to better connect to your audience.

    • Well put, Sarah. Sometimes I wonder if people even look at their own websites after they’re launched. It’s so important to update it regularly, both to reflect changes in your business and to stay on top of current practices.

  4. Great post Janet! To me if you don’t take the time up from to invest in your website design you will regret it later. It will then cost yo more money to have everything fixed or transferred. Plus it was so nice working with you because I didn’t have to waste time and give myself headaches trying to learn all of the details. A designer takes care of that for you. Also, I agree considering ow and when to launch are two major factors!

    • Thank you, Autumn – I appreciate your comment! I often hear people say they want to learn how to do it themselves, and I ask how many websites they plan to create – wouldn’t their time be better spent on something else?

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